Posts Tagged ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’

As tomorrow is Sir Kenneth Branagh’s birthday, well, today if we’re going by his time, I share a joke that younger son made up on Friday morning.  Dead Again was on the telly while we were getting ready for school.  Younger son came up to me and asked “What’s a character in an ocean movie?”  I knew to ask “who” since both sons are on a making-up-jokes-kick right now.  The answer: Kenneth Piranha.  I think that was quite a good joke for a seven year old.  It was particularly good for a boy who still attends speech to learn to pronounce the letter r (like his mother did when she was a wee one).

Nevertheless, older son shot back with the following.  “No, it would be ‘What’s a character in a fresh water movie?’ because piranhas don’t live in salt water.  They live in fresh water.”  I tried to tell him that it is uncouth to correct a joke for scientific inaccuracies and that he can just let it ride.  He explained that wasn’t in his nature.  I do love the clarity each son possesses about their personalities.

Younger son is truly blossoming and forging his own path, distinct from his brother’s path.  It takes time for a younger one to realize he does not have to always do what the older sibling does.  We try to support the different areas that younger son has shown an interest in over the years.  He too likes dinosaurs, but kept away from them for a bit.  He finally asked if he was allowed to like and study dinosaurs too.  In hindsight, older son probably told younger son he couldn’t like dinosaurs because he had already claimed them.  They claim toys, why wouldn’t they claim areas of study?

I am very proud of my sons for all they do, but this weekend they also demonstrated keen abilities with Kenneth Branagh movies as well.  These films just happened to be on cable, I swear.  Younger son knew it was Love’s Labour’s Lost.  Older son realized that Nathan Lane (one of the actors in LLL) was the voice of Timon in The Lion King. Older son recognized Matthew Lillard as Shaggy.  Then as I watched Music & Lyrics (love that movie), they recognized Campbell Scott as “Doug” from Dead Again.

Yup…we’re making sure they have plenty of useless film and movie knowledge just like their parents.


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Again a show that I love has left the airways.  Again I was very happy with the final episode.  I must say I loved that House worked in a reference to Dead Poet’s Society…hee hee hee.  And I know it doesn’t happen often anymore, but I’m glad they left it open. Technically they could do a reunion show, albeit without Wilson, but…

Little bit Thelma and Louise at the end, not that I think they are going to drive off a cliff, but just taking off is freeing.  I was speaking with a coworker about it earlier today and we wondered if House and Wilson would rent a convertible, drive off,  and pick up Brad Pitt, which I think Brad would have done it.  So carpe diem to us all.

I didn’t get to watch the behind the scenes special before the final episode…work.  But I am sure I will watch it over the weekend.  Currently, Kenneth Branagh is playing in the background in Love’s Labour’s Lost.  (Geeky trivia question for you-what does Kenneth Branagh have in common with both Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard?)  Papers must be graded, tests must be scored, laundry must be folded, and trash must be put to the curb.

But it will be done with a satisfied brain, pleased with the end of House.

Oldest son claims he can no longer sleep with his brother in the same bed.  They’ve shared a double-size bed for six years and now he’s decided he can’t share a bed.  At the moment, there really is no other option for him, so his solution is to sleep on the chaise in the living room.  Yeah, sleep.  Wink wink, nudge nudge.

Youngest son was devastated by this event.  He was crying as he tried to go to sleep and fessed up to the fact that he is scared of the dark.  I didn’t tell oldest son this information as I didn’t want him to feel even more power and control over his baby brother.  I checked on youngest son several times as he was falling asleep.  He is sleeping soundly in the bed, cuddling Blue Bear and his Elmo’s blanket.  Oldest son is tossing and turning as he pretends to sleep on the chaise.

Oldest son did not like when I ignored his questions during House.  He kept asking why I was crying and I wouldn’t answer. Then he would ask why I was laughing and I wouldn’t answer.  He kept pretending I was waking him up with my reactions to the episode.  He’s really got to work on his delivery.  It’s too over the top and obvious.  I was trying to make a point however that he was well beyond his 8:30 bedtime.  In theory, they should have been asleep before the episode even started and then it wouldn’t have mattered.  But he likes to be a ham.

I like that the series gave us little pictures, snapshots, of where the other characters went after House’s grand exit.  Fans deserve that type of ending.  Monk did the same.  Left everybody basically doing the same-old-same-old just without our voyeuristic eyes peering into their lives.

But the best lives to peer into are our own.  I know why my sons were still up-they were waiting to see me, or to get a few more minutes playing a video game.  They do like to grab a few minutes with me when I get home and, with my current late night schedule, I don’t mind if they are up for a wee bit when I get home.  I miss the little buggers.

Well, remember the lessons we’ve learned from House.  There are books on the philosophy of House, but I sum it up like this.  Mystery is a good thing, friends do matter, and everybody lies.  Of course, the most important lesson:

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Third course…don’t really know what that would be, perhaps a cosmo for me.  I would now share with Kenny, yes, we’d be on a first name basis by now, an observation my husband once made.  Ken speaks “Shakespearean English” better than most people speak modern English (love their songs, but that’s a whole different blog).

Case in point—watch the scene in Love’s Labour’s Lost when he says the monologue about love.  On the dvd, the one scene is titled “It Kills Sheep” and the next is “Heaven”.  The two monologues sound, from Ken, like regular, everyday English.  It does literally come trippingly on the tongue.  “My melancholy and my rhyme…my rhyme and my melancholy”.  Oh, and the line about Hercules and the line about Apollo’s lute strung with his hair…leading to “And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony”.  Ah, pure beauty.

My sons wanted to stay up late last night and I let them as long as they were watching Shakespeare.  I put in Love’s Labour’s Lost.  After it had played for a few minutes, my one son asks, “Is this Hamlet?”  I told him no.  He said, “But that’s the guy from Hamlet.”  Yes.  He then asked, “Is this Love’s Labour’s Lost?”  How proud was I?  We’ll have to try Henry V tomorrow.

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If I could have lunch with Kenneth Branagh, the first topic of conversation would be too difficult to pick. However, I do know that early on, perhaps after ordering drinks, we would need to cover the critics who disliked Love’s Labour’s Lost because they did not believe those four men would break out into song and dance. In my home we do break out into song and dance on quite a regular basis, however that is not the critical problem with these particular reviews. The critical problem is how these critics ever got hired when suspension of disbelief is one of the cornerstones of theatrical devices?

While it is more common for folks to sing and dance during their day than many people realize, I grant you that not everyone does. Still anything that happens in a play, a film, a television show, or a video game requires some suspension of disbelief. One has to give into the world they’ve entered through their entertainment choice and surrender to the world of the director. If Kenneth wants us to believe these four chaps would sing and dance, it is our obligation, our pleasure really, to believe it. I’ll give you that I had reservations about Matthew Lillard (so fabulous as Shaggy) as to whether or not he’d pull it off, but he did. If Kenneth and the choreographer could get Lillard to move as gracefully as he did, the suspension of disbelief becomes even easier to accomplish.

The Kelly/Astaire style dancing of Adrian Lester brings back the glory days of the musical, particularly as he dances around the room in that one scene. The combination of his dancing, the choreography and the directing make that scene such an image of fluidity and beauty. The variety of dancing and music chosen touched upon so many of the glorious musicals that it brought together three of my favorite things: musicals, Shakespeare and Branagh.

Am I biased toward Kenneth’s work? Of course, I find the majority of it wonderful and watch it repeatedly. Those critics need to go to back college and take a refresher course on Theater Appreciation to remember the standard devices employed since the days of Sophocles to entertain the masses. While the film will be remembered as one earning, at best, mixed reviews (and those reviews being the weapon that took the life out of a three picture deal at Miramax), those who love the same three things I do happily suspend our disbelief when entering the world of Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Having covered that topic, Kenneth and I would order appetizers and continue the conversation.

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