EW Staff
August 04, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Saving Grace

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
93 minutes
performer
Brenda Blethyn, Craig Ferguson
director
Nigel Cole
distributor
Fine Line Features
author
Craig Ferguson
genre
Comedy

We gave it a C+

As in ”Waking Ned Devine” and the Ealing Studios comedies that paved the way, Saving Grace wrings laughs from the antics of affable, eccentric villagers who cheerily break the law while even the vicar smiles benignly. This time, the genre takes a leaf from Cheech & Chong: Needing cash to save her stately home following the death of her husband, champion gardener and gracious lady Grace Trevethen (Brenda Blethyn, modulating her madcappery) goes into the marijuana-growing business. And what starts out as a joint partnership with her groundskeeper (”The Drew Cary Show”’s Craig Ferguson, who also cowrote with Mark Crowdy) soon becomes everybody’s business.

I tend to get tetchy about the manufactured twee-ness of so many modern British comedies — everyone’s a ”type,” and inevitably some damn funny looking or ancient person will strip or warble. But in deference to the movie’s dope-y good vibes, I’ll hang loose, only to advise that ”Saving Grace” doesn’t escape a scene of two stoned crones stuffing munchies down each other’s gullets.

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