Monday, August 27, 2012

Jaw-Dropping ... Entertainment

Staying home today for what was planned to be R&R time off, I've felt headachey and dizzy, and not even really worked on the revisions I should be doing in the absence of doing anything else.

I nearly squee'd when Jimmy Doohan cropped up in his guest run at TNG (LOVE Jimmy Doohan), then after that I caught Frank Langella on DS9.  An accident of my multi-track streaming habits, but such a lovely one.

For my early evening's entertainment, we've moved on to a little something called "Angel".  Not sure how I ran across it - probably an algorithm at Netflix - it is a period piece, after all.

As satires go, it's interesting.  As romance goes, it's execrable and risible, of course.  As a story about a WRITER goes ... it's autoerotic in the extreme.  Mary Sue hates this girl, for being too successful, and having too self-satisfied a pouty-pouty-pout-mouthed pout.  It's the story-of-a-writer aspect which actually informed my watching, and in fact made it possible for me to watch at all.

This film goes well beyond escapist fantasy and into delirium.  The costumes, the color schemes and saturation, the hilarious rear projections, the giddy Victorian homoerotic overtones, the ostentatiously silly plot and characters.  The astonishing cleavage.  The appallingly bad climactic smooch-age.  The birds, the cats, the wolf hound(s).

For your histfic lover, it's almost an antidote to those cliches and must-haves so many productions, good and bad, come equipped with (did I mention the costumes, the dreamy color?).  It's odd, though - as candy-coated as so much of it is in terms of production, the end result isn't actually all that funny.  Not everyone involved, perhaps, knew it was a satire.  You spend the first twenty minutes thinking, "Surely this is a joke" - not "Oh this is a good joke!"  There's fun in the honeymoon montage, and the early-70s-sitcom "oh your pet died" switcharoonie, but there is a certain cognitive dissonance in those facets which are actually earnest.

Watch this one for the hilarity of the depiction of the publishing industry.  Watch it for the eye candy.  Watch it with someone, or a whole group of writers (SBC - we should really have movie night!)

(As a side note - right to the end, the extent to which this resembles "Lillie", Francesca Annis' portrayal of The Jersey Lily is pretty amazing.  Sadly, no Peter Egan here though.  I love Peter Egan.

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