New on DVD: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Fairy tales are not just for kids; the grown-up version just has more sex.

Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) is desperately unemployed and must push aside her reverent nature to fake her way through a day as a modern woman’s social secretary. Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams) is an ambitious singer and starlet in dire need of someone to manage her affairs – mostly because she is having three. For different reasons, Delysia is currently seeing Nick (Mark Strong), the intimidating nightclub owner; Phil (Tom Payne), the young, impressionable West End producer; and Michael (Lee Pace), the devoted pianist. She is trying to do what is best for her career and status but has yet to discover what is best for her heart.

If it sounds predictable, it is. But fairy tales are not meant to be cliffhangers; the fun comes from watching the tale unfold. The action and dialogue in this picture tends to occur rather quickly. As World War II is only now going to be affecting London, the film’s young population is still riding the waves of the roaring twenties, which included lavish clothes, loose morals and fast talk.

McDormand does the prim and proper part of her role as well as she does the quick-on-her-feet portion; unfortunately, her British accent falls short. Adams, on the other hand, is wonderful as the bubbly starlet. Her timing is impeccable and she shows just the right amount of vulnerability at key moments. And for those who have already fallen for the charming Pace on ABC’s Pushing Daisies, his portrayal of the love struck pianist will only reel you in further.

The “making of” documentary focuses on the set and costume design, which are wonderful. Meanwhile, “The Journey to Hollywood” is a short interesting look at the source novel’s author. The feature commentary by director Bharat Nalluri reveals lots of little details about the production and locations. The deleted scenes were good and it is somewhat unfortunate a couple of them were not included in the final cut.

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