My Life So Far

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • Drama

Based on the autobiography of UK television executive Sir Denis Forman (the names and who knows what else have been changed), this sentimental story of growing up in the bosom of a nutty Scottish family will charm some viewers and leave others aching for a stiff drink. Young Fraser Pettigrew (Robert Norman) lives with his extended family at Kiloran, the...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Based on the autobiography of UK television executive Sir Denis Forman (the names and who knows what else have been changed), this sentimental story of growing up in the bosom of a nutty Scottish family will charm some viewers and leave

others aching for a stiff drink. Young Fraser Pettigrew (Robert Norman) lives with his extended family at Kiloran, the rambling estate of his mother's family. Fraser love his mother Moira (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, whose accent wanders alarmingly) but worships his father Edward (Colin Firth),

a Beethoven-worshipping, jazz-hating, physical culture-embracing, eccentric inventor convinced that sphagnum moss is a miraculous substance. Edward has dedicated himself to finding uses for it, from soap to cigars, but his enterprise has yet to turn a profit. Meanwhile Moira's older brother Morris

(Malcolm McDowell), a successful businessman, is full of money-making ideas that Edward haughtily discounts; there's already tension between them since Morris is the natural heir to the estate, and Edward's disdain only makes it worse. Then Morris comes to visit with his much-younger, French

fiancee Heloise (Irene Jacob) in tow; she has a remarkable effect on the whole family. Fraser particularly adores the sophisticated Heloise and so, unfortunately, does his father. Forman's memoirs are by all reports thoroughly charming, but the film into which they've been made is treacly and

more than a little twee. Edward is a tough character to warm to; he's an irresponsible jerk and puts the moves on his brother-in-law's fiancee so aggressively that it's nearly attempted rape. His eccentricities need to be a lot less silly if adult viewers are expected to feel the same wonder that

enchants his small son. And how amused you are by the goings probably depends on how funny you find a precocious but sheltered 11-year-old asking, "Dad, what's an orgy?"

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  • Released: 1999
  • Review: Based on the autobiography of UK television executive Sir Denis Forman (the names and who knows what else have been changed), this sentimental story of growing up in the bosom of a nutty Scottish family will charm some viewers and leave others aching for… (more)

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