It was not until I read Neil Gaiman’s introduction in Stories when I realised that books do not always have to be read from cover to cover. Makes sense, I am not at school anymore. There will be no gentle scowling, no detention and definitely no nagging sense of failure at the end of that little rainbow. Over the years I really had read some of the most extraordinary rubbish and insisted on finishing them just because I happened to cast my eyes over their first sentences.
No matter. I now know better had moved on.
A similar revelation dawned on me yesterday evening – I am under no obligation to sit through a whole movie. We hired out 44 Inch Chest for a mini date-night. The cover looked promising – Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson and Ian McShane – what could possibly go wrong?
Many, many things apparently.
It was a struggle just getting through the first 30 minutes or so without wanting to shake Ray Winstone and slap Tom Wilkinson on the face to wake him up. Incidentally I do nor imagine many people would ever contemplate shaking Ray Winstone or slapping Tom Wilkinson.
I felt deceived. The cover promised tempestuous kangaroo court, we got 19th century chamber drama featuring a modern day Greek chorus. The script sounded more play-like than film-like; even more so than the film version of The History Boy (which actually WAS a play). There is something rather disturbing about Ray Winstone playing a soppy drippy gentle-giant. A bit like blue coloured jelly beans.
About 45 agonising minutes into the movie we were both eager to do some late night chores around the flat. Bye bye Ray…
I had never turned my back on movies before. I sat through Resident Evil when all I could think of was to ditch my date by moving to Canada… To turn my back on some of my favourite actors… I am feeling rather disrespectful at the moment.