Wonkette Movie Night: Enchanted April

Take a deep breath. Exhale slowly. No, seriously, do it. Now use your imagination and remember a beautiful moment. Can you smell it, hear it, or maybe taste it? That’s what Enchanted April is, a beautiful moment. It takes women from different backgrounds and life experiences, puts them together in gorgeous surroundings and dresses them in lovely clothes from another time. Maybe you can see yourself as one of these people, go ahead, close your eyes and play make believe, it’s not just for kids. Trust me on this. Doesn’t matter if you are a he, she or they, it’s about human needs we all have, the need to be loved, the need to be heard, the need to be around people who like us. And how much we can blossom when we have these things.

The women in Enchanted April are looking for something that is missing from their lives and they find it at an Italian villa. We all have a want, a fantasy destination, somewhere to free us from our everyday lives. It may not be a fancy room with a view and servants. It could be a cozy cabin or your own backyard. Every dream, like every person, is different. But I’d guess most of us would not turn down the opportunity to stay in such a spectacular place as San Salvatore in Portofino, Italy. (Based on Castello Brown.) Especially if it comes with someone making us amazing Italian food.

There needs to be no anticipation of the cringiness of women being pitted against each other as is often found in movies. They barely touch upon the thinking that when females are together there must be something antagonistic, there is only enough there so that when it is swept away it is even more poignant. The heart of the film is Lottie, just wishing for all to be happy, giving her friends unexpected kisses on the cheek and her joy at being in the moment is contagious.

Enjoy this film as a feast, it is sweet, it is gorgeous, it is simply a thing to be enjoyed.


Miranda Richardson as Rose Arbuthnot is a woman whose marriage is seemingly missing the love it once had, she is ashamed of her husband who is a successful writer, because he writes erotica. Her moment comes as both her and her husband find the love they once had come to life again.

Miranda Richardson as Rose

Joan Plowright as Mrs. Fisher, is a mature woman, set in her ways who surrounds herself with a wall of what is proper. She finds her moment in rediscovering her youth, her grey pallor at the beginning of the movie fading away, as she picks up a paintbrush and paints red flowers, the bloom of color returns to her cheeks.

Joan Plowright as Mrs. Fisher

Polly Walker as Caroline Dester is a beautiful, independent woman who is tired of the men who constantly want her attention. Tired of the world it seems. She just wants a moment of peace. But when the attention is no longer on her she is confused, she thought she wanted peace, but what she wanted was attention that was about who she really was and not just her beauty.

Polly Walker as Caroline Dester

Josie Lawrence as Lottie Wilkins is seemingly childish, her innocence is her charm, her belief that love conquers all. Lottie encourages those around her to live in the moment and appreciate the beauty that surrounds them.

Josie Lawrence as Lottie Wilkins

A moment.

It can be defined as a very brief period of time or something of importance. The moments I describe are both. Even though the women’s stay lasts the month of April the amount of time that it takes for them to recognize change is short. Because the change happens when you’re not paying attention. Isn’t that the way it is with life? You work towards a goal that is meaningful to you and that can sometimes seem to take forever, but there’s all these little things along the way. There can be a point where you realize this is what I need, at this moment. Whatever it is, those few minutes of a stunning sunset, a friend making you laugh, a delicious meal or your favorite band playing your favorite song. Those little moments need to be noticed or they disappear as quickly as they arrived. You can have lots of them, probably a lot more than the big goals. And you usually don’t have to work too hard to have them, you just need to realize they are happening.

When the world can sometimes seem to be spiraling out of control we need to take care of ourselves. I know this sounds like one of those inspirational posters, like with the kitty saying hang in there! But it’s true that you need to appreciate the little things. Because our lives are full of little things, I would even say that is what makes life good. And those things have surprising power. This week I have been sick and it was getting me down. I started thinking about the holidays and being alone. But a friend made me laugh, full on LOL. And my mood changed. I started thinking about how I could solve my problem instead of letting it drag me down. It was just a moment, but it was what I needed. It’s what we all need.

Dressed in lovely clothes from another time.


Enchanted April also stars Alfred Molina, Jim Broadbent and Michael Kitchen. Directed by Mike Newell, adapted from the book The Enchanted April written by Elizabeth von Arnim from 1922.

It is available for $3.99 in the usual places.

To make movie requests, see the list of past movies and the upcoming schedule visit WonkMovie.

Got your popcorn? Enjoy!

Our cartoon is A Tale Of Two Kitties from 1942. It is the first time we see a little yellow bird who later became the beloved Tweety. With the two kitties Babbit and Catstello obviously based on the comedic duo of Abbott and Costello.


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