Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Calendar girls

Don't you wish your life were scripted as a British light comedy? Everyone is so good. Well, good in a way that doesn't permit even the merest possibility of being bad. I'm not sure that that is really all that good. There must be temptation for good to mean anything.
Do I really believe that? It seems to me that it must be true. We learn the lesson in Sunday school. Jesus has to be tempted so that his sacrifice is meaningful (and I think even as children we understand the lesson of Christ's temptation, because we learn it just as the idea of there being a right path and the possibility of straying from it begins to make sense to us).
But when I think about it, I start to wonder. Can good not be unalloyed? Can't it be real in itself? Are we saying we cannot love someone without the possibility of hurting them? We cannot love the world without conditions?
Well, I know I can't. That's not what I'm asking. I'm not saying, could I do it? I'm saying, could it not be done?
So Mrs Zen wanted to watch it for her birthday. There was nothing else showing that appealed to her, and I don't mind. I knew it would make her happy, and of course the cast was good enough to make the lamest material pass without pain.
Helen Mirren and Julie Walters are a cut above, that's plain. Neither is ever going to sell a film big, but they inhabit characters like no other women. Keep your Meryl Streep, I say. If you saw "Murder", which showed on the Beeb a year and a half or whatever ago, I think you'd say the same. In poor times for British drama, it burned the screen up.
So, it was nice. Everyone was nice. Even the guy who carked it was nice about it. I doubt the real story was quite as polite, but this is one of those "true" stories that would be spoiled utterly by the ring of truth.


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