Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris by Anthony Fabian [7/10]

Can a movie “feel” like the book it is based upon? My memory of Paul Gallico’s underlying novel is faint, but I was amazed to find that, yes, “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” has all the wholesome but spirited atmosphere of the 1958 classic. A simple tale of a British house cleaner following her dream to fly to Paris in search of a frightfully expensive, lavish Dior dress. There the uncultured, accented woman imposes herself upon the ultra-chic world o of high fashion, with chuckle-worthy consequences and an outcome that is, strangely enough, not predictable. Lesley Manville is superb in the starring role, instantly lovable, and the ensemble cast in both London and Paris is not far behind. Anthony Fabian’s direction accentuates the almost goofy fairy-tale atmosphere, employing cliche scenes in a fresh manner. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris could have been a twee mess but somehow it retains a vivacity throughout. A sweet viewing from the good old days.

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