The movie opens in London in 1938, as an out-of-work nanny (Frances McDormand) finagles her way into a job interview as social secretary to a would-be actress (Amy Adams), and spends the next 24 hours caught up in her world of show biz glamour and chaotic romances.
This movie tries to recreate the madcap, screwball comedies of the thirties that starred the likes of Carole Lombard, Irene Dunne, and Claudette Colbert, but fails miserably. Amy Adams, as the harebrained young actress, overacts horribly and is neither likeable nor sympathetic, still looking like the gauche hayseed she played in Junebug
. Frances McDormand is very good as the down-trodden title character, but the script is corny with a ridiculous fairy tale-ending, and dashing Ciaran Hinds is wasted as her lingerie-designer Prince Charming. Shirley Henderson tries to be a villain but with her Moaning Myrtle
voice, she's just a distraction.
The movie never captures the feel of the thirties and would have been better filmed in black and white and with a more subtle actress like Emily Watson instead of Miss Adams. Not recommended.