Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Personal Services (1987)

Personal Services (1987)

Christine Painter (Julie Walters) is a working-class single mother struggling to make ends meet who opens her own brothel with the aid of an experienced prostitute and a transvestite RAF officer.

This is a gently witty, if curiously coy, attempt by director Terry Jones to re-create the odd career of real-life “luncheon voucher madam” Cynthia Payne.

Julie Walters is a good choice to portray Payne’s droll matter-of-factness about the sexual proclivities of middle-aged men, but in its jolly, almost seaside postcard approach, the movie loses edge and bite.

Jones and co basically bolster up the one-dimensional image of Walters’s character as a cheery old duck whose early life was hard, but rich in experience, while its truly sad aspects are blithely glossed over.

Christine Painter
Julie Walters
Wing Commander Morton
Alec McCowen
Shirley Stelfox
Danny Schiller
Victoria Hardcastle
Tim Woodward
Dave Atkins

Terry Jones