Stuck for something to do this Christmas and New Year? Desperate to get out of the house in order to escape Aunty Flo’s attempts to foist brazil nuts (that she’s sucked the chocolate off) onto you? Keen to avoid being forced to watch Crocodile Dundee for the eighteenth time? Do me a favo
ur – don’t go to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Sherlock Holmes fan. I used to read the books when I was a kid, and avidly devoured the adventures of Holmes and Watson. But there are three impeccable reasons not to see the new big screen depiction of the man from 221b Baker Street.
1. Robert Downey Jr is not Basil Rathbone
I like Robert Downey Jr as much as the next man (and the next man happens to be wearing a badge saying ‘I ? Robert Downey Jr’), but let’s face it, he’s no Basil Rathbone. Like Sean Connery as James Bond, or – erm – Steve Guttenberg as Sgt Carey Mahoney, some roles were born to be played by only one man.
2. Guy Ritchie is the director
Guy Ritchie is the cinematic equivalent of the ugly guy who once managed to convince a supermodel to sleep with him – they both had a one-off success, and are forced to spend the rest of their lives trying to achieve it again while silently accepting that they were just punching above their weight. My grandmother is a better movie director than Guy Ritchie, and she’s been dead for almost twenty years.
3. Jude Law
The three kindest words I can think of to sum up Jude Law are “irritating little tosspot”. And it’s all downhill from there. Arrogant, self-involved, over-rated – just a few of the phrases his own mother would use to describe her son.
Of course, part of my antipathy towards the man whose name uncoincidentally rhymes with “Rude Bore”, is that he’s been able to turn a fundamental lack of talent into millions of dollars. He’s also managed to find a seemingly unending supply of beautiful women who are attracted to men of limited height and ability. Fair play to him for that.
But it’s not just jealousy that makes me hate the 17th most famous person to come out of Lewisham.
Last spring, I was taking a flight back from London to New York, and noticed the aforementioned Mr Law as I sat having a glass of wine in a British Airways lounge. He walked through alone, smirking the smirk that only the truly atrocious can somehow seem to muster. Nothing specifically wrong with that though, and I thought nothing more of him as I got on the plane and sat through the seven hour flight.
Now, at this point, I should say that I had been away working for over a week, and we had just found out that The Special One was pregnant. Being away made me as popular as a human rights activist in China. So when the plane landed, I was understandably keen to get back home as quickly as possible.
As somebody who made around 25 transatlantic flights in 18 months in an attempt to woo The Special One, I am a world class expert at the Race To Immigration Slalom Challenge. Essentially, the challenge involves bobbing and weaving between fellow passengers in an attempt to make your way to immigration as quickly as possible, in the vague hope that you get there before the passengers of the packed flight from Haiti that arrived at the same time as you.
On this occasion, I ducked and dived past a couple of people, before coming across a man, a woman and three children who took up the whole of the corridor. I edged behind one of the kids, and waited patiently until she inevitably zig zagged enough to allow me to pass by.
“Ooh ooh, there must be a fire. Quick, quick!” said a voice that managed to be snarling yet effeminate at the same time.
I turned around to see a thunderous Jude Law, looking angrier than an angry thing on its angriest day, rolling his eyes and muttering swear words vaguely under his breath.
There are three things of note to say here:
1. The woman – who I presumed to be a brow-beaten childminder – and the children had not been immediately evident in the airport lounge. Clearly Jude is such a good guy that he decided to go into the lounge, and leave the kids and the hired help outside. Maybe he gave them a discount voucher to buy a sandwich at Pret A Manger? After all, he has to save money where he can – it can’t be cheap maintaining an ex-wife, three kids and the occasional illegitimate child.
2. Jude was angry because I’d had the temerity to walk past his daughter. I hadn’t knocked into her, caused her to cry, or – for that matter – even made her notice that I was passing her. Clearly life as an award-winning actor means that you have to have a ten yard exclusion zone around you and your family at all times. Oh, except that Jude hasn’t won any kind of award in more than ten years. Unless they give out awards for Least Convincing Actor To Play Alfie, that is?
3. I ignored his comment and walked on to immigration. As I waited in a lengthy line (watching in horror as Law was led to the front of the queue), I realized that what I had really wanted to say was “No, there’s no fire Jude. I just want to get back to my wife as quickly as possible. But of course, you don’t have a wife, because you f***ed your nanny.”
Anyway, despite his obvious character flaws, I’m prepared to move on. In the spirit of the festive season, Happy New Year Jude. And may 2010 see your tiny little winkie get you into much less trouble than it has over the last few years.