Monday, June 18, 2007

At the Eclectic household, we rent about anything. Sifting through the racks is a bit of a gamble, so we usually ask for the advice of the young folks who work at the local Blockbuster. Some Baby Boomers would cringe at this idea, being know-it-all-ers, but I like to find out what the staff likes. Rarely are we steered wrong in that regard.

When I want to rent something a little off kilter, the film becomes "mine" in the sense that if it's bad, I must take the blame for choosing it. I am drawn to the offbeat, the foreign and the weird without apology.

Venus is something that no less than two employees recommended and I was delighted with this film. It is not a cliche of the older man as saintly mentor to the young and attractive girl. Disney would have made that. This film steers in another direction.
O'Toole is simply a delight: funny, perverted, razor sharp wit and steals every scene he's in.
This is not for the kids and some adults may wince at some of the more, shall we say, vulgar elements of the story. The relationship between O'Toole (Maurice) and Leslie Philips (Ian) is tender and touching-a real statement on friendship and aging. At one point, Maurice is helping Ian up, but warns:
Maurice: No, you can't cling to me like this, Ian, we'll both go down.
Ian: Put me on my feet then, you silly old fool!
Maurice: You're on your feet.
Ian: Oh. Yeah. Well. Thank you.
Maurice: Not at all. [They begin dancing]
O'Toole's relationship with the niece who is sent to help Ian is altogether a different story. Though she is a foul-mouthed "provincial" brat, he becomes fascinated with her. Well...he wants her.
But the film is far more than a story of a dirty old man, it speaks volumes about many subjects. Just watch it.

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