Ugh. I’m not sick. I haven’t really been sick, but for the last week and a half now it’s felt like I’m coming down with something–probably the same something that kept my hubby home last Friday to lounge on the couch and interrupt my working schedule.
And now my throat is tremendously sore.
And I’ve been working a lot in the last week or so too.
All of which explains why I’ve been rather scarce. And, uh, why this post is actually just blathering about a movie and not much of a real post.
Hubs and I went into Barnstaple at the weekend to have a little wander-around–there are only two towns near us big enough to have any decent shopping, and by decent I mean “really not very good at all but barely adequate”. While there we stopped in at a new store which seels mostly DVDs and CDs. Decent prices, too, which is unusual.
So I smiled my prettiest little smile at the hubs and got him to buy me The Libertine, a film I’ve been dying to see for some time now. Partly because I love the Restoration period and am getting ready to write a book set there (or, well, okay. I have on my list of projects a book set there, which means after I finish everything I’m contracted to do I may just get to it next year. Maybe. But I can dream, can’t I?) Partly because I have a vague familiarity with the life of John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester whose life the film ostensibly protrays. And partly because–oh, come on, any of you who’ve spent any amount of time at all here with me can probably guess to at least two other reasons why I might want to see this film. Hot, drunken, oversexed historical bad boys? Um, yes please.
Unfortunately…the film was disappointing. It started with a bang (no, not literally, sad to say) by having Depp-as-Wilmot do a very sexy little speech about how very bad he is, in which he assures both men and women he’s “up for it”. Sigh. In fact, it wasn’t an assurance, it was a threat, which was even hotter.
Then he sexually semi-assaults his wife in a carriage (in a good way), and I poured myself a drink and settled back to really enjoy myself.
Unfortunately…that’s about it as far as sexiness went. Some of the reviews on Amazon led me to believe the film was almost pornographic; but with the exception of one soft-focus group sex scene (in which Wilmot is NOT a participant) and one extremely mild one-on-one sex scene (in which he is, and we don’t see so much as a pectoral muscle, let alone anything else), it’s really pretty tame. Wilmot says a few clever things and drinks a lot; the only other real sex reference in the movie is a scene with a prositute where he’s too drunk to get it up. Oh, and one really, really funny bit backstage at the theatre, where an actor questions a bit of stage direction Wilmot has written.
Had the movie been about a different period of Wilmot’s life this might have been different, but it focuses on his last few years, in which he seduces an actress and falls in love. Hence the soft-focus sex, hence my disappointment. (Perhaps my line of work is ruining me for such things? I’m not used to soft-focus euphemism anymore. Thoughts, anyone? Did you find the film sexy, if you’ve seen it?) The presence of John Malkovitch was a little depressing, because only made me long for the delightful debauchery of the Vicomte de Valmont. (Interestingly, Malkovitch played Wilmot on Broadway in the play the film is based on–I bet he was amazing. Not that Depp wasn’t good.)
Large portions of the film focused on his coaching of eventual mistress Elizabeth Barry, which dragged for me as well.
The biggest problem, though, was the ending felt rushed. One minute Wilmot is pretending to be a quack doctor, the next his face is covered with syphilitic sores and he’s unable to control his bodily functions. It happens so quickly that at first we wonder if he was wounded somehow, and before we’re able to process his decline it gets worse and he dies. The end. That’s exactly how it feels in the movie, although more heartbreaking. It really is a sad ending, but I think the saddest thing is I was left with the feeling, as Depp asks in a little postscript if I like him now, that I don’t know. I really wasn’t given much of a chance to get to know him.
Anybody else seen this? Any thoughts? Anybody else think John Malkovitch in Dangerous Liaisons was pure delicious sin? Anybody have any films to reocmmend that really are as sexy as they seem? (I haven’t seen Quills yet–only bits–what did you think of that one?