Military Wives film review: “It’s a predictably feel-good watch, but that’s exactly why I like it”

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Military Wives is the new British feel-good film that does exactly what it says on the tin – but that is nothing to be sneered at. 

Military Wives will not surprise you in any way. It’s a safe choice that you’d stick on the DVD player while having a cup of tea and some biscuits with your mum on a Sunday afternoon.

You know exactly what to expect from a film about a group of women who form a choir on a British Army base in Yorkshire. Especially when it’s directed by the same person behind The Full Monty (Peter Cattaneo). Some easy laughs? Yep. A few tearful moments? You bet. A feel good finale? Of course!

But its predictability only deepens my affection for it. Because, sometimes, it’s just such a relief when the comfort we are seeking is so served hot, fresh and ready for the taking – like a big bear hug. And if it’s Kristen Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan doing the hugging, you know you’re onto a good thing.

Based on a true story, Scott Thomas plays Kate, the often insufferable matriarch on the military base. Her position is threatened by Horgan’s character Lisa, who, after her husband’s promotion, is expected to head up the women’s social activities while their partners are away in Afghanistan. 

Lisa rather reluctantly agrees to set up a choir with the other women on the site, which leads to them being invited to perform on television at the Festival of Remembrance. The problem is that just one singer in the group can hold a note, and they only have 80s pop music-lover Lisa’s old keyboard to play backing music with. 

This all causes some friction between Kate and Lisa, who struggle to share duties in managing the choir – and it’s good, simple fun to watch them constantly talking over each other, apologising through polite laughter, then talking over each other again.

Military Wives is the fun and feel good film starring Sharon Horgan and Kristen Scott Thomas.
Military Wives is the fun and feel good film starring Sharon Horgan and Kristen Scott Thomas.

But despite this tense relationship, the whole film celebrates friendship, love and the sisterhood. It made me want to go home, grab my flatmates and screech the lyrics of Yazoo’s Only You with them. And the reality of just how much support these women give each other while constantly waiting to be given bad news about their loved ones is palpable throughout the film.

I only wish I could have stood up and hugged them back, or at least offered them a cuppa.      

Watch the trailer for Military Wives

Military Wives is out in UK cinemas on Friday 6 March.

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Images: Lionsgate

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…