Three fun things
It’s been a good week for entertainment this week. I just finished reading “Lover’s Knot” by Donald Hardy, one of the new m/m romances from Running Press. It was wonderful! It’s set in a small Cornish village, and there’s a gripping plot that involves ghosts and revenge and the return of a demon lover from our hero’s past to bedevil him just as he’s beginning to nerve himself up to confess his true love to the sunny young gentleman who is his guest at his newly acquired Cornish farmstead. A lovely meaty plot and a lush, evocative setting – banter and obvious ease between the two heroes, and a dangerous sensuality and threat from the lover of the past who is not as dead and gone as everyone might have hoped… It’s a real classic of the genre in a similar vein to The Phoenix by Ruth Sims – a serious, literary book, but a delight to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
In terms of slightly less lasting entertainment, I went to see St.Trinians 2:
which, despite some very heavy handed attempts to grapple with sexism, some “do they have to dress like that?” attempts to cater to the boys, and some “why exactly is the headmistress a man in drag?” bemusement (though – having thought about it, why shouldn’t she be? And why shouldn’t she get the boy?) still managed to be a fantastic romp where a bunch of girls teamed together to take on the world and win. And it ended with the girls of St.Trinian’s sailing a tall ship down the Thames and taking out David Tennant’s villain with a broadside from the cannon. Hee! And those girls look fantastic in morning suits, oh my.
I was watching the trailers at the cinema, which were all for films with the plot “young man discovers he is special and is forced into having amazing adventures, during which he grows up and discovers he can be a hero.” This is not a bad plot, but it sucks that it was the *only* plot. So St.Trinians, despite its tendency to dress the girls in naughty schoolgirl outfits, is still something that warms the cockles of my heart and I wish there were more films like it.
Which kind of soured me a little for going to see Sherlock Holmes the next day. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed it a lot. I loved Holmes and Watson’s relationship, and thought that Watson was perfect. I liked the police force a lot. I wasn’t so sure about Holmes as a kind of Wolverine figure, but the books do mention that he’s trained in boxing and other martial arts, so I can let that pass. I liked the alchemy, though I thought the whole “secret society of men in funny robes” thing has been a bit overdone. I guess I’m just fed up of women appearing in films just to be ritual sacrifices or love interests who need to be rescued.
I’m aware that at my age and with my shoulders I’m seriously not able to chase down a villain or kung-fu my way through a bar fight, but neither are most of the men who watch these films. They get wish fulfillment characters who will do it for them and make them feel good about being a man. Where are those characters for the women? They’re still not out there. No wonder we identify with men, write about men, want to be men. In the stories we are given all our lives, men still get to do the interesting stuff and be the interesting ones, and we get to be allowed to tag along as the baggage of the main characters, if we’re present at all.
Which seems a strange thing for a writer of m/m romance to get steamed up about 🙂 But I think writing is different – I think it’s easier to find books with kick ass heroines than it is to find films with the same; all those demon killing paranormal heroines, for example. It’s probably time someone made some films about them.