Friday 1 March 2013

Oafish Chumps

It is Mrs Blog's turn to choose the entertainment so we are off to Swansea to see I Give It a Year. I decide that the way to get through this is to treat it as an investigation into the "wellbeing" agenda, i.e. how people use cinema to protect and enhance their mental health.

This is one of those rom-coms pretending to be a post-feminist chick-flick. You know the sort of thing - controlling and self-absorbed ladettes working out which oafish but strangely alluring chump they are going to marry.

The wellbeing therapy, to judge by the reaction of this audience, comes from a humorous expiation of embarrassing matters. So there is much laughter at the use of Latin anatomical words (which are admittedly funnier than the slang ones); and the high point is when some of the characters cringe-makingly attempt what is known as a "threesome", a project which is wholly unsuccessful because (or so it seems to me) they all keep their pants on - itself a mercy if that isn't ungallant to say.

Another element of therapy is obtained at the expense of the small number of men in the audience who are held up to ridicule for their chumpishness based on their similarity to the screen characters. After the show Mrs B generously confirms that I am not like the men in the film. Pushing my luck I ask which fictional screen characters I do resemble. Without hesitation (because this has clearly been thought through previously) she says "Basil Fawlty, Mr Bean, and Doc Martin". As we drive home in silence I wonder what these characters have in common apart from a bizarre sociopathy and complete inability to engage in normal human contact. It must be that they all wear a tie. But then I don't wear a tie...