There is an unforgettable moment in Jack Nicholson’s As Good as it Gets when the unreconstructed (that comes later) novelist is asked by a gaping fan ,How do you get women so right?
Black Jack twinkles “I think of a man and take away responsibility and accountability.” Ha! Shame! He is going to get his, and he does.
No one would dream of saying such a thing in a Almodovar film. Here only women bleed, and how. In the latest, the brilliant Julietta women are portayed as lover, wife, best friend, rival, daughter, harridan, gossip. Most of the emotions are stirred up one way or another by a man and how the women take to him and each other. Based on Nobel winning Alice Munro’s short stories the film scores on every level.
Typically the sex scene is done originally and with style. On a train. To the rhythm of the stag seen in the snow. See the film. Now sex on a train has a class of its own. I have got the age when I’m not sure whether I’m making it up or not. Actually I don’t care.
Coming back from an Austrian university ski trip Eva and I shared a couchette. As the stations of Europe whizzed by through the snowy night, we whizzed through whatever was possible on that narrow bed. Two motions running parallel, fusing and parting, parting and fusing, The film caught that syncopation brilliantly.
Fast forward to 1972. Trish and I were both teaching at a secondary modern in Surbiton. We both lived with our parents. We were going away for the weekend to stay with friends in Wareham. We were hot. We had been building up too long. We caught the train at Waterloo. We looked at each other. We touched, The fuse was lit.
We rushed to the toilet. This is more Sex Pistols than Roy Orbison. After twenty minutes(maybe I lie) I poked my head out. There was a queue. OMG. Ouch. I went back in. Threw open the door and looked the queue in the eye as I said,”Darling, Have you got everything “.
Those were the days, we thought they would never end.