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Three 40-something women in a small English town meet weekly for a ritual of gin, cigarettes, and sweets -- and swapped stories arguing which of them has the most pathetic love life. Kate (MacDowell) is headmistress at the local school; her best friends are the town's police chief (Staunton) and a cynical, thrice-divorced doctor (Chancellor). When Kate begins a fling with a handsome younger man (Doughty), less worldly than her friends but passionate and sincere, the other women can't simply be happy for the couple's unusual new romance. In jealousy they promptly take it upon themselves to break up the pair, taking drastic measures which result in unintended outcomes, some happy and some tragic.