Sally Phillips to lead Renée Webster’s ‘How to Please a Woman’

Sally Phillips. (Photo; Ruth Crafter)

English actress, television presenter, and comedian Sally Phillips will lead writer/director Renée Webster’s debut feature How to Please a Woman when filming on the comedy/drama gets underway in WA this month.

Phillips (Bridget Jones’s Diary, VEEP) plays Gina, a 50-something woman who has a business idea to launch an all-male house-cleaning service. However, when her business grows out of control, Gina must acknowledge her own appetite if she is to make a new life for herself.

The cast also includes Erik Thomson, Alexander England, Caroline Brazier, Tasma Walton, Roz Hammond, Cameron Daddo and New Zealander Josh Thomson.

How to Please a Woman is being produced by Tania Chambers of Feisty Dame Productions and Judi Levine of Such Much Films, with Deanne Weir, Roxana McMallan, Olivia Humphrey, Adrian and Michela Fini, and Pam and Julius Colman coming on board as executive producers.

Phillips said the opportunity to work with the team of female filmmakers behind the production companies was a “huge drawcard”.

“I’m pleased to be back in Australia working on this more-than-funny liberation story for women who have been afraid to ask for what they want – at home, at work, and in the bedroom,” she said

“It’s truly exciting that intimate female tales like this one are now being developed, financed, and brought to the screen.”

For Webster, whose directing credits include ABC’s The Heights and Itch, the idea for the film was borne out of “many years of swimming in the Indian Ocean” and the camaraderie found in “concrete change rooms after a cold dawn swims”.

“I’m very excited to bring this extraordinary cast together to tell a story that is both irreverent and perceptive as it explores female truths about the shared experience of sex,” she said.

How to Please a Woman received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screenwest and Lotterywest. It was also supported in development through Screen Australia’s Gender Matters initiative

Madman Entertainment will distribute throughout Australia and New Zealand, with worldwide sales through Beta Cinema. 

Beta Cinemas’ Thorsten Ritter, said the film was “bound to resonate” with audiences worldwide.

How to Please a Woman is distinguished by one fact: it’s all about women – their friendships, motivations, voices, and independence,” he said.

“Anchored by universally accessible humour, the story is encouraging, empowering, and emotionally rewarding.”