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Grown-Ups (1980)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Dick and Mandy, a young couple, move to a council house in Canterbury. Mandy's elder sister, Gloria, visits and is impressed by the new house. In the evening, Dick walks Gloria to the bus stop from which she needs to catch the bus home.

The next day, Dick goes to work at the local hospital, where he works as a cleaner in the kitchens. Gloria goes to the office where she works as a typist, and Mandy to the café where she waitresses. Gloria drops round to Mandy and Dick's house and starts interfering in Mandy's preparation of tea. Gloria fries herself an egg and joins the couple.

In their front garden the following day, Mandy and Dick discover that their next-door neighbours are their old school teacher, Ralph Butcher and his wife, Christine. Mr Butcher doesn't recognise them. Mandy and Dick spy on the Butchers in their back garden.

The following day, Sharon, an old school friend of Mandy's, drops in on her. Sharon is critical of the house, recommending changes. Mandy gives her a tour. Gloria turns up with a vacuum cleaner, which Mandy excitedly tries. Mandy tells Gloria about Mr Butcher and the four of them reminisce about their school days.

Christine cycles home from school, where she teaches physical education. Ralph is asleep on the sofa, having returned from school (where he teaches religious education) earlier. After dinner they discuss the Loch Ness Monster, then fall to arguing. Ralph complains that Christine has no faith.

Dick returns from the pub drunk; Mandy shouts at him for leaving her to do the unpacking. They fall asleep in each other's arms. In bed, Ralph reads Christine interminable passages of ungrammatical English from his book.

The next afternoon, Gloria, on her way to visit Mandy, bumps into Ralph in his front garden and introduces herself. Dick and Mandy discuss going to the pub that evening. Gloria drops by again in the afternoon, asking Mandy to accompany her to the dress shop. When Mandy declines, Gloria leaves, only to return in the evening, asking for a cup of tea. Not wanting to leave, Gloria insists that she go to the pub with them and buy them a drink. In the pub, Gloria starts crying at the prospect of going home, explaining that her mother is making her life miserable.

Mandy visits Sharon at work. That evening, Dick and Mandy go for a drink. Later, in bed, they argue over the subject of having children. Mandy says she is going to stop taking the pill and Dick becomes aggressive, vehemently opposed to the idea.

Mandy tells Christine that she and Dick are planning on having a baby. It is Dick's day off, and he shouts at Mandy for refusing to make him tea and making noise with the vacuum cleaner.

Mandy and Sharon return from a shopping trip to find Gloria, and Dick in a bad mood. Dick and Mandy try to persuade Gloria to leave, then finally force her out. She sneaks back in through the back door and they throw her out again. Gloria runs into Ralph and Christine's house and locks herself in the bathroom until Christine talks her around. Just as they manage to coerce her to the front door, she turns around and runs back up the stairs. Everyone tries to stop her, falling on top of her and holding her down. Dick, Sharon and Mandy leave and Christine makes Gloria a cup of tea and lets her have a nap on the sofa. Eventually, Mandy and Sharon take Gloria home in a taxi. That night Christine conveys to Ralph her desperation for love and a family; Dick and Mandy kiss in bed and Dick changes his mind about wanting a baby.

Several months later, Gloria puts her head against Mandy's stomach, listening for the baby's kicking. Gloria goes to a Christmas party.