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Country Strong

I once spent a blissful weekend pre-kids at Babington House in Somerset, nearly ruined by my then boyfriend/now husband who decided not to mention that we were sitting at lunch right next to Gwyneth Paltrow.

He had clocked her and Chris Martin as he walked into the restaurant, but decided to keep quiet because I think he was worried that I, a gobby Aussie, would pull up a chair and interrupt their romantic macro-biotic meal.

At the time, I had no idea who Chris Martin was and only realised it was her three quarters of the way through the meal, alerted in part by the fact that half the waiting staff were peering out of the bushes trying to catch a glimpse!

Anyway, that’s my only Gwyneth Paltrow story (and just about my only celebrity story except that I once dropped my purse and Hugh Jackman picked it up) and has absolutely nothing to do with Country Strong, except for the fact that she’s in it.

Lunch partners Gwynnie and I might be, but I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this story of a fallen country singer who goes back on the road with a younger song-writer as much as I did.

In fact, I ended up watching it twice, partly because there’s not a whole lot else to do on a return flight to Australia, partly beacuse her co-star is worth looking at for four hours and partly because I wanted to check that I really had enjoyed it.

But I did. Gwyneth can certainly act – and she can also sing (as evidenced from her performance in the also enjoyable Duets).

And the story of the struggle against age and addicition - and the four-cornered romance - is strong enough to hold the interest through two hours. Or four, in my case...