Picks and Pans Review: Calendar Girls

updated 01/12/2004 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/12/2004 01:00AM

COMEDY

Julie Walters, Helen Mirren

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Playboy pinups have nothing on 11 members of a local village chapter of a national women's home-making organization in England. These matrons, ranging in age from 45 to 66, were photographed buck naked, cheerfully futzing with flowers or putting up jam, for a fund-raising calendar published in 1999 that soon made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic.

Calendar Girls is a cheery, fictionalized take on their story, focusing on two pals (Mirren and Walters) who spearhead the effort. Their aim is to raise money for a local hospital that cared for one of their husbands when he was dying. The movie is enjoyable, though it feels padded in its latter scenes as the gals deal with the fallout from sudden fame. But the always watchable Mirren and Walters are obviously having a jolly good time here, and their enthusiasm is infectious. (PG-13)

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