Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mr. Darcy and the Marquis de Sade are Best Friends

I don't get out to see movies very often. I don't watch them at home either, much to Mr. Two Monkeys' chagrin. The last time we watched a movie at home, Mr. TM put on Gor because it was streaming on Netflix and, "Hey, you like this fantasy kind of thing, right?" Two hours of lesbian sex fighting, shaved man legs, a midget, and some swords, with Jack Palance thrown in at the end for no good reason. If I'm going to sit on the couch for two hours, I'd rather be reading, especially if the alternative is Gor. In fact, if Gor were my only movie option, I might rather be having a root canal.

At any rate... we went out to see The King's Speech this weekend. Not usually my type of movie. But Colin Firth was on The Daily Show the week before being ten kinds of charming, and how could I resist? When Mr. Darcy tells you to go see a movie, you go see it. I enjoyed myself quite a bit and was kind of surprised by that. I usually don't care for period pieces at all. But I've always been interested in this particular story of a prince who was never meant to be king but had to take on the role anyway because his older brother was a total whore for married American women. I'm just fascinated by the story of a guy whose role in life so suddenly and completely changes. And while he has the spiritual fortitude to pick up after his brother's mess, his physical body doesn't feel like cooperating.

At times, The King's Speech was painful to watch. Not because it was bad, but because I could feel my own throat closing up every time Bertie stammered. As someone who has never had speech problems, except for excessive swearing, talking is like breathing and watching Bertie fight for words was like watching him fight for breath. But he wasn't a pathetic character. Colin Firth walked a fine line between pathos and determination with Bertie. I felt sympathy for his problems but never pitied him. Sometimes Bertie was a complete asshole. He was angry and prone to tantrums. Firth made it easy for me to remember that King George VI was a real person with a real personality.

Who doesn't love Geoffrey Rush? I can't think of a movie I have ever seen him in where he wasn't brilliant. Even Mystery Men. I'm actually still kind of afraid of him from his role in Quills. The same way I'm still afraid of Kevin Spacey, Christian Bale, and Robert Patrick. Ugh. I've just garunteed myself nightmares tonight. I actually felt more sympathy for Rush's character, Logue, than I ever did for Bertie. Dude was just trying to do the right thing, not so much for the King of England, but for a guy struggling with a speech impairment. I don't want to spoil key plot points, but this story shows that sometimes personal compassion and intuition are way more important than official documentation.

So, overall, this was a story that could have been sweet enough to give diabetes to entire audiences. And sure, it had its moments where I could feel my teeth ache, but those moments didn't overshadow the actual story being told.

Before I finish, I have to give a shout out to Helena Bonham Carter who played Queen Elizabeth. I like her in just about everything - she's a favorite of mine. But this was a refreshing role for her. It's very nice to see she has range outside of the gothic psycho to the gothic psycho cannibal types.

Oh, and one more thing. Holy Harry Potter reunion, but what can one expect? Just about every major British actor ever has been in Harry Potter. But we had Bellatrix, and Dumbledore (as King George V), and even Wormtail as Winston Churchill, which (I hate to say it) was the only really jarringly bad performance in the movie. I don't know if he intended to play Churchill as a parody, but that's how it came off.

Good movie, good times. Go see it.


  1. Your review is convincing, but as a movie fan I'm still not excited about this movie. I'm sure it's fine, but it feels like I've seen it before. I'd rather watch James Franco cut his arm off.

  2. See, and I have no desire to see James Franco cut off his arm, even after *his* Daily Show appearance. I was surprised I wanted to see The King's Speech though. And surprised I enjoyed it. We tried to catch True Grit the next night but my movie fortitude is low and I needed to spend some quality time with my Nook.