Nick’s gone out to a concert with two friends—a concert in which I’m not slightly interested—so I’m home alone, learning the following important life lessons while watching Stardust.
It gets a little confused, because some of the lessons have to do with me and some with the film, but I’m sure they’ll all come in useful after a while.
1. Tristan’s true love is never going to be Sienna Miller. Obviously. Although she is strangely appealing in some parts of this film.
2. I’m far too nervous to spend many evenings on my own. I’m nervous enough during the day, but I’m especially nervous during the night, because I’m a little frightened of the dark, truth be told. Too many vampire and werewolf stories as a child, I think.
I say “nervous” because it’s a neat middle ground between Nick’s preferred word “jumpy” and my default term “highly strung”—except that if I describe myself as highly strung I suspect that I sound as though I’m trying to make myself seem interesting.
3. I’m always surprised when I realise that Rupert Everett is in this film. This is, I think, the third time I’ve seen this film, and every time I forget that Rupert Everett is in it.
4. I genuinely don’t know how to operate what I will call—for want of a better word—our “home entertainment system.” By which I mean, I can’t tell the television and the DVD player remote controls apart. Before I managed to start this movie, I spent ten minutes staring alternately at the menu on the screen and then at the television remote, looking for an “enter” button.
Seriously. Ten minutes.
But I don’t feel that bad—I once watched my mother try valiantly to manipulate the television with the aid of her cordless telephone.
5. Peter O’Toole is strangely good in this, despite having such a small role and not having to cry. He’s an excellent crier, Peter O’Toole—every time he cried in Russell T. Davies’s version of Casanova, he made me want to cry.
Though now I think about it, I don’t think I ever watched the end of Casanova.
6. It’s not just the interaction between the television and the DVD player that bother me, either. I can’t operate the television alone, either. After I found the “enter” button—by double checking which remote control I was using—I then spent another few minutes trying to change the way the picture was set up, from 14.3 (or some such ratio) to Movie, so I could see everything.
Apparently, the relevant button is called “Zoom.” Does that seem plausible to anyone else?
7. Dear lord, Michelle Pfeiffer is gorgeous. If she’s had surgery, whoever’s done it is a genius. She doesn’t look exactly as she did in Ladyhawke, but she still looks amazing.
And, by a process of association controlled only by what’s on the screen, I find Nathaniel Parker strangely appealing. Tommy Linley is an annoying character, but I like Parker. Claire Danes is very sweet and pretty in this, too.
8. I’d probably be a better person if I spent more time thinking about my own life and/or real life and less time thinking about fictional worlds.
Then again, I wouldn’t be as good at my job. So it’s a trade-off.
9. I’m really glad that, despite all the fairy-tale, folklore, and nursery-rhyme elements that didn’t translate from Gaiman’s story to this, they at least kept the idea of Babylon candles. When I first heard the term, the first thing I thought was “How many miles to Babylon?” Do people still recite that nursery rhyme?
10. My parents never forbade the reading of any books. But I almost wish they’d forbade me to read Virginia Andrews. I read all of the Flowers in the Attic series and My Sweet Audrina, and I’ve regretted it for some time.
I don’ t think it would have harmed me not to read them, but I sometimes think that reading them did harm me, a little.
11. I’m very tired for some reason. I don’t think I’m at my most coherent.
12. Perhaps I should just watch the film?