Looking for a good chick flick rental? Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is the perfect little piece of fluff. Set in London between the wars, it stars Frances McDormand as Guinevere Pettigrew, a middle aged governess who is let go from her job with no severance. The agency won’t give her another assignment, but she overhears a phone call about a job working for an American singer/actress and pretends to be the “social secretary” they were looking for. The American actress named Delysia (sounds like delicious) Lafosse is played by the ever-bubbly Amy Adams.
Delysia is young, pretty and ambitious. She is living with a nightclub owner (Mark Strong), flirting outrageously with a young theater producer (Tom Payne) to get the lead in his next play, and actually in love with a piano player (Lee Pace) who works with her at the nightclub. And juggling all these men and her very busy social schedule requires some help. Guinevere steps in, gets a quick makeover from her new boss, and just like Mary Poppins, she helps Delysia and everyone else sort out their problems. Of course, she mostly uses her common sense honesty, which seems quite foreign to all the high society folk that Delysia hangs out with.
Added to the mix is a handsome ladies’ underwear designer played by Ciarán Hinds who takes a shine to Guinevere, but has a fiancée who knows her secret. The entire film takes place in just one day and takes Guinevere from the streets to high society and back. But fear not, love wins out for both of the girls. Frances McDormand is lovely as Miss Pettigrew and Amy Adams is perfectly cast as the flighty ingénue. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is not deep, but it is a nice, sweet diversion for a couple of hours.