Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Five reasons why the film, Sliding Doors is implausible

The film Sliding Doors is a lot like the film, Love Actually:  It is an incredibly annoying film but I find myself watching it from behind a cushion every time it's on TV.

I think I watch it because of these two things:
  1. Gwyneth's short blond hair-do.
  2. The Dido song they play over the credits at the end. 
The rest of it, I loathe.

What I really should do is Google  "Gwyneth's Sliding Doors hair-do" and listen to the song on my i-pod.

But I never learn. And last Sunday, I once again sat through 90 odd minutes of Gwyneth Paltrow's 'shagging' British accent and John Hannah's distracting eyebrows.

And once again I found certain plot points completely implausible. Here they are.

5 reasons why the plot of Sliding Doors is completely implausible


1. Gwyneth Paltrow's accent

Despite her valiant  "stiff upper lift" nasal rendering of a British accent, it all falls apart when she has to deliver lines like this:  "You bastard, you bastard. You useless shagging bastard."  During these oh-so-colloquial "shagging this, shagging that"  bits I needed two cushions; one for each ear.

2. A man who slavishly repeats Monty Python catch cries, is a man to be avoided at all costs

When Gwynnie meets the talking eyebrow man (John Hannah) he tries to cheer her up by saying this: 

 "You know what the Monty Python boys always say ... Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

At which point, if it were a realistic script, Gwyneth would say, "I'm sorry, I just realised that I have to be over there."  And walk quickly in the opposite direction without looking back. And then the next time she sees him, (in a bar as per the film) she would dive UNDER the bar and hide from him lest he come over and tell her about the Spanish Inquisition again. (Which he does A LOT and no one ever tells him to shut up.)

It is a known fact that men who quote Monty Python are insufferable unfunny boors.  (While I don't mind the odd, "Run away! Run away!"  it's the entire tracts of obscure phrases that push the friendship.) However, in the film, this is the beginnings of Gwynnie's finding him charming and attractive.  She's quite a good actor, despite her accent woes and her face clearly says: "Hang on, this guy is quite interesting and quirky, I wonder when I will see him again."


Further to that ...

3. Acting out Monty Python sketches makes you a lady repeller, not a lady magnet

Then they go to a dinner party and John Hannah re-enacts an entire Monty Python sketch, complete with red-faced "giving it petrol funniness" and wacky "I'm a terrific John Cleese mimic"  voices.  Everybody is laughing so hard they can barely speak! They're leaning forward, clutching their stomachs with their mouths open in gasping mirth. The camera pans around the table about three times to make the point that everyone is having the TIME OF THEIR LIVES and this guy is SUCH A WAG.

Gwyneth is creasing herself and instead of getting up from the table and saying, "I'm sorry everybody I just remembered that I'd rather be at home poking forks into my eyeballs," and hot-footing it out of there, she gazes lovingly at him across the crowded table, as though this whole Monty Python re-enactments thing has only increased her ardour.  IMPLAUSIBLE!

4. A man in purple Lycra is not a hunk of rowing spunk.

Then Gwynnie goes to Eyebrow Man's rowing race. And he's wearing a purple lycra rowing skivvy with a matching team cap that makes his curly hair sit out from under it like a clown wig.  In this get-up Gwynnie finds him devilishly attractive.


 This is taken further into the IMPLAUSIBLE realm after the race,  when Eyebrow Man 'leads' the team in some very, very unfunny group chanting work (My Highland Goat -style) and Gwynneth finds it all so charming and "fun" that she loses her hands inside the sleeves of her jumper. CUTE or what?

Not only that, this seems to be the 'a-ha' moment where she falls deeply in love with him: standing in a room full of pasty Pommie rowers who are all chanting some very unfunny stuff, while trying to balance on one leg and butt their heads forward and shouting, "Heat!" 


This is, in fact the point in a dating scenario where you consider just fucking off out the back door without explaining yourself to anyone.

5.  Starting your own PR company = renting a well-lit photogenic space and painting it duck egg blue

When Gwynnie gets sick of waitressing and delivering sandwiches, Eyebrow Man suggests she Roxy Jacenko it up and start her own PR company. Cue montage of "congratulations your business loan application has been accepted" forms clutched to the breast interspersed with fun times painting the new office duck egg blue.  Then it's all done.  She just sets up her table and chair and starts taking calls. IMPLAUSIBLE ...

... because of how much fun they have painting the room.

Anybody who has ever painted a room knows it's a c#$% of a job.  Oh it's all fun and games and cute dots of paint on the nose for about 10 seconds.  Then you have to start paying attention to the cornices and you have to paint around the light switches not to mention the bit where you have to down tools and wait for each coat to dry.


They would hate each other if they tried to paint a room together. And she would really, really grow tired of his Monty Python sketches while trapped in a duck egg blue room thick with eye-watering paint fumes.

So there you have it: five reasons why the plot of  Sliding Doors is implausible ...

Oh and the thing about living two parallel lives at once ... a little bit implausible, but not as implausible as all of the above.

Next week: Duets:  5 reasons why Huey Lewis (and the News) could never be Gwyneth's father.

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