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The Secret Laughter of Women 1999
Description: Oscar-winner Colin Firth stars in this heart-warming cross-cultural romantic comedy set in the idyllic South of France. Nimi, a pretty Nigerian single mother to son Sammy, is under pressure from her family to search a suitable husband and who better than the local Reverend? After making mates with Matthew, a British comic-book writer and one of his heros, Sammy has another ideas. He successfully plots to receive them together but they've still a several obsticles to overcome. (from Amazon)
Released: 26 Nov 1999 Director: Peter Schwabach Writers: Misan Sagay, O.O. Sagay Actors: Colin Firth, Nia Long, Dan Lett, Joke Silva Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
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The Secret Laughter of Women Reviews:

A fabulous film,which I have actually watched few times over since purchasing the video only four days ago.Yes I am a Colin Firth Fanatic and Colin was his usual talented, natural superb self.The interaction between Colin (Matthew Field)and Fissy(Sammy, Nimi's 7 year old Son) was very unique and so natural to watch. They were hilariously funny together and also touched my heart strings. The scenes which I loved the most was Sammy and Matt sitting on the wall chatting and Matt then falling backwards off the wall in an hilarious fashion (I won't reveal the content of their discussion so as not to spoil the plot). Also very hilarious was Sammy quizzing Matt about sex, Colin and Fissy were excellent in this stage and making what can be an awkward topics between adult and kid just so natural. Colins words and face at the end of that stage were so delicious and told it all! just brilliant. Credit, of course, gotta also go to Fissy Roberts for his delicious portrayal of Sammy. He played such a lovable and cheeky kid character. The two actors were just excellent together.The interaction between Colin (Matt) and Nia (Nimi)was perfectly balanced and I couldn't accept more that the chemistry between them was unbelievable to watch, displaying love,tension and of course passion. It was exciting to see how their delicate blossoming romance gradually unfolded, also showing how their cultural and social divides affected their relationship and was nice to see how Colin and Nia sensitively portrayed Matt and Nimi discovering, accepting and overcoming these differences. It kept me fixed to the TV and guessing right until the end of the film. Colins portrayal of Matt's vulnerable and juvenile side was also perfectly portrayed, so much so, that I found it was hard to watch when Matt was so mean and childish towards Sammy because he (Matt) felt that Sammy was getting in the method of his romance/relationship with Sams Mother Nimi.One couldn't support feeling very disappointed, mad and frustrated with Matt for treating Sammy this method and this in turn threatening to spoil Matts unique relationship with Sammy and Nimi. Colins unique talent of 'getting inside a character's head' and displaying to the audience the various sides of a character, was very much in evidence here and pure magic to watch. I gotta also mention that Colin also has such a nice rapport with young actors (see also 'My life so far'a unbelievable and not to be missed film).I also loved the relationship between Matthew and his wife Jenny, both were perfect in displaying to the audience the dark side and tensions within their marriage and that not all seemingly 'Happy Marriages' are quite what they may seem from the outside. I mustn't forget to mention the reverend whom I thought was very funny, in a serious sort of way! Also Nimi's Mother and family were hilarious as well as bringing across the importance of Nimi's culture and her situation.The downside, I can't really search a downside,but to be objective about the movie and to give credibility to my review, the only negative comment that I would create is that the script writers didn't explain in enough feature as to why Matt collapsed in the car, there was only a vague suggestion, from Nimi, of something being wrong with his heart. However, this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the film, far from it.I just required to rewind the tape a tiny for a 2nd take.I felt that this movie had it all, entertaining, uplifting and I loved the rich colours and sunny scenery.The movie warmed up a cold winters day and made me smile :-)) All the essential elements were there,laughter,love,tension,sadness,anger,drama and a Warm feel nice factor, with, yes plenty of those delightful Colin Firth moments including a very soaked Colin in a 'Wet Shirt scene',not to be missed by any fan, what more should a woman want;-)) I would strongly suggest this film, specially to any Colin Firth Fanatics ;-)


*Warning! Some spoilers!*Matt, a rich writer, is in fact still just a man in his behaviour. He doesn't care about anyone's but his own needs and couldn't care less about the consequences of any of his actions. Just as he gets to know Nimi and her bonds with her familiy and her communitiy he begins to feel that something is missing in his live.He begins to realize that he is in fact lonely and stuck in impersonal structures that are just convenient but lack heart and commitment. Nevertheless he shies away from any responsibilties and is reluctant to change his live. But will he be able to settle again in his old life and ignore the bonds he's already - unconsciously - formed?Nimi's case is the absolute opposite. She is pressed into the regulations of her Nigerian community, its prejudices and its medieval values. Being a single mother her position is hard and it gets even worse when she falls in love with Matt, a white devil (as the Referend would say), a boy who cannot commit. The girls of the community plan to marry her to the Referend to end her single status and give Sammy "a name". But that would mean for Nimi to give up all independence and self-determination. But is there an alternative for her if she wants Sammy to be agreed and herself to become a respected member of the community?This film has it all: a very sensitive and sensual love storyline (with VERY sexy scenes of Matt and Nimi) and an endearing kid who is eagerly matchmaking, a pretty scenery in lively colours.Colin Firth (*swoon*) and Nia Long present a nice chemistry. It's just wonderful to watch them. And Fissy Roberts as Sammy is just to die for. You simply wish to adopt him. I just love the method Sammy and Matthew talk to every other. They are both on the same lvl in many ways. Especially when Sammy asks Matt about Sex. This stage is absolutely adorable!!Almost nothing to complain about.... wait! That's not true. One thing is not good: That the film is not long enough! (Well, and maybe that the Referend is too terrible and too silly to be convincing....)10 of 10, by all means!


This is a nice movie. When two folks from various backgrounds and social status think that they have nothing to offer every another and in the end they what every another needs it a testament to what the heart knows. Sometimes we wonder why one boy is with a girl or vise versa and the outward appearances tell one thing to our eye, but what they offer every another from within that we cannot see is nice and unexplainable. When Nimi thought that Matthew had nothing to offer her and when Matthew was only looking for a fling (because he had an launch marriage w/his wife Jenny), in the end they realized that they should not and did not wish to exist without the other. It was worth it to them to resist what family and mates thought and what society told was right to be with every other. This film type of restores my faith in love.



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