Film review: How to Please a Woman (2022), written and directed by Renée Webster
tl;dr: When life gives you lemons, start a male escort service.
Gina (Sally Phillips), a middle-aged British woman living in Australia, is a bit of a grey mouse working for a company dealing with failing businesses. For her birthday, her friends (Hayley McElhinney, Caroline Brazier, Tasma Walton) get her a stripper so she can stop being so uptight. Gina isn’t impressed. In fact, she’s embarrassed, and puts the handsome young man, Tom (Alexander England), to work cleaning her living room instead. It’s quite fun watching a shirtless guy doing chores.
One of the failing businesses she’s working with is a removals company. It turns out Tom is working for them, but does the stripping on the side for extra cash, as the removals business is – obviously – not thriving. When Gina’s boss (Oliver Wenn, I think) makes her redundant in favour of the younger, prettier Chloe (Asher Yasbincek), Gina has an idea for a new business, involving the struggling removals firm. What if they, when they aren’t doing removals, could clean houses … shirtless? Tom and one of her friends, about to trial the service, take the idea one step further, and suddenly business is booming. Turns out there are a lot of sexually unfulfilled women in the area.
I first heard about this film on Instagram, because I follow two of the cast members on there, who also happened to be in The Heart Guy / Doctor Doctor. When I found it on Sky Cinema, I thought brilliant, let’s watch it! It was slightly odd seeing Hayley McElhinney and Ryan Johnson trying to get it on (they were in-laws in The Heart Guy), but that’s acting for you.
Gina is torn between her husband (Cameron Daddo), who is no longer interested in sex with anyone, let alone his wife, and the head of the removals company, Steve (Erik Thomson), with whom she seems to share a spark. It’s sweet, and they’re clearly good for each other. I ship it.
Ben (Josh Thomson), the removals guy who isn’t as sculpted as Tom and Anthony (Johnson), seems to be delegated to sorting out bookings for the others. When he finally gets his chance to shine it leads to a funny but extremely predictable scenario. “Funny but extremely predictable” can be said for most of the film, in fairness. It’s sweet, and while “shirtless cleaning company startup turns into male prostitution for desperate housewives” is a bit more adult than you might expect from a film that’s all very nice, it doesn’t have much of a bite.
I couldn’t really remember any names, so aside from a few funny scenes (the most memorable involving a sex toy’s remote control), it’s not all that memorable. It’s a little amusement for when it’s too hot outside to function so you’re staying in trying to keep cool, or, when this is actually being posted, rain is pouring down and you want a little taste of sunshine. It’s the perfect film for that. Sweet but not in any way challenging.
3.6 out of 5 beach side changing rooms.