"The Fairer Sex Gets the Upper Hand"
What You Need To Know:
Comedy writer Kim Fuller and director Mel Smith, a comic actor well known to British television viewers, have fashioned a very funny, exciting story. British actress Minnie Driver and American actress Mary McCormack do a superb job as Shannon and Frances, whose only weapons are their wit and their friendship. Kevin McNally also does a great job as the menacing leader of the robbers. Regrettably, however, HIGH HEELS AND LOW LIFES contains some nudity, violence and some strong foul language. That, and an immoral premise, seriously mar this movie.
(PaPa, B, Fe, Ho, LLL, VV, S, NN, A, D, MM) Pagan worldview in a crime story with some light moral elements, a feminist subtext, & movie implies one criminal is a homosexual; 49 obscenities, 18 mild profanities & 4 strong profanities, plus talk in one scene about having to go to the bathroom; solid action violence with some blood including robbery of a bank vault, criminals shoot two men, nearly killing them, explosion, nurse threatens to kill a criminal with an overdose, criminal tries to kill a rabbit with a shotgun & a machinegun, two women & two bank robbers shoot at each other in one extended sequence; man visits nude bar & implied cohabitation between woman & her boyfriend; rear nudity in two shots in two different scenes & brief upper female nudity in one shot; alcohol use; smoking & nurse threatens to kill criminal with an overdose; and, miscellaneous immorality such as blackmail, stealing & bank robbery not entirely rebuked.
The British comedy HIGH HEELS AND LOW LIFES is one of the most entertaining pictures of the year. It has a breezy way of placing comical characters and humorous dialogue in funny, dangerous situations. It also has, however, some strong foul language, nudity and a message that crime can pay, at least a little bit.
In the story, Minnie Driver plays a young woman named Shannon, who works as a nurse at a hospital in London which gets most of the gunshot wounds in the city. Her lowlife boyfriend, Ray, uses equipment to snoop in on people’s phone calls. When he and Shannon have a fight on her birthday, she and her American girlfriend, Frances, overhear a $10 million pound bank robbery taking place. They get the phone number of one of the robbers and go to a police precinct, but the desk sergeant has his hands full with a mini-riot and a drug bust. Shannon and Frances decide to blackmail the bank robbers to get money for Shannon’s hospital, which hasn’t been able to afford some important medical equipment. The robbers are not so accommodating, however. They try to kill the girls, but that only makes Shannon and Frances more determined to “get a piece of the action,” so to speak.
Comedy writer Kim Fuller and director Mel Smith, a comic actor well known to British television viewers, have fashioned a very funny, exciting story. British actress Minnie Driver and American actress Mary McCormack do a superb job as Shannon and Frances, whose only weapons are their wit and their friendship. Kevin McNally also does a great job as Mason, the menacing leader of the robbers. One of the other joys of watching this movie is seeing two shuffling police detectives who try to solve the bank robbery, but who keep running up against reports of two “attractive” females lurking about various crime scenes.
Regrettably, however, HIGH HEELS AND LOW LIFES contains brief nudity, violence and some strong foul language, all of which earned it an R-rating. Although the elimination of only two shots and one short scene would get rid of much of these problems, the movie also falls short morally because its two heroines are still stealing other people’s property by trying to get the robbers’ ill-gotten gains. This is true even though they give most of the money away to charity. Thus, despite the very enjoyable, lighthearted way in which this movie portrays these shenanigans, it requires a strong caution for adult audiences. MOVIEGUIDE® also recommends that parents should not allow their children and teenagers to see HIGH HEELS AND LOW LIFES.