By: Laura Bennett
Somehow when France and fashion combine the stage is set for dreams to come true, and Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris knows it.
Based on the 1958 book by Paul Gallico, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is about widowed English cleaner Ada Harris (Lesley Manville) and her quest to go to Paris and buy a couture Dior gown. Having seen one in the home of a wealthy client, Ada is in love with the feeling of glamour and possibility the dress carries and, as someone who lives largely in the shadows, the idea of owning one of her own is enthralling.
At face value, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is the story of anyone who’s ever had to save up for something they really want – without using layby – but beyond that, it’s an empowering tale about a woman discovering her independence and finally elevating her own voice.
When Ada first decides to go to Paris, it’s a pipedream. Coming up with the money seems ludicrous, and it’s only through a fortuitous series of events there’ll be any chance of her getting there. Once in Paris (no spoilers) it’s the hoity-toity ambassadors of Dior she’ll have to contend with as they frown upon her position and relationship to their brand.
Relentlessly herself, Ada becomes a symbol of boldness and a breaker of the status-quo who offers hope to anyone wondering if they, and their life, can be more than what they are now.
In every way, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is a very accessible movie: the conflict isn’t too dramatic, the challenges Ada faces never too unsurmountable, but even still, it allows us to consider how we assign status in life and when we need to push back on the boxes we can be confined within.
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is in cinemas from October 27.