Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

With the boyfriend out of town I am finally free to do all of the girly things I've wanted that have been growing into a rather lengthy list.

First thing to tick off: going to a chick flick (period films are automatically girly) with a fellow first year English teacher. The best part of the evening was in the first five minutes, when standing in line to get Sarah a sprite - a brave, pimpled and baby fat full young man behind us began chatting both of us up about what movie we were seeing. We humored his advances and eyed each other as we debated via ESP if we should inquire as to his age (16 - max) and reveal that the "girls" he chose to flirt with were literally old enough to be his teachers at 24 and 27. Oh, and one of us is two months pregnant, and as luck would have it we are teachers. Funny and creepy all at once. Also a reminder why I don't teach in the district where I live - running into students on the weekend is not my idea of relaxing!

The film, The Other Boleyn Girl, almost killed itself within five minutes as the dialogue and opening scene were both terrible and utter cheese. I liked it, though, for the same reason I liked Marie Antoinette. The costumes were sumptuous and I like it when the idea of royal figures is translated for modern audiences as total rockstar - because that is the royalty a modern audience understands. I did not like the dichotomy of Anne and Mary's personalities, though. Mary became 100% victimized, self-sacrificing angel and Anne never really deviated from crazy bitch after returning from her anachronistic trip to France. Although, there was something about the rape scene that added a sense of Anne's humanity in the film and seemed to symbolize Henry VIII's desire to literally devour women (just like he did food when got old, fat, and pus-full). Also to the film's credit, it did a good job of highlighting the exploitation of women as a means to political ends. Even Anne's ambitions were framed by the insatiable desires of her male relatives. While the extent of outside scheming in Anne's rise to power in order to garner wealth for her family may be stretched and fabricated for this movie, the concept of woman as pawn is by no means a unique occurrence in history, sadly. Sad, too, is the ending of the movie. But like Titanic, you walk into the theatre knowing the proverbial boat is going to sink. Unlike Titanic, though, I am much happier watching Jim Sturgiss play out a tragic male lead than Leo. Beautiful boy. Final verdict: good girls-only movie, but next time I'm going for romantic comedy rather than romantic period tragedy. In defense of Anne's decisions though - Elizabeth is an incredible asset to world history, but it's sad her mother's life had to be forfeited in order to set the course for her birth. On a happy note - more Jim!

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