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AMANDA PLATELL: Frumpy Emma is a sexual cliché who betrays the liberated women of my generation

When 63-year-old Emma Thompson revealed that she would be appearing naked – frontally and without filters – in her new film, I thought, like many women of her generation, ‘Good on you, girl!’

What a brave and strong decision from one of our protagonists. Yes, she can be annoyingly luvvie and overly awake at times, but here she really played it and showed it all in Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, the story of a frustrated, older woman who discovers her sexual awakening with a much younger man. .

I couldn’t wait to see it… And now I have – but what a disappointment.

The lover chosen by Emma’s character Nancy (although this isn’t her real name) happens to be a chic escort – played by the extremely handsome Irish actor Daryl McCormack, in his twenties.

Nancy (Emma Thompson) and chic escort Leo (Daryl McCormack) in Good Luck To You, Leo Grande - the story of a frustrated, older woman who discovers her sexual awakening with a much younger man

Nancy (Emma Thompson) and chic escort Leo (Daryl McCormack) in Good Luck To You, Leo Grande – the story of a frustrated, older woman who discovers her sexual awakening with a much younger man

Not a prude, me, but even I draw the line when hiring a male whore – and I don’t know a single woman of my age who has done that.

When there are enough younger men, why would we be all too happy to take on older women, maybe not forever, but just for fun? On the other hand, fun is something Nancy has passed. She is a 55-year-old retired religious education teacher whose life has been one of devotion to duty and emotional repression.

Despite a 30-year marriage and two children, she has never experienced sexual pleasure, let alone ecstasy.

For Nancy, physical intimacy meant her in her nightgown, her husband taking off his clothes before jumping on her in the conjugal bed, followed by a functional clutch. The missionary position, of course. Sex was more of a chore than a pleasure.

So, after her husband’s death, Nancy decides to “see what all the fuss is about” when it comes to sex and signs up with an escort website. Then she saves hundreds of pounds with Leo Grande for a few hours in a two-star hotel room in Norwich, which made me smile (shades from Alan Partridge?).

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“What annoyed me the most about this ridiculous film is the clichéd portrayal of Nancy, who, with her ill-cut, half-dyed hair and outdated clothing, is the personification of frumpiness.”

Her investment certainly pays off. After waiting for decades for an orgasm, like buses, two come at once. And then a lot more.

Nancy gets to experience oral sex for the first time in her life, which, she admits to Leo, has long been a fantasy of hers, but her husband found it humiliating. I found it an uncomfortable and unconvincing scene.

Ultimately, Nancy tries every sexual position on her bucket list, including the face-off, the G-whiz, and the wheelbarrow. (Yeah, I had to google a few!)

Indeed, in a very short space of time it looks like Nancy and Leo are working their way through the Kama Sutra – which is all well and good, but I was wondering how the heck this movie got a 15 rating.

Swearing (their conversation is strewn like confetti with f**k) and the rousing but explicit sex aside, the final scene has Nancy throwing away her dressing gown and caressing her body in front of a full-length mirror.

The message is that thanks to Leo she finally feels beautiful. But it’s definitely not something many parents want their teen to watch.

What annoyed me the most about this ridiculous film is the clichéd portrayal of Nancy, who with her ill-cut, half-dyed hair and outdated clothes is the personification of frumpiness.

For her first meeting with Leo, Nancy opted for a drab tan dress suit, brogues, and what appeared to be a 100 percent polyester patterned blouse worn over underwear in which no woman would be seen dead.

Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson are in attendance "Good luck to you Leo Grande" premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City

Daryl McCormack and Emma Thompson attend the ‘Good Luck To You, Leo Grande’ premiere during the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City

What’s worse is her endless nagging – and not in a good way – about her bleak life, dull marriage and unsatisfactory career.

It was never a passionate marriage, she confides to poor Leo (who really earns his fee by listening to the diatribe of woe), more like “the bottom shell of the Aga” where you put things in to keep them warm.

That is, I admit, one of the few good jokes in the script.

Another example is Leo’s response to Nancy’s nagging about her lack of sexual satisfaction: “It’s an orgasm, Nancy, not a Fabergé egg. People always have them.’

Nancy hates her body, her sagging breasts, fat legs and middle-aged stomach. She despairs of seeing her peers “shrink” and disappear before her eyes from old age and regret.

“All women over 40 feel invisible and hate their bodies,” Emma Thompson said in an interview promoting the film.

Well, Emma, ​​I beg not to mention it. Your portrayal of a 21st century fifties is deeply flawed.

Nancy represents a type of women born in the 1930s or 1940s, not the 1950s — the decade you and I were conceived. Those women were mostly virgins when they got married and their husbands would most likely be their only sexual partners.

For you and me, Emma, ​​surveys show that we had at least two to four sexual partners before we got married.

And since half of marriages in our generation end in divorce, many of us have experienced life as single women in middle age.

So by the time we hit 60, I’d say our number of lovers is approaching double digits for many women.

We don’t all despise our bodies either. My girlfriends and I may wish our breasts still had the charm of our twenties, but we diet, we exercise, we use beauty mods and more.

We love and follow fashion, and we buy sexy lingerie – not the long beige bras and thick American Tan tights that Nancy is all about. And certainly not if we expect a night full of passion. Which, Emma, ​​we still have – and without having to pay for it.

I recently shed a tear when I sent to the bin a fabulous La Perla black basque that I had worn in my fifties and which now would barely fit around one of my thighs.

But I was glad I had once enjoyed wearing it.

Women like me don’t feel miserable or invisible. Many of us are still well into our 60s, in jobs we love, and are delighted that the world is increasingly embracing our wisdom. Not all of us suffer from a postmenopausal midlife crisis; just a midriff every now and then.

And for the record, Emma, ​​I just bought another black bask, albeit in a larger size. It was certainly cheaper than a male escort.

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