This blog is welcome to anyone and everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Unless you don't like writing short stories or smelling bear. Or if you voted for the other guy. Also, I don't really like it when you leave up the toilet seat, so could you stop doing that? Muchas, muchas gracias.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont: A Retrospective

I spent this weekend with my friends, most especially my good friend S, who joined me and Matty and a few certain others to watch Little Darlings at The Castro Theater. I'd seen the movie when I was a girl, but I'd forgotten how good it was! You may know that the conflict rests on who will lose her keys first; Tatum O'Neill or Kristy McNichol. Since I don't want to give away the ending, I'll just say that if you are me, you will never really figure out who lost her keys, because these French love ambiguous endings.

Afterwards, Matty slipped S a video and made her promise to force me to watch it. It was Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, a film that I know Matty has seen six times. The trailer made me want to bite a chunk out of the seat in front of me, but Matty loves it so very much. So though I'd been resisting for so long, I thought I would try very very hard to love it. Per haps you know that I am practiced at the art of trying to love, and I thought I could apply the lessons I learned from Gary Coleman to Mrs. Palfrey, as performed by the facial twitchings of Joan Plowright:

It's the story of an elderly woman who checks herself in to the Claremont hotel for a lot of old people with wacky names. Each and every one is ignored by family members and has very little to make their lives enjoyable, which is pretty depressing, to tell you the truth. At the Claremont, the guests have little to do besides listen in on each others' conversations and rebel against the corrupt establishment; the kitchen, for intance, serves them only the food they have ordered, and this is a big disgrace, I agree. Of all the elderlies there, Mrs. Palfrey is the most restrained, perhaps because she's not Irish or slutty. She's suffered a great deal of disappointment at the hands of her grandson, Desmond, who doesn't answer his phone or visit his grandmother until weeks after she's arrived.

Luckily for Mrs. P, while she's running to avoid a rainstorm she falls and scrapes her legs. She's taken in by this hottie in a white blouse who sucks her wounds until she's young again! I found this behavior a little slutty myself, but I didn't blame Mrs. Palfrey for doing what she had to do in order to stay young forever.

The hottie pretends to be Mrs. Palfrey's grandson, but actually he is her lover, which creates a lot of confusion back at the old hotel. In his white blouse, the hot guy fights for the love of Mrs. Palfrey with a drunken Irishmen, and all kinds of hijinks ensue.

I really can't tell you any more about this film, but my friend S and I were inspired to make a collage which gives away the entire plot. Look!!!

It all just goes to show, doesn't it?

Well, I'm getting bored and tired, so I'm going to hit the hay.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont was a defining moment in my life. It allowed me to see that I Do have a Destiny, one which I must see through to the end. I will use all of my strength and determination.

I am waiting for the phone to ring. I have equipped it with a ringer just to this purpose. Do you think he will call?

<3 S

8:24 PM

Blogger ing said...

No, I do not think he will call. But please keep the faith, if only for the sake of Palfrey. And make sure your batteries are charged up, just in case!

8:28 PM

Blogger matty said...

Oh! You watched it!

I really do so love this film!

Didn't it break your heart when he sings "For All We Know" to her?!?!?!

That scene kills me.

I love the montage! Can I have it to hang up?

Come on! Aren't you, like totally in love with Ruppert Friend!??!!?

...did you watch the special features!?!!??

Now, please return it to me as soon as possible! I will be needing to watch it again quite soon!

I really wish you and S had been able to join us today! ...never knew you had so many friends who leave your name, phone and address info in stalls all over the national park restrooms. Alan, too!

You guys have a lot of friends. The numbers were not completely correct -- so I took the time to correct them!

No need to thank me!

Wasn't LITTLE DARLINGS awesome!!!

9:42 PM

Blogger ing said...

Little Darlings was awesome, but not half as awesome as my good Pal. Pal-FREY, that is!

Matty, I'm afraid we, S and I, wound up in jail. This morning, S woke up and informed me that she'd had eight dreams about you and though she's not "obsessed," she thanks the president of the U S of A and pledges her allegiance to the flag that you are her very best friend in the whole wide world. I agreed that this was quite nice, and then, still talking about you, she started cutting up magazines and speculating about which of the three burial plots she purchased on ebay you'd like to share with her when the end -- which, we learned from Mrs. Palfrey, will come some day -- finally arrives. It was very touching, but my cell phone batteries kept running out because she was checking to see if you'd called and called and called as she was expecting you might at any moment.

After she finished her collage/montage/homage, she said we should go for a "walk" down Castro street, and I thought sure, that would be a nice thing to do, to walk. I suggested that Market Street is also lovely, but she said no, that she preferred Castro Street. That S is a fast walker! I could barely keep up.

Then we just happened to pass your apartment, which you might or might not realize is on Castro Street, and S thought it would be a good idea to check and see if you were home, even though I told her that you were in Point Reyes. But since you weren't answering all of her calls and text messages, she thought that maybe you'd left your phone at home and the reason you hadn't been returning her previous calls was because you hadn't figured out how to enter her on your speed dial. I guess she'd purchased three other phone lines so that you'd have a series of phone numbers to call if you needed to reach her and overlooked her name on your speed dial because maybe S is a tough letter to find, if your speed dial is arranged alphabetically. So the idea was that we'd break in and make sure that S was entered several times in your speed dial at each of those numbers, that she'd rearrange the order of the contacts in your speed dial so that she was number one, two, three, four, five, and six, and her automatic alerting service would send out a signal when you called so that matter where in the world she was--whether peering into your apartment through her binoculars or resting in the tunnels she's dug under the streets of San Fran to the small trap door she put under the carpet in your lobby--she'd know immediately that you'd called. I thought this sounded reasonable, so we tried to break through your window, but the glass was a little thick.

As you know, I'm writing to you from the slammer. We'll be here for another night or two. The warden will not let us make any more phone calls, but he's been nice enough to let use use his komputor. SOS.

Sarah's been a little distraut because she cannot check her messages from you, which may be piling up pretty fast by now. She says not to worry, with good behavior she will be out soon and then you two can resume talking about how you plan to spend your future. She has bought a remote cabin in Michigan where you can live off the land and she will cut your toenails or whatever you want!

I thought I might drop in on you, but she said it's really really small and there are only two bedrooms in this cabin. But I thought it was a great idea and I'm pretty happy that things are working out.

From now on it might be easier for S if you left your window open so it will be easier to get in and try on your clothes and stuff. Also, the glare from the glass is a little hard for her to see through when she's peering through her binoculars.

There, I'm glad I got to tell you all the good news. I'm a little bit tired, but S has asked me to hold this flashlight while she figured out the meaning of the strings of numbers she's rearranging -- they consist of your phone number, your birthdate, your SSN, and the time of day you were born. She had to look some of that stuff up on the warden's komputor, which as I told you he has been kind enough to let us use.

I'm glad to help out in any way I can, but my arm is getting tired.


10:29 PM

Blogger jungle jane said...

Ackkk i STILL don't know the ending to Little Darlings. I tried to Google it, but all i discovered was that Alexa Kenin was killed by her boyfriend in 1986...

11:25 PM

Blogger ginab said...

Joan is the bomb. So no bomb, but a dog hhhooo is lonely as a cloud perhaps speaks volumes of poems by Blake, poor thing, and ends up hit by a taxi to be transported by a bi-plane to witness unconventional love.

It's a pitch!


4:12 PM

Blogger matty said...

Ing - Oh, thank you for the explanation. I know that stain you two left on our wall is meant to be a real comfort in some cultures, but it was kind of freaking me & B out.

Should I be at all worried about that odd little stuffed animal in the bedroom. B thinks it is a bomb, but I told him it was just a camera or something.

...but, do I get the montage to hang?!?!?!

Wow! I so love Gina's "pitch"!

MRS PALFREY is an exceptional film, but I worry you missed a bit because you got a bit of the plot wrong.

I am so totaly bummed that Alexa Kenin was murdered!

Are you going to tell Jungle Jane the surprise ending to LITTLE DARLINGS?!?!!?

...or that you and S were left crying as the credits roll'd!?!?!?

...S said she performed some "community service" and that you two were free! least that is what one of the messages said.

4:34 PM

Blogger Spinning Girl said...

I love that you made a collage!!!

7:19 AM

Blogger josh williams said...

I have no idea but I approve. My sister and bro in-law gave me a collage to thank me for something, it is on my fridge, its almost pornographic what with all the vegetables and people that are part squash or ...nevermind.Good to see your doing well and yes I am tired and turning in...zzzz

7:54 PM

Blogger ing said...


Aaaaaaaah, it's seventeen minutes to beer time! I am counting. Mrs. Palfrey may have been defining for you, but beer seems to open me up to life's most beautiful possibilities. I, too, will use my strength and determination to fight the urge to RUN, not walk, to the beer bar.


Jungle Jane:

The ending to Little Darlings is just like the ending to all things. You will see what I mean when you hear what Kristie McNichol says to Matt Dillon in the boat house. You will!



Were you a publicist in another life? I think you were a publicist!

Hooooo. . . it's the saddest, loneliest sound. Say it. Hooooooooooooo.



Please do not use the word "stain" on my blog. It's improper.

Yes, you will get the montage, but you will have to pry it out of my cold claws. I will bring it over, reluctantly. Along with your PRESENT!!!

What R U doing 2-morr-o ni8? I could stop bi str8 away for a drop-off.

Little Darlings was awesome, and I will definitely retain the lessons I learned from that movie as I field the many, many calls I receive as a result of your fixin. Thank you so much!

I have to run. Beer-thirty! Aaaaaagh! I'll be back to post more comments that won't be read because I'm too busy to visit you & am a really bad blogger!

7:51 PM

Blogger sage said...

I love the collage--I'll have to study it so that I won't have to watch the movie, but the movie sounds interesting so maybe I'll study it to make sure I don't miss anything when I watch the film.

6:33 PM

Blogger ginab said...

Turn it up, and I would say: no, s'not the loneliest sound.

S'not said-sung s'nat s'way!

how r u?

-ginab+bb (Sunday)

5:28 PM

Anonymous steve said...

We left Saturday morning, fairly well rested after our Friday hassles. Other than the hotel being under construction (we actually called and they LIED outright to us) and having only dairy options for breakfast, which precipitated a trip to Noah's in Hastings Ranch, the morning went smoothly. We headed out, Google Maps, GPS, and printed maps and directions in hand and aimed towards . I was a Girl Scout for over a decade, a Boy Scout for a season while a backpacking club at school needed insurance that only the Scouts would provide and thus, I am prepared.

2:55 AM


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