Secret Society

An absolutely loopy picture in the FULL MONTY tradition of quirky tales about oppressed Brits finding themselves in unlikely places. Pretty but unfashionably large Yorkshire lass Daisy (Charlotte Brittain) is married to Ken (Lee Ross), who thinks she's the most beautiful, sexy and desirable creature he's ever laid eyes on. But she's often stung by the remarks...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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An absolutely loopy picture in the FULL MONTY tradition of quirky tales about oppressed Brits finding themselves in unlikely places. Pretty but unfashionably large Yorkshire lass Daisy (Charlotte Brittain) is married to Ken (Lee Ross), who thinks she's the most beautiful, sexy and desirable creature he's ever laid eyes on. But she's often stung by the remarks of others, from her mother to the rude teenagers who taunt her when her moped conks out on a hill. Ken loses his job, and Daisy takes a tedious job sorting carrots and peas at the local canning factory. Convinced her supervisor, Marlene (Annette Badland), has taken a dislike to her because she assigns Daisy demeaning tasks like cleaning the toilets, Daisy screws up the nerve to quit. But Marlene was just testing Daisy to see what she was made of, and invites her to join the sumo wrestling group she's founded. Marlene, who became infatuated with all things Japanese while travelling, trains other large women in the ancient sport; they practice mental and physical discipline, take steam baths in Marlene's luxurious private sauna and hold private matches against each other. "Our size is our strength, and our strength is our beauty," Marlene counsels the women, who assume sumo names like Mistress Pygmy Hippo (Clare Cathcart), Mistress Mighty Walrus (Donna Combe), Mistress Big White Orca (Iliana Flade) and Mistress Sea Cow (Mikyla Dodd). The sumo society is top secret, so Daisy can't tell Ken what she's doing; Ken, a UFO nut with too much time on his hands since he became unemployed, dismisses the obvious suspicion that his wife is having an affair and instead becomes convinced she's turning into an alien. Meanwhile, the sumo group is divided over Marlene's suggestion that they should introduce the world to their beauty by wrestling in public, and Daisy runs afoul of Mistress Typhoon (Sharon D. Clarke), who's jealous of the newcomer's skills. Everything resolves itself in an exhibition match with a team of male wrestlers from Japan, an outcome that is as preposterous as it is never in doubt. Too daft by half — it might have been better if Ken were less loony, especially because his nuttiness verges on implying that loons love large women — but supremely good natured.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: An absolutely loopy picture in the FULL MONTY tradition of quirky tales about oppressed Brits finding themselves in unlikely places. Pretty but unfashionably large Yorkshire lass Daisy (Charlotte Brittain) is married to Ken (Lee Ross), who thinks she's the… (more)

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