Tuesday Teen Recommendations: Military Wives

Every week a guest teen reviewer shares a book, movie, or music recommendation. This week's guest post is by a 10th grader at the Shoreline Library. 

Military Wives [streaming video]

Knitting? Baking bread? These are some of the suggestions from military wives to pass the time at a military base in England while their husbands are deployed in Afghanistan. In the end, the anxious wives distract themselves with singing.

It's a feel-good movie with lots of clichés and little room for surprises or depth. But the story isn't completely pulled out of thin air. In fact, British military wives formed a "Military Wives" choir in 2010, made famous by the BBC documentary "The Choir: Military Wives." A hit record ("Wherever You Are") and performances followed, including at London's Royal Albert Hall. There are now 75 military wives' choirs around the world with over 2,300 singers, as we learn in the film's closing credits. The story shows that music doesn't have to be perfect, but it should come from the heart.

Thanks to British director Peter Cattaneo, viewers will feel the power of music. But before that happens, the wives must overcome some hurdles, because the two women who lead the group don't exactly see eye to eye. There's easygoing Lisa (Sharon Horgan), the second officer's wife, who is usually tasked with running the ladies' program on base. But there's also Kate (Kristin Scott Thomas), the commander's wife, who is responsible for the welfare of the women on the base. Kate not only has high standards and is uptight, but she's also the only one who can always cover her worries with a smile. That is, until a small fragment of lyrics in a song the group writes turns her world upside down.

What must all happen before a real camaraderie to develop? And who will come back and who won’t from the war? Recommended for ages 12 and older.