You know exactly what you're getting with Military Wives, but this doesn't detract from the fun of watching the story unfold.

This British dramedy has a Calendar Girls or The Full Monty feel-good vibe - which isn't surprising given director Peter Cattaneo also helmed the latter. In this case, a diverse group of women reluctantly come together to start a choir, as a way to support each other and to distract themselves while their partners are away fighting in Afghanistan.

While the plot is derivative, there's just enough edge to the characters and heart in the message - and some unexpected song choices - to keep you interested.

The choir is led by Kate (Kristen Scott Thomas), a posh, uptight and stoical colonel's wife, who sits at the top of the military partners pecking order on the UK base, and Lisa (Sharon Horgan), a grounded, more laid-back character, who finds herself in a leadership position thanks to her husband's promotion.


The plot is simple. This ramshackle choir of military wives goes from pretty average to performing at the Festival of Remembrance at London's Royal Albert Hall; with clashes along the way, and a sprinkling of heartbreak and laughter.

What stands out is the insight into the real-life reality of being stuck at home getting on with life while waiting for Skype calls and letters from loved ones living in life-threatening situations overseas.

Scott Thomas and Horgan are excellent and together manage to elevate the story beyond the everyday. While there aren't as many laughs as you'd hope for, there are just enough quirky characters to lighten the mood.

Stay for the credits, which feature a montage of the UK's many real military choirs - it's quite lovely.

If you're looking for a pleasant distraction on a Sunday afternoon, Military Wives is just the ticket.

Military Wives
Peter Cattaneo
Kristin Scott Thomas, Sharon Horgan
Running time:
112 mins
M, Offensive language & sexual references
3 stars
Out today
Predictable, but full of heart.