The problem with supposedly “feel-good” films is that oftentimes they don’t make you feel all that good. Anything slapped with the label of “heart-warming” is certainly well-intentioned, but danger Will Robinson when it comes to such ardent sincerity – too much can definitely be too much. Like that second piece of cake, one can go from pleasant sugar buzz to nausea before you know it.
Such, thank goodness, is not the case with the new movie Pride
(now playing at the Sundial complex in St. Petersburg). Based on a true story, Pride
manages to dance on the edge without falling into a pit of schmaltz – which is pretty amazing considering the subject matter.
In 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s decision to close unprofitable coal mines led to an almost year-long miners’ strike. A small group of London gays (and one lesbian), led by the handsome activist Mark (Ben Schnetzer), realize that they can relate to the oppression the miners are going through and resolve to show solidarity by raising funds for a village in Wales. Needless to say, things do not run smoothly at first (gays and lesbians being the scary critters they are and all), but eventually the villagers’ feelings are summed up by one character, who observes, “What you’ve given us is more than money. It’s friendship.”
And therein lies the potential schmaltz pit into which the whole movie could sink. I mean, who didn’t see that coming a million miles away? But any danger of formulaic storytelling is soon overcome by a large and absolutely winning cast.