Sometimes all you want to do is watch tv in bed, especially when it's like minus 50 degrees outside. Which is fine, except I chose to watch the second part of Masterpiece Classic's Tess of the D'Urbervilles (now there's a depressing adaptation!) which left me, well, slightly depressed. But flipping through the channels, I came across another made-for-tv movie on another PBS channel, 2005's My Family And Other Animals, a complete 180 from "Tess". I recall watching the movie quite a while ago, what caught my attention was the delectable Matthew Goode, playing Larry Durrell. He was of course, in Match Point, last year's movie remake of Brideshead Revisited, he was Inspector Lynley's heroin-addicted brother Peter in the Inspector Lynley Mysteries and he will also be in the upcoming Watchmen. I have a bit of a crush on him, I suppose, watching him present Masterpiece Contemporary...(those lips...yummy).
But going back to the comedy-drama..My Family And Other Animals is adapted from Gerald Durrell's witty memoir recalling his dysfunctional family's move to sunny Corfu in the months leading up to World War II. The family comprised the widowed mother, Larry, a budding avant-garde writer, Leslie a gun-obsessed sportsman, Margot, whose preference for two-piece swimsuits caused quite a stir on the quiet island, and Gerald, who's 10. Durrell, a well-known zoologist, naturalist and writer recalled how this move to Corfu ignited his passion for nature and animals.
I love this movie, it's funny and heartwarming. Brilliant script too, I find myself giggling throughout the movie, with lines like these:
Larry Durrell: Why do we put up with this bloody climate? I mean, look at us: Gerry can't speak,
Gerald Durrell: Uh?
Larry Durrell: Lesley can't hear.
Leslie Durrell: What?
Larry Durrell: Margot's got a face like a plate of red porridge.
Margot Durrell: Shut up.
Larry Durrell: Mother's beginning to look like an Irish washerwoman.
Mother: I am not.
Larry Durrell: It's August. We need sunshine.
Mother: Yes, dear.
Larry Durrell: Now, I've got a friend lives in Greece - Corfu. Says it's wonderful. Why don't we pack up and go?
Mother: I can't just go like that. We have a house here.
Larry Durrell: We'll sell up.
Mother: Don't be ridiculous, Lawrence. Gerry needs an education.
Gerald Durrell: No, I'll be fine.
Mother: We can't just up and leave; that would be madness.
In addition, Corfu looks brilliant, and I found myself wishing I lived there! Picnics on the beach, fresh air, sunshine all year round! Definitely better than Chicago this time of year.