Movie Review – Wish You Were Here (1987)

Director: David Leland

Stars: Emily Lloyd, Geoffrey Hutchings

In a small English seaside town shortly after WWII, Lynda (Lloyd), is a foul-mouthed young woman who is going through maturity. Her fractious relationship with her father leads to a lot of arguments and confrontations, and her rebellious nature leads her to different beds.

Wish You Were Here is a pretty good film. I felt it captured the period well, with the attitudes and the style of the movie but the highlight is really Emily Lloyd. I find it hard to believe that she didn’t go on to bigger and better things because she is superb in this film. She’s confrontational yet vulnerable, cheeky yet sweet, and really just captures the audience’s hearts. A lot of what she goes through is caused by her own decisions, so she’s not entirely a victim, but we get glimpses of her childhood and her recent history and it does engender sympathy. There are also some sleazy characters, and when she gets involved with her dad’s friend it’s sickening.

There are triumphant moments too, like when she confronts her father in the tea room. It brings up commentary on the attitudes towards women and society’s expectations of them. The double standards are apparent, but shortly after she reaches her lowest moment she also has the fortitude to get her life together, and the ending is very uplifting.

The performance is excellent and Wish You Were Here is definitely worth watching.

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