Eric Styles' adaptation of Noel Coward's Relative Values marks Julie Andrews' first screen role for eight years. Andrews stars as the Countess of Marshwood who puts on a brave face when her son brings home a brash American movie star he plans to marry.
Andrews was immediately drawn to the script as she had known Coward personally. "He was a dear friend of mine," she explains. "I have sung many of his songs and always been a great admirer of his work. I was also very impressed with Eric's debut film, Dreaming Of Joseph Lees, and thought he might be an interesting young man to work with. I also love the period the film is set in. It embodies that true 1950s glamour."
British writers Paul Rattigan and Michael Walker acquired the rights to Relative Values from the Coward Estate in 1996. Overseas FilmGroup and British producer Chris Milburn boarded the project at Cannes the following year. Styles, with whom Milburn was working at the time on Joseph Lees, agreed to direct.
"Most of my work had been more gritty and realistic, so making a film about this crazy, implausible situation happening in a country house in Kent with aristocrats in the 1950s was a wonderful challenge," says Styles. "The film works for a contemporary audience because the madness of the whole situation is so appealing."
Relative Values shot for 10 weeks at the end of last summer on location on the Isle of Man, which stood in for Kent. It opened in the UK in July.
- Type of film
- Eric Styles
- John Debney.
- Eric Styles.
- Exec prods
- Steven Christian, Chris Harris.
- Chris Milburn.
- Scr/assoc prods
- Paul Rattigan, Michael Walker.
- Jimmy Dibling.
- Prod des
- Humphrey Jaeger.
- Caroline Limmer, Ian Seymour.
- Main cast
- Julie Andrews, Sophie Thompson, Edward Atterton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, William Baldwin.
- Overseas FilmGroup, Isle of Man Film Commission.