“Mrs Harris Goes To Paris” is a heartwarming emotional journey of a cleaning lady in 1950s London who decides to buy a Christian Dior gown. Ada Harris believed in luck, and she waited for her lucky day to open a parcel she had received, knowing it had to do with her husband, Eddie. With the support of her best friend, Vi, she decided to open it. As it turned out, it was a letter disclosing that her husband had passed away due to a plane crash in Warsaw, Poland, in 1944. The RAF also attached a ring that was found on Eddie. This was what Ada had been fearing all these years and perhaps the reason why she preferred not to open the parcel. Even though life was tragic, she had to continue sweeping the floors and changing the bed sheets of her clients. But one day, she came across a dress, and she dreamed of owning it. That became her purpose in life, and she did everything in her power to fulfill her dream.
‘Mrs Harris Goes To Paris’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
Often referred to as an angel and a savior, Ada Harris was brilliant at her job, and her clients depended on her service immensely. Every morning she hopped on the bus, sat next to her best friend, Vi, and traveled to clean the houses of wealthy English people. At times, she even catered to their immediate needs out of generosity. For her client, Pamela Penrose, who was a struggling actor, Ada helped choose clothes for her audition. After work, Ada and Vi would wind up in the salon to share a drink or two and catch up on their lives. The news of her husband’s demise left her hollow, but she soon found an interest in waking up each morning. While working at Lady Dant’s house, she noticed a dress that left her spellbound. The beauty of the dress almost seemed unreal to Ada, and she went ahead and touched it to feel its exquisiteness. Lady Dant caught her looking at the dress in awe and explained that it was a Christian Dior dress named Ravissante that she bought from Paris for 500 pounds. She asked Ada to hide the dress from the Lord, considering their family was going through a financial crisis. The moment Ada looked at herself holding the dress in the mirror, she looked at the world through rose-tinted glass. She experienced a joy that she had never had before, and she knew that she needed to buy a Dior dress in Paris.
She started to walk instead of taking the bus, and with the luck sent from Eddie, she even won 150 pounds at the pools. She also advertised her cleaning service to gather more clients, collected her post office savings, and got her passport ready for international travel. Since she was not paid, Ada asked Lady Dant for her weekly payment, but instead, she was asked to reduce her hours. While the lady could afford a Dior dress, she chose to ignore the financial needs of a working woman. At the salon, Ada discussed with Vi how women like her were almost invisible to the world. This indicated that purchasing the Dior dress was her way of being acknowledged. On her way home from the salon, she found an engagement ring that she returned to the police and later received a monetary reward for her honesty. She went on to bet 100 pounds on a dog named “Haute Couture” during a race, believing it to be a divine signal, but as it turned out, the dog lost the match. Ada felt ashamed of herself for gambling that amount of money simply by trusting her luck and signs. But later, Archie, who was in the business, saved some of the money that she had bet and used it to bet on another dog and managed to win back her 100 pounds. And her luck continued to surprise her further. An RAF officer came to her house and offered her a generous amount of pension. All the money that she received from various avenues summed up to be enough for her to travel to Paris and buy a Dior dress. But it is only after reaching Paris that she realizes that buying haute couture was not as easy as she thought it would be.
Did Mrs. Harris Buy The Dior Dress?
Mrs. Harris stayed at the railway station the night she reached Paris, and the next morning she was taken to the Christian Dior store by an acquaintance from the station. People and the press had gathered around the store since it was the day of the exhibition of a new collection. As a model was rushing in, she fell to the floor, and Ada helped her up. She noticed the purse left by the model and followed her into the building. The model was grateful to Ada for her kindness. Ada managed to enter the exhibition room, but she was denied further access. She watched others enter the room while she was barred from entering by the woman at the reception. She was asked to go to another store to buy her dress, even when she explained that she had the money to afford a Dior dress. A gentleman, Marquis de Chassagne, stepped up to help Mrs. Harris by choosing her as his guest so that she too could watch the collection with him. Ada was delighted by the opportunity and thanked the man for his gesture.
The models were excited to learn that a cleaning woman from England had come to Paris to buy a dress that they would be modeling. They all peaked in to see her from behind the curtain, and Natasha recognized that she was the woman who helped her at the entrance. Madam Avallon, an upper-class woman, felt uneasy when she had to sit next to Ada, and she noted every dress Ada loved to deny her access to. Ada was living the dream as she saw models enter the room in clothes she had always fantasized about. She had her eyes fixed on two dresses, one in emerald green and the other in the shade of ruby called “Temptation.” She was mesmerized by “Temptation,” and she had made up her mind to buy it. But as it turned out, Madam Avallon chose the dress, and Ada had to settle for the emerald green one. Ada asked the shop girls to pack her the dress since she had a flight to catch, but she was told that was not how couture could be bought. It was not about selecting a dress from the rack but rather tailor-making each dress according to the measurements of the customer. Ada could not believe that she had to stay back for two weeks to get her dress. She knew that she would lose her clients if she was absent for so long. The accountant at Dior, Mr. Fauvel, and Natasha came up with the plan to telegram Vi to ask her to handle Ada’s work for one week while she got her dress ready. He additionally offered her to stay at his place during the time. Ada had found her angel in Paris and what she thought would be a day in the new city turned into a week filled with new experiences and learning.
‘Mrs Harris Goes To Paris’ Ending Explained: Where Did Mrs. Harris Wear Her Dior Dress?
Ada became friends with Natasha and Mr. Fauvel. She realized that the accountant had affection for the model but chose to keep his emotions hidden. Natasha was always in conflict with her profession. She enjoyed philosophy and wanted to pursue it. Fauvel encouraged her to pursue her interest when she was about to leave Paris after losing her job at Dior. In the meantime, Ada went out for dinner with Marquis de Chassagne. She started to develop a romantic interest, believing that the man had found her attractive. But her belief was shattered when she visited him at his elegant house. He explained that he found a similarity between Ada and the nursing woman in his primary school; they were both equally sacrificing and always cared about others’ interests before their own. Ada felt humiliated. She realized that the man never really looked at her with love. She would always remain a cleaning lady for wealthy men, no matter where she was. She had even started to believe that maybe her trip to Paris was Eddie’s way of finding her a lover again. Since Marquis de Chassagne was a widow, she could relate to his emotions and thought that they were making progress. Ada left his house in a hurry to not further humiliate herself.
During her stay in Paris, Ada witnessed the sanitation workers’ protest against the head of the organization and refused to work until he faced the consequences for his actions. She also learned that Dior was suffering financially and would have to terminate several employees to make ends meet. Ada gathered all the workers at Dior and approached Christian Dior to propose a plan that Fauvel had come up with. Fauvel asked Christian Dior to consider opening up Dior to the masses instead of keeping it all exclusive. People like Ada, who wanted to own a Dior gown, must be able to do so easily, and by catering to a larger audience, they could retain their employees and even hire new ones. The point was to be available to anyone who had the money instead of only to the royalties. Christian Dior agreed with the proposal, and with Ada’s help, Dior managed to save its business. Ada brought home her dress, but she was immediately met with another problem. Pamela Penrose was waiting for her in her house to seek her help for an emergency. She needed to be at a party to impress a producer to cast her, but her dress was spoiled, and she did not have any other. Ada allowed Pamela to borrow her Dior dress, and she wore it to the party. While Ada shared how magical her journey to Paris was, Pamela was busy explaining the trouble she had to go through for Ada’s absence from work.
The next morning, Ada hurried to Miss Penrose’s house for work. She entered the apartment, and within a few minutes, she noticed her dress lying on the table with a note. The bottom of the dress had burned, and Pamela explained in the note the mishap at the party that led to the burn. The media had taken pictures of her in the Dior gown, and even though it was burned, it did manage to grab attention. Ada carried the gown home and could not hold back her tears upon seeing its condition. She threw it away, believing it to be a worthless pursuit. Ada later explained to Vi that she gave the gown to Pamela for the world to see. A Dior gown deserved an audience. She could not do that. Therefore, she believed that lending it to Pamela would make the gown worth it, but it was all ruined now. Ada learned to speak for herself after this incident. She was tired of being used by the upper class. She resigned from her work at Lady Dant’s place and asked her to pay her the money she owed her. When the lady expressed her displeasure, she was quick to add that the days of serving loyalty even after ill-treatment were over now. She soon received a package from Paris. She opened the parcel, and it was a Dior box. The note attached to it explained that the people at Dior realized that she had been too kind again to lend her dress to the actor. They recognized the dress from the pictures in the newspaper socials. The note further stated that the rubbish king had been stealing money from its workers, and for that, his accounts were seized. Since her husband’s assets were seized, Madam Avallon could not attend her final fitting or even pay for the dress. Therefore, the workers at Dior altered the “temptation” to fit Ada and sent it over to her. Ada could finally wear the gown she fell in love with for the first time to the Legion dance.
Everyone stared at her with admiration as she joined Vi and Archie at the gathering. Archie asked her hand for a dance, and she enjoyed the night to her heart’s content. Somehow, everything happens for a reason, and luck was on Ada’s side throughout the journey. Ada taught others that people such as herself could also dream of luxury and the finer things in life, and if they could gather the money for it, nobody could deny providing them with it. The gown was not just a dress; it was her dream. It was something she wished to own to feel beautiful and happy.
“Mrs Harris Goes To Paris” is a 2022 Comedy Drama film directed by Anthony Fabian.