Ben Oliver

Banner image for Our Ladies

Our Ladies

Fresh meat, three o’clock.
10 October 2021

A choir from a Catholic girls’ school in Fort William goes to Edinburgh for a competition. They have a few hours to kill before the contest so they hit the town and let loose.

This is a slightly old-fashioned teen comedy where ‘girl power’ is mostly about trying to shag people, but it works and it’s very funny. The chemistry between the leads is evident and probably can’t be captured again which is always special to watch.

The screenplay sets a lot of stuff up then forgets to deal with it. The anxiety of being late for the concert is never there. The girls seemingly get expelled from school but it’s unclear what actually happens. There’s a teen pregnancy that serves to make a point but never really gets explored as a subject, which is weird given its gravity.

However, the film gets away with most of these failings by filming the story in a freewheeling format that feels like it could go anywhere. These girls live in the moment, so why would events in the past or future matter to them? You just take things as they come, what’s happening now is the most important thing.

As far as I can tell Our Ladies is based on a novel so I do have to take issue with the captions at the end credits explaining what the characters went on to do in life. It never sits well with me when a work of fiction does this; either tell the story or don’t!

In spite of some odd choices this is a funny and wonderfully acted film that among other things sheds light on life in a small town.