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Little Children

A funny story... A friend of mine and one of her fellow school mums had secretly been lusting after one of the dads who they used to bump into when they were all dropping their children off at school.

This went on for months until one day out of the blue the guy called one of them up. “Hi, it's so-and-so,” he said. “I'm just calling to arrange a date.”

A date! Flustered, the mum stammered: “Er, well, Martin's around at the moment, but he's away in Germany on business next week…”
“A play date,” the object of her desire eventually interrupted. “For our children.”

I mention this in part so you can share her embarrassment and in part because Little Children is the story of what happens when the play date turns into something more.

In this case a passionate affair between a world-weary suburban mum (played by Kate Winslet) and the hunky but insecure house-husband (Patrick Wilson) she meets in the playground.

There is something of Desparate Housewives about this film (even down to the use of a narrator) and certainly scratching below the surface of the American suburb is not exactly groundbreaking stuff.

But the story is well told (including a sub-plot about the arrival in the neighbourhood of a convicted paedophile, recently released from prison to live with his mum), and Winslet is great. As ever.