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  • Janice lives with her housebound, agoraphobic mother and has done all her life since her father died in childbirth. However in her twenties she decides to go to London to get money to save for treatment for her Mum. However the reality of office life is a lot different and her job is petty and stressful as she helps prepare for a major car launch. However a romance with postman Sean appears promising.

    One of many British films that simply go right under the cinema radar. This may have failed because it is similar in basic style to Bridget Jones and other comedies without being as well cast or as well hyped. Also it's not quite as funny as those that have hit big. The plot is a little wacky for the first half as it is Ally McBeal-like in it's wit and content. It's funny in little things like Janice making up stories etc. The actual plot is industrial espionage and is daft but doesn't really spoil a light funny film.

    It may not all be that good but mostly it's lightly enjoyable – not trying too hard but just ticking over. Walsh is very good as Beard and Kensit is very sexy and very good as Julia, at least until her walls come, unconvincingly, crumbling down. Ifans is on auto-pilot but has fun and the rest of the office cast are well used and spot on for the most part.

    Overall this isn't superb but it is lightly amusing in it's own way. No-one should hold out hope for the pot being amazing but it is enjoyable. Worth watching once.
  • This movie was recommended so heatedly to me that I was fairly forced to see it. Not knowing what to expect, I was charmed and dazzled by the script, the acting, and the goofy decor and colours. For any 'girl' who's ever worked in a brainless office job this will be a delight.

    The lead actor is perfectly cast as the unsquashably optimistic Janice, totally sincere even while she's lying through her teeth, overwhelmed by the demands placed on her, outclassed by the other office girls, and at the same time unwavering in her mission to save her mum in whatever way she can.

    It also works because of the pacing; the story begins at a steady pace and gradually accelerates until it is literally speeding along -- our heroine works for an auto manufacturing firm -- too fast to stop. There are enough plot twists and complications to qualify "Janice Beard 45 WPM" for a French farce except, that it's in Scottish (I think).

    It's not Proust and it's not "Brideshead Revisited"; it's just one of the best comedies I've seen and I've been wanting to see it again since I first saw it in 1999.
  • I saw Janice Beard yesterday at the 2000 Tokyo International Film Festival and took part in the Q&A section with the director Clare Kilner afterwards.

    Like the other reviewer has said, Janice Beard: 45 Words Per Minute isn't an especially profound film, but it is good fun and it is better than the majority of what passes through the cinemas.

    In the film, Janice Beard is a 20 something young woman whose life began unusually when her father died in childbirth. This causes her mother to be the world's first sufferer of post-natal-post-mortem syndrome. She has never left the house since her daughter's birth, and Janice spends her entire life concocting stories to entertain her mother and entice her into the world. Like the director, I've also known adult compulsive liars and think they're not generally sympathetic people. However, the explanation provided to us of her mother's illness succeeds in endearing Janice The Underdog to the audience.

    In the hope of being able to find and pay for a cure for her mother, Janice, equipped with her minimum level 45 words per minute typing rate, leaves Scotland for temp work in London. To some degree this reflects the experience of the director/writer Clare Kilner who has said the idea for the movie came to her while doing temp work - being in but not part of the work place and being able to observe others closely from that unique position.

    Janice ends up working at a British car manufacturer (this is a work of fiction after all) through her school friend - the one who was faking a seizure at the beginning of the film to get Mrs Beard out of bed. The car company is about to launch its make or break product and tension in the office is high when Janice joins the typing pool headed by beautiful, bitchy Julia (Patsy Kensit).

    From there on in it's a story about Janice toning down her outlandish stories (or living up to them - the salsa dance scene) and fitting in with the typing pool women, and finding someone along the way in the shape of Sean (Rhys Evans from Twin Town [] and Notting Hill []). It's not Janice' fault there's industrial sabotage afoot and she's caught in the middle.

    This is a really good, light and enjoyable film. If a director's first film most embodies the nature of their work to come then I look forward to seeing more of Clare Kilner's work. Answering questions on stage after the movie she was lovely.
  • I really enjoyed this film. Is it a masterpiece? No. But it's unpredictable, well directed and the acting is excellent.

    I rented it because I love Rhys Ifans, and I think Eileen Walsh is truly one of the best actresses I've seen in a while (she stole Magdalene Sisters). I didn't regret the rental, and even kept it for my husband to see too. He felt the same way. Try to see this if you can. It's a great little sleeper!

    It's about a girl who's father dies while she's being born, which naturally affects her mother in a profound way, causing her to become agoraphobic. Janice grows up trying to help her mother, and finally decides to get her a unique therapy. The problem is she must LEAVE her mother and go to the big city in order to save enough cash for the therapy. Sounds dark and sad, but it's not. Janice has a wild imagination and a knack for losing jobs. She's also got a great attitude. Rhys plays a unique role - is he a good guy or a bad guy? You have to figure it out!
  • thedudester22 July 2003
    The Brits made it again. It is simply a brilliant work, very well acted and well directed. Unfortunately, it does not cast Hugh Grant or some other 20 million a movie star. Brits make movies. Americans make money. Who's right? I don't know, but this is a movie that's surely worth to be seen. For a laugh, for a thought, for a sigh... of relief.
  • I have a hard time understanding why the overall IMDb rating for this film is so low. Perhaps it's because the film is a small independent film without the usual Hollywood budget and trappings--I know a lot of people have a prejudice towards these style films. Regardless, it's very unfortunate because it was a great film--with amazing writing, direction and acting. It just goes to prove that you don't need a big budget in order to make a marvelous film.

    The story itself is very quirky. Janice's mother is a depressed agoraphobic who hasn't left her home since just after Janice was born. As a result, as a child Janice learned to create a fantasy world and told her mother amazing but untrue stories about life outside their home. Unfortunately, now that she is in her 20s, she continues to live in a fantasy world--almost like Walter Mitty (but her fantasies are not nearly THAT grand).

    When Janice leaves Scotland for a job in England, she is a total failure and loses job after job. However, she sent her mother glowing reports of success and even went so far as to fake videos to convince mom she was doing well! The bottom line is that Janice is indeed a flake--a very BIG flake. Now she was a nice person, mind you and you wanted her to succeed but her strangeness just prevented her from fitting in anywhere...that is, until she came to work for a small auto manufacturer. Here, despite her past, Janice somehow manages to slowly create a niche for herself. Unfortunately, at the same time she has no idea that an evil corporate spy is stealing from the company and has set her up to take the fall!

    Now along with this unusual plot, there are lots of funny moments and the character of Janice is so cute you are really pulling for her to, despite it all, succeed. Amazingly, the writers are able to interweave some wonderful comedic moments into the plot AND make it all seem so plausible when things turn out brilliantly for Janice as the film progresses. In many ways, this film is reminiscent of the great little film American DREAMER--when an ordinary person suddenly is caught up in adventure and it all works out much like a fairy tale in the end. An exceptional and highly engaging film for someone looking for something both usual and well-written.
  • Having just watched this film for the first time on Channel 4, I was compelled to leave some feedback for others to read...

    Rhys Ifans...This guy is quickly becoming the Welsh Tom Hanks. He's been in more crumby movies than he should have, but every time he gives a first rate performance (excluding his OTT drug dealing character in, '51st State'). His doesn't let down here. A sterling performance coupled with an excellent London-ish accent. Good job.

    Eileen Walsh (I) doesn't really have the strong presence needed to carry off her leading role with vigour. But she does have a certain endearing charm that one can't help but get attached to whilst she navigates her journey. Pretty good.

    For some reason, this movie goes from well shot cinematic sequences, to borderline amateurish looking set pieces and locales. Some scenes are lit poorly (not enough to disgust, but slightly annoy) and the camera seems static at times. Like I said, this won't be noticeable to all. But to someone who's studies the art of film; it's a slight let down. From hero to zero in a few frames...a bummer but not the end of the world.

    The actual story isn't particular strong, or witty. However, a bucket load of decent English actors carry the film through to its very quick conclusion (only 81 minutes long!?!)...Others performances are solid and keep the ship afloat.

    Overall, I was just impressed Channel 4 had given a low budget English movie some coverage. Films like this usually get made and then disappear with out a trace. We Should thank Channel 4 (or Ifans latest role in, 'Once Upon A Time In The Midlands') for tonight's showing.which on reflection, was well worth the effort.

    Laterz all.
  • I saw this film at the cinema and loved its quirkiness. I just had to buy it on DVD. It is not the best film ever made, but it always brings a smile to my face. The casting is superb and it has been good to see some of the actors moving on to bigger and better things. That said, if you ever have to entertain a group of different ages and tastes, this film may well be a good choice - it is unlikely to offend, with only the occasional profanity. The story : Janice Beard just cannot help lying to her Mother (an agoraphobic) about her life, but her lies spread into all aspects of her life. When she is lucky enough to land a temp-to-permanent post in the secretarial pool of a car company, little does she know what disasters and glories her falsities will lead her too - especially when she is chosen as the patsy for some big-league industrial espionage. Brilliant performances make this one of the better lower budget British films made in the late 1990s! Watch it and enjoy.
  • grover-428 October 1999
    I was lucky enough to see the première at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Slightly reminiscent of Bridget Jones Diary in its wackiness, it was nothing profound or especially clever, but I couldn't help but have a good laugh.

    Patsy Kensit's character should have stayed bitchy. Having her come around was just plain annoying.
  • At 78 mins "Janice beard" was a short film. Sadly not short enough. Its not that this film is bad, just that its not in any way good. The characters are weird (indeed all characters are totally nuts!) and the story is odd. I thought it was supposed to be a comedy but I must admit I didn't laugh once, strangely enough though I was compelled by it enough to watch it to the end but can't help feel that by next week I would have forgotten I'd ever seen it.
  • This is a film about a girl being involved in office-intrigues and falling in love with the wrong man, becoming a woman... bla bla bla Not very funny, trying too much to be this crazy American-like comedy, while the heart of the story is broken very early in the movie.

    I was very board with it and fast-forward the DVD just to see if it would get any better.It didn't, in fact, it got worst. And I love goofy comedies, but this was not good at all. Only if you can't find anything better in the DVD shop - rent this one, and don't expect anything, the plot is silly, the acting - poor, the motivation - low, the music - too much. Have fun!