Movie “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”
Genre: sex comedy, drama
Director: Sophie Hyde
Starring: Emma Thompson, Daryl McCormack, Isabella Laughland, Charlotte Wakefield, Karina Lopez
Release year: 2022
In a cozy hotel room, a seemingly modest woman in her late 50s, Nancy Stokes, is waiting for someone and clearly nervous about it. This is because for the first time in her life, she has decided to avail herself of the services of a sex worker, specifically a muscular hunk with beautiful eyes, good manners, and a nice name (albeit fake), Leo Grande. After the death of her husband two years ago, Nancy decided to give herself a chance to finally explore her own sexuality and try all the things she hadn’t done in 30 years of married life.
However, this plan seemed sensible in Nancy’s thoughts, but in practice, everything went awry. Nancy constantly feels uncomfortable, unable to open up to her partner, feeling ashamed and guilty for her inappropriate behavior. Mental blocks prevent her from loosening up and experiencing true pleasure, which she consciously or unconsciously denied herself all her life.
However, quiet intimate conversations with the intelligent and attractive young man allow Nancy to feel safer. Later, these confessional conversations begin to have a therapeutic effect on both of them, which will change their lives forever.
The sex dramedy by director Sophie Hyde and screenwriter Katie Brand, “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” offers viewers a small script wonder, almost a theatrical production, which features a single location and only two performers. Watching the incomparable Emma Thompson and the young Irish actor Daryl McCormack perform this play is pure delight.
The filmmakers manage to captivate the audience by two key factors — brilliantly written, witty dialogues and equally brilliant portrayal of them on the screen, achieved through the outstanding work of the actors.
Obviously, the film is unlikely to reveal any new truths to the audience, but it confidently presents its narratives. After all, it’s never too late to look at oneself from a different angle, discover something new within oneself, and try something one has been hesitant about for many years. There is always room for discovery, whether it manifests in a desire to engage in oral sex with a representative of the oldest profession for someone.
Despite all the seriousness and adulthood of the themes addressed, “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” works wonderfully on a comedic level. At the same time, there is a gradual, natural revelation of the characters. In the end, this dramedy about real people not only amuses but also elicits sincere audience response.
Emma Thompson’s character makes an impression of a stern literature teacher from the very first frame, who has had sex nine times in her life. And further suspicions are only confirmed: she is indeed a teacher, albeit teaching the basics of religion.
And she once scolded her students for wearing skirts that were too short. And she has a set of complexes and wonders how modern young women can feel so liberated. And her entire married life was limited to monotonous sex in one position, and she never even experienced an orgasm. There will be many more “ands,” and delving into them is quite fascinating.
Leo Grande, on the other hand, is young, handsome, and fit. Uninhibited and ready to conquer new heights. But not everything is as perfect as it seems at first glance. His meetings with Nancy are just as necessary for him as they are for her. As a result, both will learn each other’s true names, with the woman revealing hers herself. This symbolic gesture will tear off the mask of the stern teacher and signify a new view of herself, without any pretense.
“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” is not frivolous, but it’s light-hearted optimistic cinema that leaves an extremely pleasant impression. And even though the initial enthusiasm may wane by the finale, it’s impossible not to be enthralled by Emma Thompson’s bold performance, who dared to expose herself on screen, and her interaction with her on-screen partner. It seems it’s not yet a cinematic orgasm, but a certain kind of satisfaction is guaranteed here.
“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” is a movie for the soul, not the mind, which leaves an extremely pleasant impression.