What is the difference between pornography and art? For Annie Clarke (Julie Walters) the answer is easy: an artist.
The middle-aged Yorkshire woman stayed at the side of her husband John (John Alderton) when he was diagnosed with leukemia. But after modern medicine failed to help him conquer the merciless monster, Annie and her best friend Chris Harper (Helen Mirren) decided to fight back.
Looking for a way to raise money to improve care at the local hospital, and perhaps even earn a bit for cancer research, the two stumble upon an idea while attending their community Women's Institute meeting (the WI organization was stared in the early 1900's, and is best known for its encouragement of domestic arts). As their chapter begins to debate putting images of wild flowers or ivy-covered churches on their annual fundraising calendar, the unorthodox Chris comes up with an equally unorthodox alternative theme.
What if they put together a girly calendar, starring themselves holding strategically positioned props? Any proceeds would go directly to their charity, of course. Selling the notion to several of their fellow members with such rationalizations as: ?Think of it as nude, not naked,? the women begin experimenting with the idea at home. However their efforts amount to nothing more than a waste of film and some embarrassing moments when Chris's teen-aged son (John --Paul MacLeod) walks in on their photo-shoot. That's when Annie decides to find an artist.
Remembering the former photography student who worked as an orderly in the hospital during John's final days, the widow recruits Lawrence (Philip Glenister). Although nervous about taking pictures of unclothed women as old or older than his own mother, the young man finally agrees. After some generous winebibbing for courage, the eleven chums (the twelfth month will feature the entire group) proceed to do something naughty for a nice cause.