Drooling on the Pillow

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Sluggos to the Movies 

The Goddess and I watched Stage Beauty last night on DVD. It's about the moment in Restoration English theatre when female roles were moved statutorially from male actors to female actors. Doesn't sound like much to hang a movie on, but it's fascinating. There's some murky rumblings concerning sexual roles, politics and psychology, but the movie seems to shake that off easily enough and get on with the fun. Billy Crudup plays the most famous and beautiful actor of his day who did exclusively female roles. There's two problems with Crudup. First, he most certainly does not make a beautiful woman. You could throw a brick in South Beach and hit a prettier 'girl'. Second, in the triumphal final scene when he finally plays a man he exposes his limitations. He could no more play Othello than I could get the lead in The Cary Grant Story.

I've said before how I love Restoration Comedy and the movie is stuffed with the fun, wit, decadance, energy and outrageousness of the era. It's also stuffed with fabulous Brit actors. Jesus, is there any limey who can't act? Rupert Everett made me laugh out loud a dozen times as Charles II. Edward Fox ("Whenever we're about to do something truly regretable we always say that the French have been doing it for years."), Richard Griffiths and Hugh Bonneville as Samual Pepys were great.

Three Slugs out of four.
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