Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) is a failure as a governess. She has been fired from her last 3 jobs for gross malfeasance and no one else seems likely to hire her. In desperation she resorts to a bit of subterfuge to wrangle a job as a social secretary to Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams), an American actress. Delysia clearly needs a social secretary (or at least some sort of professional help) in order to juggle the 3 men in her life.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is set in 1939, and it is actually the sort of screwball comedy that was popular at that time–right down to some overly broad acting. Nevertheless it is pretty funny, and anyone who has a certain fondness for that sort of movie is bound to like it.
Amy Adams is delightful as a scatterbrained actress prepared, if necessary, to sleep her way to the top. McDormand and Ciarán Hinds (as a jaded lingerie designer) provide a slightly more serious tone. It’s all totally implausible, but satisfying.