Monday, March 28, 2005

If you like romantic comedies starring Meg Ryan... should be strapped to a chair, have your eyelids prised open with painful, serrated steel claws and forced to watch Secretary, which I recently saw on DVD. Very charming mixture of mushy "meet cute" romantic comedy with S&M (the kinkiness mainly involves spanking and earthworms). Disturbing in places naturally, so I was pleasantly surprised that the ultra-conservative Hollywood censor board (what’s it called, the MPAA?) let it get away with an "R" rating as opposed to an "NC-17". Not that there was much explicit nudity, violence or even profanity - there wasn’t - but the subject matter (about the life-affirming sado-masochistic relationship that develops between a secretary and her lawyer boss) was, let’s say, eyebrow-raising. And politically incorrect too from a conventional feminist perspective, though in its own twisted way the film is really about women’s empowerment.

Love James Spader, who played the lawyer and who doesn’t seem to have progressed much (save for a few extra wrinkles) since playing a callow, expressionless young man in Sex, Lies and Videotape 15 years ago; here, he plays a callow, expressionless middle-aged man. (Spader’s filmography also includes David Cronenberg’s great film Crash, based on J G Ballard’s story about people who get turned on by car accidents, which makes him one of the most interesting actors I know in terms of project choices.)

Secretary reviews here and here.

1 comment:

  1. Oyeeee! Vatt iz wraang with Meg Ryan? WHMS is one of my all-time favourites!