Sunday, 3 January 2010
St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold (2009)
No amount of bargaining, or wheedling, could persuade Lily to see Avatar with me, so St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold it was, and heavily did I sigh as I handed my hard-earned to the cinema cashier. Now the bar of my expectation was set pretty low for this one, so perhaps it's not entirely surprising that I found myself enjoying it really quite a lot. Better than I had anticipated by quite a wide margin. That said, the producers' ambition (you can almost smell it) to turn this into the Carry On franchise of the 21st century is hamstrung, I'd say, by the fact that Carry On was enormously, superbly smutty, and sometimes downright filthy ('Fakir! Off!') where St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold labours strenuously to purge all 'sex' from the screen (despite the fact that half the cast are twentysomething supermodels in schoolgirl uniforms). This is done, obviously, to avoid stumbling into the mire of borderline paedophile fantasy with which the film's premise inevitably flirts. The directors do a good job too, by and large, as far as that goes: it's a remarkably sexless piece of filmmaking. The panto elements are fun enough, both Colin Frith and Rupert Everett are good value, David Tennant puts Doctor Whamlet behind him to mug up as the villain, and the time passed harmlessly.
To be more specific there were two consolations that made the whole thing more than bearable for me, the Dad-accompanying-his-8-year-old-daughter, and, I think, the only male in the audience. One was a single half-decent joke ('How was your summer?' 'Oh I went to India. A friend of mine is getting married.' 'Really? Hen-do?' 'No, she's Church of England, I think'). And two was the fact that Talulah Reily (playing the head girl) bears a very striking facial resemblance to a young Kate Bush. The same young Kate Bush who did more than any other single human being to shape my nascent heterosexuality. The transcendentally beautiful Kate Bush. That Kate Bush.