Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I was DYING to watch Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Austen and the apocalypse: My two great fictional loves combined.  I asked my sister. She said ‘why on earth would I want to watch that?’ I asked my boyfriend. He said ‘why don’t we go and see Spotlight’. I asked my friend. He said ‘um, yeah okay’.

So that was settled. I took his ill enthusiasm as a resounding ‘YES’ and made haste (how v Austenian of me) to one of the very few remaining cinemas still showing.

Why people were so adverse to the idea I knew not. We LOVE Austen and we LOVE dystopian fiction – why WOULDN’T we want to see the two combined for comic effect?!

Then I realised.

I enjoy both zombies and Austen in equal measure, depending on my mood. But when I want Austen I want unadulterated romance between polite chitter-chatter in the drawing room over a rousing game of whist. And when I want zombies I want 28 days later; unadulterated entrails and beheading and gritty drama.

In combining the two I essentially got neither. The essence of each genre lost, to little comic avail.

The thing with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was that the Pride and Prejudice bit was done quite badly, and so was the zombie bit. And so Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was sort of not really Pride and Prejudice and not really zombies.

It was all farce. Which was, I suppose, what it was intended to be all along. But actually it wasn’t really that funny either. (I’m berating myself as I write this because I REALLY wanted to love this film.)

Perhaps the biggest befuddlement was that Douglas Booth did not play Mr Darcy: With those chiseled cheek-bones he was born for the part. Mr Darcy was in fact greasy haired and chinless and may as well have been Mr sodding Collins. It was all a farce. All of it.

Incidentally, Matt Smith’s portrayal of Mr Collins’ eccentric dance moves during Mr Bingley’s ball provided one of the rare genuinely funny moments of the film – but that was always a funny moment in any adaptation – even before the zombies.

In order to really appreciate the in-jokes one does need to have actually read Pride and Prejudice – which I suspect the three howling women in front of me had – and were making damn sure everyone knew about it. Sort of like when you’re at the theatre watching something terribly sophisticated (as one so often is) and, although the joke isn’t all that funny, you want to make sure your fellow audience members know you understand the subtle wit and so you laugh in spite of yourself just to exert your own intelligence. Well yeah – it was all a bit like that.

Look, I really don’t want to criticize this film anymore because despite everything it was silly and (mildly) scary and smart and satirical. Just the notion of Miss Elizabeth Bennett pulling up her petticoat to stamp on a zombie’s head is funny, you know?

 

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Happy birthday to me I am twenty three… Hang on wait what?!!!

If you need me over the next two days I’ll be curled up in a corner rocking back and fourth, listening to this song on repeat; trying to soak up the last ounces of my withering youth.

I turn twenty-three on Monday. Twenty-three. I’m in my twenties. I mean, I know I’ve been in my twenties since, you know, I turned twenty, two years 11 months and 19 days ago. But until now I felt I was kind of teetering on the edge. No longer. As of Monday I am a twenty something woman

But I’m fine.

No really. I’m FINE. You know why? Because I’ve compiled another list of course!

Here are some reasons growing up is actually quite good: 

  1. Getting enough sleep

No longer cajoled by the call of cheap Tuesdays, skint Mondays, union Wednesdays or – well any other day really – I now spend my evenings blissfully engulfed in my duvet by 11pm watching a nice box set. (That is weeknight evenings – weekends are still reserved for debauched club dwindling… I am, after all, 23 not dead.) No longer do I stumble to seminars, on two hours sleep, still slightly drunk from the night before, questioning my morality and wondering where my left shoe is… To return home and collapse onto bed at around 4pm, too exhausted to even pull back the duvet… Only to wake at 8 in order to repeat the whole epidemic. I am now in a deeply fulfilling relationship with my duvet and I’m truly sorry I neglected him for so long. Honestly, I think it could be love.

2. Warm clothes

This is what I wore on my 21st birthday (which is, may I remind you, in February):

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Sincere apologies for the diamante tiara – never, under any circumstances acceptable… 

Aaaand this is the outfit I will most likely be sporting on my 23rd:

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I mean there really is no competition is there? Comfort comes before style these days. I’d rather look like a yeti than be chilly. No more standing for hours outside a nightclub shivering because I opted to wear what is essentially… oh no, actually, a loincloth in mid winter (see below).

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Knowing my limits

…More or less anyway. Shut up Kess. That was one time. I now can dominate the dancefloor all night long without having to lean on people as props. It really is marvelous leaving the club when one is actually ready to do so, rather than having to be escorted off the premises by a bouncer begging ‘pleeeeeeeeeease sir let me stay for one more song‘, then waking up the next morning, wondering at which point you lost your dignity and how you can possibly reclaim it.

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You guys do the heavy drinking, I’ll do the judgmental looks and the bad dancing

I’m more self accepting  

There was a time, not so long ago, when I wouldn’t dare pop to the co-op for a packet of biscuits without a full face of make up for SHAME that someone might actually see the monstrosity that is my face. It was exhausting and really bloody expensive. Approx 7483792 touch-ups a day, everyday = a hell of a lot of foundation. Now I’m at the ripe old age of… don’t make me say it… 23, I just really don’t give a monkeys, it’s too tiresome to be so superficial all the time. Now I go out looking like this without even a second thought…

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Me with no make-up on

Ooh, maybe that’s why people have started moving away from me on the bus.

Food. I ❤ food.

During one particularly destitute week in third year, I was rummaging through the cupboards attempting to forge a semi-decent meal. The best I could do was one packet of ASDA 29 pence stuffing, topped with half a tin of very questionable tuna. No doubt I would have made every club night that week though (priorities). I look back at that time and feel incredibly grateful for my age – as I sit on a sofa feasting on avocado and fresh fruit and home made granola and salmon and asparagus and all things nice. Brb just going for a snack.

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Better Friendships

Now, I don’t want to brag or anything… But when I was 16 I had, like, a lot of friends. Now I’m 23, not so much. Being busy means that you do inevitably whittle your friendship group down to only the people you really care about seeing. My friendships are fewer now but the ones I have I really do cherish – and they are much stronger because of that. I am voluntarily unpopular. My 14 year old self would rather be seen dead than hang with me, and I’m quite happy about that.

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No themed nights

See below. I was stained yellow for a week. Themes are acceptable once a year on Halloween and even that’s pushing it.

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Being selfish and learning to say no

It’s rare, but I’m increasingly experiencing a little thing called JOMO… (which for those of you not in the loop – means the joy of missing out.) If I’m not queuing for thirty minutes in the rain to be felt up by a bouncer before being thrust into a sweaty bar – I’m kind of actually okay with it. Anyway, I have things to do. Learning to prioritize and say no has given me back so much more time… And there is no present like the time.

WISDOM

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I’m constantly acquiring new knowledge. Some of it serious, most trivial. But now that I’m not perpetually booze addled a lot of it actually seems to be sinking in. Now I can make my way around large portions of this glorious city without even having to consult city mapper (so long as they’re not in the East). I know how to bake my own granola and I know who most of the members of the cabinet are (should have already known this as studied politics – but better late than never). I actually read for pleasure – not just because I have to cram half the Norton Anthology for the exam I have in two hours.

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Yeah hang on… Just acquiring some knowledge

Don’t be fooled by this post, dear reader. I still have a lot of growing up to do: I still love sleepovers and marshmallow-y hot chocolate and eating Nutella from the jar with my fingers and Tequila slammers and singing along to S Club 7. I don’t have a mortgage, am still in an unfathomable amount of student debt, don’t wear trouser suits or buy brioche.

But with a new age comes a multitude of new experiences to enjoy. So I say out with the old and in with the… Even older.

Happy my birthday to all of you! 

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