Review: Military Wives (12A)

Anna Marczynska definitely does not sing the praises of the cookie cutter comedy, Military Wives.

Anna Marczynska
15th March 2020
Military Wives (2020) Image: IMDB
It’s not a comedy, because it’s not funny. It’s not a tearjerker, because it doesn’t make you cry. It’s not a drama, because nothing really happens. It makes you ask just one question – What is this film?

The plot, such as it is, is very simple. A group of women that live in the Catterick Garrison form a choir when their husbands leave for a military tour in Afghanistan. They’re led by Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient) as Kate and Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe) as Lisa, who coincidentally are also the only people that make you feel something in this film. Kate is dealing with some past traumatic events, while Lisa struggles to connect with her teenage daughter, played by India Amarteifio.

Kristin Scott Thomas fails to preach to the choir. Image: IMDB

It feels like the film was made from a recipe, but someone forgot to add any spices. The actors don't seem invested in their emotions at all, so why should you be? It is so predictable; you are always three steps ahead of what’s on the screen. I can point to one scene that I enjoyed a lot, where Lisa and Kate let everything out, screaming at each other in the middle of the street. That’s it. 

You just can’t connect with the wives at any level

There seems to be no depth to the characters either and it doesn't help that you have no idea who their husbands are. They talk about them, they supposedly care about them but someone forgot to make the audience care. You just can’t connect with the wives at any level, because you keep thinking about this weird, empty place they live in. None of them have anything to do, whereas Lisa’s daughter is getting drunk with friends, that might as well be imaginary. While their day to day life remains elusive, the jokes are very much “in your face”, which isn’t great.

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