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Based on 18 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 100
    Peter Stack San Francisco Chronicle

    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] show more

  • 88
    Mike Clark USA Today

    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] show more

  • 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] show more

  • 100
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    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. show more

  • 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. show more

  • 88
    Rick Groen The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    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] show more

  • 75
    Bill Cosford Miami Herald

    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] show more

  • 75
    Jay Carr Boston Globe

    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] show more

  • 80

    Leigh has the skill to inspire with the everyday. show more

  • 50
    Marjorie Baumgarten Austin Chronicle

    Life Is Sweet observes this constellation of people without ever really commenting on their lots. Very little occurs and thus, if you don't find yourself drawn to these characters, you will find yourself wondering when it will all be over. show more

similar movies

  • East Is East (1999)

  • Simple Men (1992)

  • The Full Monty (1997)

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

  • The World's End (2013)

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