Telling the story of one woman’s fight against breast cancer is never going
to be an easy sell to cinema goers, and so it proves with “Ordinary Love”.
Directed by northern Irish husband–and-wife team Glenn Leyburn and Lisa
Barros D’Sa, “Ordinary Love” feels like a channel 5 midweek movie and is
about as interesting as one. That’s not to say that the makers shouldn’t be
commended for trying to raise awareness about breast cancer, and they
should. The one big problem with “Ordinary Love”, taking aside a wonderful
performance from Lesley Manville, is that it’s completely ordinary.
Joan (Lesley Manville) and Tom (Liam Neeson) are a middle aged Belfast
couple who are still mourning the death of their daughter. Happy enough in
each other’s company the pairs have settled into a bit of a rut, he likes
to spend the night in front of the TV drinking beer whilst she likes to
read a book, however everything changes when Joan finds a lump on one of
The lump inevitably turns out to be cancerous leading to surgery and
eventually chemo. As Tom and Joan face up to the battle ahead it begins to
take a toll its and cracks start to appear in their relationship. Will Joan
survive and if she does will her relationship with Tom ever be the same
I imagine that the idea of “Ordinary Love” was to show ordinary people
dealing with a life changing moment in their lives. Unfortunately Joan and
Tom are just too ordinary to make it enjoyable, they discuss the weekly
shopping as they push a shopping trolley around a supermarket, they discuss
what colour of refuse bin should go out as she undergoes her chemo. The
couple’s life, with the exception of Joan’s illness, is just,
unfortunately, too mundane for “Ordinary People” to be an enjoyable watch.