1954, and housewife Marjorie Beasley (Walters), is not happy: wounded veteran hubby Stanley (Walker)'s lost interest in the bedroom and 14-year-old Joyce (Sadler) is a loner. Enter lodger Harold (Graves), a sailor with violent tendencies, and the agreement becomes horizontal. Troubled teen finds out, and blackmails the pair into allowing her to share their bed. When Harold attempts to escape, he's stalked by the malicious mother-daughter duo.
Like Fargo before it, Intimate Relations comes to cinemas with a gleaming "based on a true story" tag attached to it, and like the former, the events which unfold are almost too far-fetched to be believable. This time around though, unlikely as it seems, the story is for real.
Goodhew's directorial debut is a deceptive piece which lulls the audience into a false sense of security with its sunny British comedy feel -then abruptly descends into suburban nightmare territory, culminating in a shocking act of violence. The latter, darker, segment is more convincing than the first half's uneven comic complications, but Walters' dotty performance is watchable throughout, and there's strong support from Graves, newcomer Sadler, and Saturday evening telly stalwart Les Dennis in a tiny cameo. Not to everybody's tastes, perhaps, but a promising debut nonetheless.
Audiences might not take kindly to the sudden detour, but it's not unwelcome. An interesting and original perversion of the traditional Brit rom-com ideal, all the more impressive for being based on fact.