How About You: Based on Maeve Binchy’s Story, Hard Core

HOW ABOUT YOU, based on Maeve Binchy’s short story, “The Hard Core,” tells the story of Ellie (Hayley Atwell), a free-spirited and headstrong young woman who is left in charge of a residential home, owned and operated by her older sister Kate (Orla Brady), over the Christmas holidays.

Her youth and inexperience bring her into bitter conflict with the four grumpy old residents known as the “Hard Core”: retired screen beauty Georgia (Vanessa Redgrave), spinster sisters Hazel (Imelda Staunton) and Heather (Brenda Fricker), and a reformed alcoholic judge, Donald (Joss Ackland).

The film deals with the antics of these uncivilized seniors, the gradual solidarity that develops between the residents and Ellie, and an unlikely romance.

Maeve Binchy is Ireland’s most commercially successful novelist. Years into a successful career as a columnist and editor for the Irish Times, after a brief stint in teaching – Binchy branched out into fiction, publishing her first novel, ¬ìLight and a Penny Candle¬î (1982), at the age of 43. It was the first of twelve New York Times best sellers.

Binchy’s tales of ordinary life are generally set in Ireland or Great Britain, but have a universal appeal. She writes novels, short stories, and plays; among them are “Silver Wedding¬î (1988), “Circle of Friends” (1990), which was adapted into an internationally successful film, and “The Glass Lake” (1995).

She credits “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell as her earliest literary influence: “When I was a teenager it made me yearn to tell stories.”

Maeve lives in Dalkey, Ireland with her husband, Gordon Snell.