Friday, June 28, 2013

Much Ado About Sobriety, or How Not to See Shakespeare

I should be embarrassed to write this about myself, but I see from The Bloggess that putting it all out there may bring me an empathetic sisterhood of sorts (not that I discount male readers). If humiliating myself joins me with the world, so be it. Jenny Lawson, this post is for you. Because wine. (She knows what I'm talking about.)

This week for date night, my husband and I went to have a quick bite at a restaurant before heading to the movies.  The last calorie of the cheese and crackers I had consumed two hours prior had long worn off, but due to time, we had to cancel our appetizer order and plan to eat post-film. Long story short, I saw Much Ado About Nothing-- kind of, sort of, really under the influence of a single ten-dollar glass of Malbec that I drank in a rush so as not to waste money or the beverage itself. Let's say I couldn't quite pull off this wine-consumption very gracefully. Really, this is all my mother's fault since she was a child of very lean times and has long told many stories of going without. "Waste not, want not," she would say. Were it not for her, I would have said, "Damn you, Malbec," and walked away globe-half-full, and I would be able to fully tell you about Much Ado with all the conscious, canny, pithy tell-all know-how of a regular movie-goer and reader of the classics.

I remember slinking into our seats feeling a little warm and goofy, then suddenly being engaged by the full impact of the Malbec, a Malbec designed to take no prisoners. All I could think was, "Holy God. There is two of everyone in this film." My husband would nudge me periodically in his suddenly remarkable ability to single out not just characters, but a plot: "Do you understand what's going on here? Isn't this great? Isn't this funny? So do you know who that guy is and what he's doing?" Really, I wanted to say, I'm not incoherent, I'm just... incoherent. I could hear smatterings of laughter from all the fully-functioning movie-goers around us, smug little Shakespeare-savant giggles and remarks. An elite club of enthusiasts. Alas, I was an outsider-- "An ass!" to quote the constable in Much Ado (the one quotable line I can really recall) because apparently Shakespeare requires some sobriety, and I was, somewhat accidentally, noncompliant in that regard.

Between those excited pokes from my spouse, my internal monologue for most of the film ran like this:
Why is this film full of white people? Isn't this the 21st century? Why is everyone in a suit? I really wish my husband's shoulder was softer because I could totally sleep in here. What do these people do for a living? Lords and ladies aside, someone has to be working here.Why are these rich people consorting with the maids? Whose house is that? Nice house. Doesn't really look like any of those people really live there though... is that judgy? I am being judgy. Isn't this a big deal about virginity that may or may not be intact anyway? Hero could be pulling one over on all of us. And why would anyone sabotage someone else's love life? What kind of person does that? I should have this matter investigated... oh look, a constable.These people have too much time on their hands. Doesn't someone have a job? Besides the constable? Do men really stand around and pontificate about the virtues of love? No, no they don't. I question Shakespeare's sexual orientation... return to judginess.

When it ended, my husband was all high marks and raving commentary, but I was thinking, "There were body doubles in most of that movie and I didn't see them in the credits"...  because wine.  Earlier today, my father called and I mentioned the film. "I'm sorry I can't tell you much about it," I said. I didn't tell him I blamed my mother for why though. :)

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