SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
You may be yin, and I may be yang, but we can all agree on Emma Thompson. For some, she is the queen of 90s prestige filmmaking, for others (i.e. Brian) she is a role model, an idol, a way of life. SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (which Em wrote and starred in) takes 18th century English manners and deconstructs them through the Taiwanese lens of director And Lee. The story of wildly disparate sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood certainly left its impact on your wildly disparate hosts. For Brian it was fuel to the fire of his love and passion for Emma, for Seán it was some frou-frou trailer at the start of the VHS tape of Addams Family Values. But will the older, wiser Seán be able to come to his senses (as opposed to sensibilities) and to look beyond the Empire waistlines to see this film for what it is: a delightful, insightful comedy that is as much Thompson as it is Austen? Reader, he loved it. (That's her, right? - Ed. Note: No, Seán, that’s Charlotte Brontë)
Here at Broad Appeal we have the perfect gift for you: A foaming-at-the-mouth screed about one of the most repugnant little films masquerading as entertainment! Were it not for Emma Thompson, who brings an emotional weight to an entirely undeserving film, LOVE ACTUALLY would be consigned to the dust-bin of history. Also in that bin is every skeezy boss who ever creeped on his staff, political figures who think they can get away with anything, lad culture, and all “awkward” weirdos who just don't know how to talk to women. If you saw this film in 2003 and thought nothing of it, you'll be WOKEn up by the end of this episode. Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Andrew Lincoln, Bill Nighy et al – they're all here and they're all COMPLICIT! But Emma: As if we needed any reminder that E.T. is not only a consummate professional, with pools of artistic and emotional depth, but can also utilise the flat role of a taken-for-granted wife to craft a polemic on marriage, relationships, forgiveness and family, while never raising her voice. Richard Curtis and all cis-gendered males have a lot to answer for, but Emma makes this unfunny mess almost relatable. Proof, once again, that she is legendary.
THE TALL GUY
The year is 1989. “Bad” communism is coming to an end, Europe is breaking into new nation states, Seán is being born and Emma Thompson is telling the world she is an absolute star in THE TALL GUY. After garroting Richard Curtis in the last episode, he gets an odd free pass here by helping create a strikingly independent female character in Emma's Kate Tampon Lemon. The film is a cluttered and creaking 80s romantic comedy, somewhere between Slaves of New York and A Chorus Line (i.e. far too batty for today's audiences). But weirdest of all, it includes what you never see much of: two consenting adults who barely know each other, casually arranging a date to enjoy a healthy serving of afternoon delight. (Well, if they’re straight, that is...). Known more for its raucous and equally joyous sex-scene between Emma and hunky co-star Jeff Goldblum, THE TALL GUY is a weird little romp down Shaftsberry Avenue and up the way to the Royal Free Hospital, which catapulted Emma to stardom. Seán and Brian cannot resist her charms, but was that ever really going to be a possibility? Oh Emma, we love you