Friday, April 1, 2011

What's in a Swear Word?

Colin Firth in the King's Speech, looking an awful lot like my father. Oh well. I know how 'ambivalent' Queen E must feel looking at this movie.

Anyway, I spent the morning preparing a proposal for the publication of the Nicholson family letters and I was so afraid I'd get antsy and send it off before it was ready, (I can do that sometimes),I decided to go into town with my husband. He let me off at Atwater, so I went and had 'tea' in Westmount, at a place called London Bus, which had a red plastic London telephone booth in it. I thought the owner should go to Moe's Delicatessen in Pointe Claire where they have a real one.

(Speaking of delicatessens, I also bought tickets for Schwartz's, the Musical at the Centaur, for my husband's birthday, April 24. It'll probably be cheesy, but what's wrong with that.) Anyway, I went to the Pepsi Forum, such a dark place you can hardly see the statue of Maurice Richard in the penalty box, and the AMC and there was no movie playing there that I wanted to see so I saw the King's Speech again, even though it's coming out on DVD and satellite next month.

My son's girlfriend had just seen it and loved it, even thought Jeff Apatow movies are more her style.

She was moved by Colin Firth's performance and she loved the interplay between the King and Lionel Logue.

My husband heard that they are putting the King's Speech out in two versions, one with the swearing expunged. So I watched the movie with this in mind; and frankly, the swearing is key to the movie. I don't understand.

And being a Montrealer, I understand even less.

On the weekend my husband and I had seen PAUL, a silly good natured movie about an alien, featuring the guy who played Scotty in Star Trek. Well, it was the middle of Saturday afternoon and the audience consisted of a few older couples, and a number of younger people and many parents and kids. In front of us was a row of 8 to 12 year olds, there alone. And then the movie started and my husband and I turned to each other and smiled. The movie is all swearing! And

I don't just mean the F word, which is the 'worst' swear word in the King's Speech. And a lot of TALK of sexual things, a la adolescent humour.

A couple of years ago my husband I went to see Tropic Thunder, with the theatre packed, a much funnier and edgier movie than Paul, and during a particularly amusing scene featuring Jack Black, withdrawing from cocaine, my husband turned to me and through his tears said, "There's a 7 year old sitting beside me."

Ratings make no sense. I recorded the French Lieutenant's Woman the other day and watched it and the rating on movie was R 18+. Last night, I watched some silly 70's movie, the Last of Sheila, because I had to stay away to pick up my husband at midnight from work, and that show had an 8+ rating, despite having some graphic murders and Raquel Welch and Dyan Cannon.

NO SENSE. What are they going to have The King saying in these two longish scenes where he swears. DARN DARN. Gosh Darn. Golly Gosh Darn darn. You cannot take the scenes out, they are pivotal. They speak to his letting go...remember, swearing in those days was a very low class thing. My parents never swore,(except my dad in the car.)(And it's a fact that we store 'swear words' in a different part of the brain than regular speech and these scenes speak to that phenomenon.

Anyway, speaking of handsome, broad-shouldered men, driving into town, on Greene Avenue in Westmount, as I was pointing out the place where Edith's Westmount Methodiste stood in 1910, I saw a Mountie walking on the street. A tall good looking Paul Gross style Mountie. And I didn't have my camera! I turned to my husband and said, I hope there are some American tourists around. They'll get their money's worth.

In all my years, I've never seen a Mountie (in those dress reds) walking on the street in Montreal.