• R , 1 hr 43 min
  • Comedy
100

San Francisco Chronicle

By Peter Stack
Life Is Sweet, a comedy with wonderfully touching moments by off-beat British director Mike Leigh, is an absolute gem of eccentric humor about family life. Fresh and quirky, the film dishes up astonishing vitality in its look at what is ostensibly a plain, lower middle-class family in Middlesex. [22 Nov. 1991, p.C5]
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100

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
There are scenes here that are funnier than those of any other movie this year, and other scenes that weep with the pain of sad family secrets, and when it's over we have seen some kind of masterpiece. This is one of the best films of the year.
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91

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
Leigh gives you such a strong sense of his characters as fluky individuals that even his most lackadaisical scenes are alive with possibility. What holds Life Is Sweet together is his perception — at once funny and wise — that people, when they change at all, do so in small, nearly imperceptible ways, and that that may be enough.
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90

The Hollywood Reporter

Mike Leigh has come up with a profound yet simple drama of family life generously leavened with comedy. [14 Oct. 1991]
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88

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Rick Groen
Life is Sweet is sweet indeed - and comic and quirky and, on those occasions when the tone deftly shifts, just a little sad... Leigh's work, and the quotidian life it depicts, is sometimes slim but never insubstantial, occasionally sweet but never a sugary confection. And always worth celebrating. [24 Jan. 1992]
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88

Chicago Tribune

An off-center, lighthearted but perceptive study of people following their dreams in the only way they know how, Life Is Sweet-the title is only somewhat ironic-is a warm and joyful piece, with the tossed-off hilarity smoothly giving way to poignance in its darker final segments.
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88

USA Today

By Mike Clark
Sweet (maybe) - but also painful (for sure). So painful that it's initially easy to resist this slice-of-Middlesex-life from Brit director Mike Leigh. Yet gradually, a mom, a dad and late-teen twins prove overwhelmingly winning through sheer willpower. Theirs, and the willpower of an idiosyncratic filmmaker who loves his characters no matter what. [24 Dec. 1991, p.4D]
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80

Empire

Leigh has the skill to inspire with the everyday.
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75

Boston Globe

By Jay Carr
Nobody makes films as sympathetic to struggling working-class types as Mike Leigh, and nobody makes them as uncondescendingly. Although uneven, Leigh's latest, Life Is Sweet, is a honey of a film, one of the few to feel good about in this dismal year. [22 Nov. 1991, p.35]
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75

Miami Herald

By Bill Cosford
It's not a wonderful family, and the lives thus illuminated aren't sweet at all. But the movie is both things. In his sheer affinity for the human, Leigh approaches the great Jean Renoir. What fun to watch. [21 Feb. 1992, p.5]
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88 out of 100
Universal acclaim
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.