Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

Last night I got a call from my friend Niki: "We're going to see The Other Boleyn Girl. Get your shit." Having not only no choice in the matter but nothing else to do with my Friday evening, I duly got my shit and drove to the Hampshire Mall to see Eric "HotBody" Bana make out with Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.

Um, I mean, see an exciting historical drama about Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. I think the movie's title was a bit of a misnomer- which Boleyn girl, exactly, was the other one? I think we're meant to think that Mary (Scarlett) is the "other" one, since Anne was the one who actually married His Burliness Henry VIII. Accordingly, Mary begins the movie looking wistful and obliging in the background, happily marrying some guy named William (who disappears WITHOUT EXPLANATION as soon as Mary and His Hotness start doing the wey-hey-hey) and taking a backseat to Anne, who we are told early on is the Special One Who Will Undoubtedly Make Her Family's Fortune If Only She Could Control That Stubborn Unwomanly Independence. The minute poor Queen Catharine pops out a stillborn son the Boleyn's creepy uncle, the Duke of Norfolk (does David Morissey play anyone but creepy, creepy bastards anymore?) gets all excited, and decides to parade the girls in front of the frustrated Henry in an effort to secure the family fortunes.

Of course, this is all accomplished with tons of heavy-handed meat metaphors (literally- think butchers, giant hunks of steak, and gutting a chicken. Not what I wanted to see after consuming my body weight in popcorn) and the wierdly explicit machinations of Creepy Uncle and the Boleyn girl's worthless dad. What I was waiting for, though, was this:

That smoldering stare. That manly beard. Those sleeves. See, what I was really juiced about in this movie was the fabulous, crazy-pants Tudor fashions for the dudes. That my friends is a lot of fabric for one dude, King of England or no.

Oh look! There they are again! Another, more different set of princess sleeves for King Hotface!

Look at that. Look at that. That is one hot mess of sleeves on that man there. Henry is channeling his inner fierceness, and it's clear to see how we got from that to this in only four hundred years:

picture from

I tried to find the picture of Christian strutting his fierce behind around in this outfit, but couldn't.

Beyond His Fierceness Henry VIII, the movie was pretty good. Like I was saying earlier (before I got distracted by the Sleeves of Doom) it stopped being about Mary and started being about Anne really, really quickly. After inexplicably falling in love with the king after some pretty intense horizontal-mamboing, Mary gets knocked up: thanks to the truly advanced, enlightened prenatal care of the period she gets locked up for her trouble. During the waiting period Anne proceeds to be what my friend Beth (who came along for the ride) called --repeatedly--a "big whorebag" and uses her feminine wiles on Henry. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Beyond the world's largest sleeves and England's most famous golddigging ho, the movie was pretty sweet. There was a lot of riding to and fro by unaccompanied women, which was pretty awesome, a truly vomtastic near-incest scene, and Scarlett Johansson doing a pretty good job. Natalie Portman's accent slipped in and out, changing regions and even countries from scene to scene. (Why am I supposed to think that she's the world's greatest, most intelligent actress again? Oh right! Thanks, Elle!) Eric Bana was hotness personified. Poor Kristin Scott Thomas looked put-upon for two hours, and her "I told you so, you horrifying shit" slap to her husband's face was EPIC. All this movie really needed was a scene in which minstrels seranade someone, and it would have been cheese-tacular. I can't wait until it comes out on DVD. I am going to screencap the shit out of this thing.

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