A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster
I hadn’t planned on writing a sequel to last week’s column until I got an e-mail from a disappointed reader. I will not mention John Bleasby’s name in case his wife sees it, but John felt I should have delved a little more into the Emma Thompson’s bottom business. Not for him, he was quick to point out, but for the readers out there who might be interested in that sort of thing, which of course he isn’t.
Hence I shall put down the book I am currently reading, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (I have been at in for just six months and already I am on Page 9) and get at it.
As I mentioned last week, there is a scene in the movie Much Ado About Nothing wherein a bevy of young ladies splash about in an indoor pool sans culotte, au naturel and bare-naked. To be honest, it was difficult for someone without a medical degree to tell one bum from another. And why did the ladies do this? Because Don Pedro, the Prince of Arragon and several of his pals are arriving; handsome brutes all. A quick dip by the ladies would not have been a bad idea since this was centuries before the arrival of Arrid Extra-Dry, PH-Balanced Secret, or a host of other deodorants on the market today. First let me say it is highly possible I may not have seen Emma’s bottom at all since I know of no tattoos, birth marks or other features I could use to identify Ms. Thompson’s nether parts.
One particularly good reason why it might not have been Emma’s shapely bum I thought I saw is the fact she was married to Kenneth Branagh at the time and he was the producer of the film. No doubt Kenneth would have been overjoyed to show some other guy’s wife’s bottom but not Emma’s. Husbands are funny that way.
Rather than leave you worrying, I re-watched Much Ado at great personal expense since I had to sign up for Prime to do it. (Actually, it is a three-month trial subscription and if Emma reads any of this I might not live that long). I regret to inform you that after pouring over the movie for several hours and rerunning the scene over and over until Mary threatened to leave, I discovered that not only was it not Emma’s bottom but it may not have been a woman’s bottom at all.
There were bare bums in the movie, I remembered that much from the original viewing but I realized this time the bums were (I am chagrinned to confess) male. Quite a mistake I admit. It appears that as many of you have said ad infinitum Foster doesn’t know an ass from a hole in the ground. Having laid the bottom business to rest, let us move on.
The second viewing of this classic gave me a chance to study the plot, which is next to insane, and the villainy of Don Pedro’s bastard brother. Don Pedro, played by Denzel Washington, was a good guy, though he turned out to be a class jerk later in the movie along with the rest of the cast, he did redeem himself before they ran the credits.
By the way, Denzel didn’t participate in the group skinny dip. We know that because his bottom would have stood out like a sore thumb, a brown sore thumb true, but a sore thumb, nevertheless. Not only that, Hollywood’s finest actor does not pull his pants down in a movie, Shakespearean or not, unless the studio is willing to cough up really big bucks, a hundred dollars at least, maybe more.
But what I discovered the second time around was Denzel’s brother, Don John, was a real piece of work and he was played by (are you ready for this?) a Canadian, well as Canadian as someone born in Lebanon of Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, English, and Irish ancestry can be. Yes, dear friends, Don John was played by our own Keanu Reeves.
Eventually Keanu is found out and is led away in disgrace, but had Denzel, Kenneth Branagh, and Emma Thompson’s bottom had any idea he would grow up and become the great John Wick they would have been petrified. John Wick in one picture blew away more bad guys than Arnold Swartzenhoofer and Tom Cruise did in their whole career. Don John Wick could have wiped out the whole cast during what may have been the sappiest wedding scene ever. I think the Bard may have written this part after a three-bottle of plonk lunch.
Had I been the director I would have skipped the wedding scene and finished with a shot of Emma Thompson’s bottom.