A mild illness overtook my holiday-sapped body yesterday, a mid-level queasiness that stopped short of vomiting but kept me pinned to the couch for most of the day. Bad news: I had no good books to read. Good news: “Lolita,” the Kubrick version, was on TV. I think this is the third or fourth time I’ve seen it all the way through, and my opinion has now come full-circle: It’s a movie with some wonderful moments that, ultimately, fails. All movie versions of “Lolita” will fail, because even a movie using a barely legal actress in the title role will never be able to portray the simplest, most basic thread of the narrative — the seduction and corruption of a 12-year-old girl by a sleazy European. It’s a nasty business, and movies shrink from nasty, or at least that type of nasty. The other layers of the book are, I figure, just way beyond the screen. There’s a reason people say, “The book was better.”
Also: Kill “Sex and the City” now. Now, I say, and spare us any future reference by Sarah Jessica Parker to “my new favorite website, Google dot com.” Does anyone on the writing staff actually use Google? And if so, have they ever heard any human being refer to it as “Google dot com?” Didn’t think so. (Someone’s probably trying to get in on the IPO.) Plus, the girls are all looking like what they are, at least on HBO — middle-age babes who’ve been sleeping around too long. Poor Kim Cattrall. Stop her now.
Looking for something good to read? You could do worse than Richard Cohen on Grover Norquist’s comparison of the estate tax to the Holocaust. (Yes, really.)
Me, I’m off to class