Friday, December 08, 2006

The pressure, the pressure

My sister, whose judgement is, in my opinion, second to none, tells me I put far too much pressure on friends, acquaintances and occasionally passing strangers by my enthusiasm for whatever book or movie or whatnot has grabbed my imagination. By recommending it so glowingly, I make it hard for the hapless enthusee to judge it on its own merits, as I have raised expectations so high, and of course really hard to tell me that they didn't like it all that much.

So when I discoverd to my horror that two friends of mine had never seen Singin' in the Rain I invited them over for supper and the movie. Because everyone should see this movie, it's an absolute cracker. Isn't it just? I braised a shoulder of lamb, and served it with rice and peas, with Luxemburgerli for afters.

Well. Rachael opined that Gene Kelly's outfits, with the wide trousers and high waistbands, and the shirtsleeves rolled up high and tight, made him look - well, gay. And Jill had spent the entire flick wondering why Kelly exhibited absolutely no VPL*, even though some of the dancing gets pretty athletic.

Did we just have a total bust of an evening? Have I just sent hours of my friends' lives down the tubes? But it's a terrific movie! How can anyone not like it!

After they left, I tidied up, and had a game of Scrabble with a woman born and raised in Cardiff, who currently lives in the Bahamas and owns the local radio station. She asked me to tune in, and what I wanted to hear, and blimey if a DJ half way across the world with the voice like chocolate didn't play It Never Rains in Southern California and dedicated it to li'l ol' ME! She also told me that, until he died, she was good friends with Count Basie who lived round the corner from her. COUNT BASIE! *lots of little squeeking noises!* Please please shoot me the day that I start finding this ordinary.

* Visible Panty Line


FirstNations said...

i stand in solidarity with you, mangonel! stand by to repel philistines! hoist the jibson! avast the focsl mizzen!
gene kelly was wearing specially designed dancers tights made to look like regular pants. fact. if that had been khaki they would have had to name the movie 'singing whilst fending off genes flailing balls'. stretchy leotard material. watch it again. ill watch it with you. we'll both pay special attention to the crotchal areas. ill bring notepads.

Mangonel said...

Dear FN, it's a date. I'll cook (if I can stop laughing). Y'know, I'm concerned that the stretchy leotard material might be suffocating - well, another attribute too - you may have to bring a microscope as well.

By the bye, have you read Master and Commander? (seeing the movie REALLY doesn't count!) Patrick O'Brian? Because judging by your opening sentences, really you ought. You would love them - so well written, so atmospheric, so informative, so unexpectedly funny. They are staggeringly well written, they grab my complete attention and hold on to it, in spite of being set on a naval warship during the Napoleonic war, both subjects in which I have vanishingly little interest. To my shame. But really, you have to read these. The characters of Aubrey and Maturin are so engaging and well rounded and so darn nuanced it makes you want to weep. Go get the book. And then go get the next 28 (no jokes! And I'm only up to book five! yay!) You'll LOVE them!

Oh - and have I told you about 'An Instance of the Fingerpost'? You'd lo

Valerie Polichar said...

Well, this is like me getting a bunch of people to see "Palm Beach Story" with promises that it was weep-inducingly funny, only to have the evening consist of dear friends frozen in dead silence, punctuated only by snack-crunching and the embarrassed cackles from me on the couch.

I still think it's hilarious.

Dave said...

But the Napoleonic period is so interesting (and the trousers were tighter, too).

Anonymous said...

You are so much more of a social butterfly on scrabble than I am. I've never had a song dedicated to me - did you hear? Live? - but have had the odd bit of abuse, telling me I was cheating. Once a girl whose foot fell off told me she fancied me, but that was hard to gauge, from someone with whom you're playing scrabble, and who can't see you.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, being dim. Yes, you did hear it live. I once had a major tumbleweed moment when I forced three friends to sit through, "Chess Fever," a silent Russian film from 1920-whatever. Thankfully, it was short.

Mangonel said...

Well, thank goodness we all have fantastically good taste here. Valerie - I love Preston Sturges. Fave has to be Miracle of Morgan's Creek. Can I come next time? Or you join FN and me for either Philadelphia Story or Bringing Up Baby.
BiB, did you in your heart of hearts think your friends would enjoy your choice? Honestly now? And how do you know her foot fell off? You can't believe everything you get told on the net. Hardly anything in fact. And while I have the Scrabble social life, you have the colossal rating. It just goes to show, doesn't it?
Dave! Oddly enough, Mr O'Brian eschews much discussion about the quotidian attire of our Napoleonic heroes, only mentioning it when it goes seriously off the rails (Maturin) or it's seriously Sunday (everyone else). Have you read 'em? You'ld LOVE 'em!

Dave said...

I have 9and have read) every one

Mangonel said...

But not because of the tightness of the trousers I'll wager.

Anonymous said...

I did naively think that my co-watchers would enjoy Chess Fever. Two sat politely silently, but one had to express his dismay.

I believed the foot-girl. It sounded plausible, somehow. She said she was running round and round in circles, at speed, and somehow something in her buckled and her foot fell off. Not a nice story. Sorry for sharing it.