While women in the audience may find resonance in the comical prickliness, this film remains more of a stage play than an actual movie. Indeed, playwright Hirons has adapted the script from her play When Women Wee, but it's such a broad farce that we never quite believe any of it on-screen. Although two of the actresses nicely underplay their characters for the cameras.
The story takes place almost entirely in the ladies' room at a British nightclub, where the disorganised Sam (Smith) is having a night out with her friends: shameless maneater Chanel (Winstone), trashy Saskia (Hoare) and the too-nice Paige (Steele). Then Sam runs into the posh Michelle (Nash) and her gorgeous French friend Jess (Chaplin), and decides to ditch her pals. But the club isn't big enough to avoid them for long, and things get increasingly messy for everyone as the night progresses. Meanwhile, the restroom attendant (Fiori) just laughs at their melodrama.
With Sam at the centre, every other woman is essentially a stereotype carefully written to convey some aspect of femininity. By contrast, the men are barely defined at all, so only two register, both of them unusually nice: Sam's ex (Warren) and a guy (Balfour) she chats to in the smoking area. But in this large ensemble, only Sheridan and Winstone manage to give their characters three dimensions, mainly because they create properly cinematic performances that rely on understated details rather than histrionics.
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Sam is living an entirely uninteresting life full of hardships and love life troubles. However, during one night out to what she reckons is a 'posh' nightclub, she is forced to reassess her life and think about who she really wants to be as she is reunited with her glamorous old friend Michelle, who is now engaged and leads a glitzy lifestyle in Paris with her equally trendy friend Jess. To her, the club is a distinctly cheap and tacky and Sam becomes so consumed with jealousy that she finds herself carving out a whole new identity that she is forced to keep up the rest of the night. But with friends like Chanel, Saskie and Paige who spend the evening downing shots and shamelessly seducing men, it becomes a harder feat than she realised.
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