Pic: Ardkinglas House, Argyll, Scotland featured as Awd castle in the film
If you were looking for a rom com about an impoverished Lord of the Glen and a rich American widow, in 2020, you just need to find Then Came You on Netflix. February 2021.
I downloaded the film, watched the first two scenes and put it off. I thought I saw Barbie in her 60s- petite, cut, trimmed and pasted and a man who looked bored when he was not smiling. That was a week night. Then came Saturday evening and with a glass of something and a good dinner inside me, it was delightful.
The story is old wine in a new-ish bottle. Kathie Lee Gifford, TV presenter, actor, writer wrote the screenplay, produced and acted in the little film while Craig Ferguson, the anchor of a late show in America who is decidedly Scottish and back to his roots in this film, played her romantic lead. They kept it within budget, one would assume, as the story revolved around the delightful little castle next to the Loch and the village nearby. A car, a dog and a train station featured in it. Liz Hurley made an appearance and disappeared after one and half scenes. So, all in all, tight.
The story had the usual mix of comic lines and serious wise ones which were quite beautifully woven in. Should we write Kathie off just because she is so Barbi-ish? Or Craig, because he swings from anchor to actor with little effort and gets away with it? Pre or post Valentine, it was heart warming and if you want to relax on the weekend and see nice Scottish scenery, a handsome man and an attractive woman, be it Barbie in her 60s – then watch this one. Craig is very 2020s- after a night with Kathie, he tells her not to leave and she says ‘give me one reason why I should stay’ and he says, ‘because I am pregnant’. Critics have said that there is no chemistry between the two. I don’t know what they mean. If you can have a to and fro like this, effortlessly, something is going on! One does not have to look steamily at each other for chemistry-well, not in Scotland, according to Craig, where, if you like someone you just say ‘you have nice hair’.
He also lets Liz Hurley down without much fuss. Believable. The plumber, housekeeper and cook is Ford Kiernan, actor and comedian. He is the wise friend who adds delightfully to the cast. Wears an apron with a woman in a bikini on the front. The humour is quick and nicely done.
Kathie as a widow who did not realise great dreams or achieve much in her life, grows on you. She is real and she has inherited her dead husband’s money after living an ordinary life with him where, as she says, she squashed her big dreams, lived in the tight geographical boundary of Nantucket and did love her husband. She must now make a last effort to see some of the world she has only seen in the movies which is all she could afford to escape to in an ordinary existence. You slowly begin to see a woman who holds her own. She can sing one song and she does it with aplomb. Splurges on the wardrobe and why not. The film might be her swan song and it is a nice one. It has been canned of course by the critics who want so much more when some of us audience want so much less. Less is good and if you can leave the room at the end of the day after a film and turn off the lights with a smile, I would not ask for more.
Available on Netflix.