This first came out in 1989 (really? 20 years ago?..where DID the time go!?..yikes… eeek!!!) I was in my 20s when I first saw it and now I’m closer to Shirley’s age. But its message is timeless. Altogether, I’ve probably watched it about 40 times since I first saw it in the theatre. I know most of the dialogue by heart and quote from it fairly often:
” I like chips and egg ..on a TUESDAY – today is THURSDAY… Where’s me steak?!”
”I enjoy a glass of wine while I’m preparing the evening meal-don’t I wall?”
“He’s not bad, my fella- he’s just no bleedin’ good!”
“She’s that type Gillian, – I’m not saying she’s a braggart but if you’ve got a headache- she’s got a brain tumor- if you’ve been to paradise- she’s got a season ticket!’
This is a feel good movie about reclaiming your inner girl when you’ve turned into “The Wife” or “The Mother” and most of all about bravely choosing a new path when the one you are on doesn’t suit anymore. Full of quirky British humour and the beautiful scenes of Mykonos in Greece -it’ s a holiday you won’t want to return from either. Pauline Collins, Tom Conti, Bernard Hill, Julia McKenzie, Alison Steadman and Joanne Lumley are a stellar, lovable, brilliant cast.
* Updated* One thing that is funny is that it took a while for this movie to come to DVD in the USA (I was on the Amazon waitlist forever and about wore my VHS copy out) and they put both an UK audio track and an USA audio track. I could find only 5 times where it is different- watch the UK version and see if you can catch them- I’ll send a nice prize to the first person who emails me (or leaves a comment here) with at least 3 of the correct changes.
“Chips and egg” appear several times throughout the movie -in Britain as a pivotal meal that seals Shirley’s determination to take advantage of a windfall trip to Greece and then later in Greece she meets “Dougie and Jeannette” and says: “They’re that type you know- if they’d been at the Last Supper they’d have asked for chips and egg.” After she decides to stay in Greece she offers to cook chips and egg for xenophobic British travelers at Costa’s bar who are too afraid to try any lovely Greek offerings such as Kleftika.
lemon balm and oregano in the garden
For my version I baked sweet potato chips and added a “gremolata” of fresh oregano, shallot, garlic, salt and Feta cheese- just to pull Britain a bit closer to Mykonos. I used fresh Oregano from my garden- don’t use dry if you can’t find fresh-skip it or change to a real gremolata with parsley. Alexia is a good brand of pre-made sweet potato chips or simply cut some sweet potatoes into batons and toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for about 30 minutes at 400F, turning often and finishing off under the broiler for crispness.
I made scrambled eggs with Feta for Rick as he doesn’t like fried eggs- but I had mine over-medium- fried in one of my favourite Griswold cast iron skillets. They, along with the chips, some chile sauce and a couple of Rick’s homemade cream biscuits, made a divine meal.
- 1/4 cup fresh, washed Oregano
- 1 large shallot
- a few grindings of garlic salt and pepper
- crumbled Feta cheese
Mince the Oregano and Shallot together finely, add the salt, pepper and Feta and toss over the chips and egg.
Opa! Wow! Check out all the other great Greek offerings from the Dinner and a Movie crowd at Susan’s roundup here!