Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Handy for the Heath ?

SCENES OF A SEXUAL NATURE, 2006. How could a sunny  afternoon on Hampstead Heath (in North London) be so crushingly dull? I used to be up there during the 70s and 80s, and it seemed a lot more fun than shown here. I also had this recorded on my Sky hard drive for about a year or so, before finally deciding to view it – despite that interesting cast. We drop in and out of observing 7 couples in various stages of relationship issues. 

Old-timers Eileen Atkins and Benjanim Whitrow get talking on a park bench and discover they have an unusual connection – as they were prospective dates about 50 years ago but went off and married other people instead (sounds like the start of hit series LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX). Catherine Tate and Adrian Lester are a divorcing couple, 
Tom Hardy fools around with Sophie Okonedo and drops his trousers – that makes the audience sit up!, Mark Strong and  Polly Walker  are another couple, while Hugh Bonneville and Gina McKee have an uneasy picnic. The only gay couple we listen in on (gays are usually plentiful on the Heath) are Ewan McGregor and Douglas Hodge (who was brilliant in LE CAGE AU FOLLES a few years ago) and Andrew Lincoln (forever Egg in THIS LIFE) is caught gazing at an attractive girl’s underwear …. Ewan has an eye for passing trade but wants to have children as well, while partner Douglas is not so keen, as Ewan heads into the bushes with a new friend …. 
This though plays like a tedious collection of hit and miss sketches, directed by one Ed Blum, and one ends up fast-forwarding some of the more boring episodes. 
Moi on the Heath in the early '70s
If this was meant to be another LOVE ACTUALLY it fails miserably, but is an interesting addition to those indie gay British movies (like LAWLESS HEART or BEDROOMS AND HALLWAYS - reviewed at Gay Interest label, both infinitely more multi-layered and entertaining than this forgettable piffle. And where was Tom Hollander ? - surely they could have squeezed him in somewhere! 
This was made in 2006 - if being filmed now, a whole new raft of performers familiar to us would have to be cast: David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Nicola Walker, Elisabeth Berrington, Miranda Hart, Martin Hutson et al ... and perhaps the sculptured cheekbones of Douglas Booth and the pouting Rupert Penry-Jones (who does not like kissing blokes) as that gay couple ! 

No comments:

Post a Comment