AN AWFULLY BIG ADVENTURE is a dark view of legit English theater in the late 1940’s. Stella is a withdrawn teen who comes of age sexually, but not emotionally as she works as a stage hand in a backwater theater in Liverpool. Though she is infatuated with the cantankerous director, it is the fading veteran actor, P.L. O’Hara who teaches her the ropes. In the third act, the curtain comes down on their portrayal of make-believe in the production of “Peter Pan,” and on the make-believe in their own lives.
This is a dark film, skillfully told to those with an insider interest and perspective on legit English theater in the ’40’s. The acting and directing has the critics baffled, and rightfully so, but as a whole, the film doesn’t quite work. Despite it’s touching final scene, the director naively assumes that the cynical outcome ties up all the loose ends. Moreover, the poor sound quality, theater jargon, and British dialogue solidly prove G.B. Shaw’s dictum that the Americans and British are indeed separated by a common language. The portrayal of the theater’s disgusting backstage lifestyle makes this a “pass” for most Christians.
(AB, Ro, NA, Ho, LL, V, SSS, NN, A, M) Pagan worldview with romantic, anti-biblical & homosexual elements; 7 obscenities, 3 profanities & 13 vulgarities; three brief acts of violence -- WWII bombing, head punching, slipping & knocking self out; homosexual seduction, many homosexual references, 3 fornication scenes involving incest & statutory rape, female petting & holding male genitalia implied; full female frontal nudity & extended female frontal nudity; and, extensive alcohol use and vomiting