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Film / Keeping Mum

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"Mummy! Mummy! Billy Martin came after me, but Grace was there and all I said was broccoli and now he's dead! Billy Martin's dead! Woohoo! Billy Martin's dead!"

Keeping Mum is a 2005 British Black Comedy starring Rowan Atkinson, Patrick Swayze and Maggie Smith. In it the Goodfellow family is starting to fall on hard times; Walter Goodfellow (Atkinson), a vicar, is obsessing over writing the perfect sermon. His neglected wife Gloria is beginning an affair. Daughter Holly is bringing home increasingly unsuitable boyfriends while son Petey is bullied by his classmates.

And then, like Mary Poppins floating down from the sky, Grace Hawkins appears to set things right. Only instead of machiavellian schemes worthy of Jeeves her main strategy involves murder.


This film provides examples of:

  • Catchphrase: "It's about the flower arranging committee." Also, "Shall I put the kettle on?"
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Walter. "Was that a brassiere over Holly's shoulder this morning?"
  • Kick the Dog: Billy Martin and his cronies do some Dog-Kicking of Petey.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Grace to Gloria (which you should see coming from a mile away)
  • Magical Nanny: Parodied hard, especially because this film can be seen as a black comedy version of Mary Poppins.
  • Moment Killer: "I'll be late for work", later Gloria needing to "see to Mrs. Parker" after Walter returns from the convention. And then there's Lance's "love pack"...
    • Also, nothing kills a sexy mood like your butt accidentally hitting the car horn.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Grace is introduced in this manner. As she puts it, she and her doctors often disagreed on this point.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Technically, "never mess with Mum" would be more appropriate, but it works, as Grace is of rather advanced age.
  • Oh, Crap!: Grace realizing that Mrs. Parker might know about Gloria and Lance; "Mum...I think you need to see this!"; the workmen announcing that the pond needs draining.
  • Really Gets Around: Holly. Her poor work-obsessed father can't even keep track of which boy she's on. ("This is, David.")
  • Stealth Pun: Mrs. Parker is quite the nosy Parker, isn't she? Also, Grace, Gloria and Holly "keep mum" over something that Gloria's long lost mother did...


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