Thursday, July 19, 2007

Victoria Beckham, our greatest living comedian

As the prospect of the Spice Girls tour sends the newspapers into a flurry of activity, you can smell the fear in their nostrils that anything other than total surrender to the women might result in missing out on some juicy exclusive access. Yes, we're in for months and months of the tabloids rushing to try and wipe out five years of coverage suggesting that Geri was a weight yo-yo fuck-up, that Mel B was a loud-mouth nympho fuck-up, that Victoria was a humourless bitch, that Mel C was queen of the dwindling audience and that Emma had virtually disappeared.

It's like the government is about to change and everyone wants to be in with the new administation.

Which is the only explanation for David Lowe's bemusing review of Victoria Beckham's Coming To America in the Sun:

Victoria Beckham certainly has a way with words.

Posh proved she's Queen of the Quip in the recent telly documentary about her move to the States, Coming to America.

Really? Who knew that Beckham was the Dorothy Parker of our times?

Lowe illustrates his point, with 'quips' like this:
After a party with some LA wives: "They were fabulous, they were glamorous, they were gorgeous, they were well dressed. The lipstick was just major, major red lipstick. I'd never seen lipstick like it. As soon as I walked in that room I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, pass out or get on the next flight home."

'The women had lipstick on' - maybe that one's just gone over my head. Let's try another:
Speaking to her new personal assistant: "We'll get on well together. Of course, everyone has a fat friend. No offence or anything."

That would seem to be ignorant rather than witty.
After hearing Lionel Richie had laid the floor in her rented home: "Lionel Richie laid the parquet floor while he was dancing on the ceiling!"

Well... we can see that that has many of the ingredients you'd look for in a bon mot, but it doesn't actually make any sense. If there had been a lovely chandelier, then saying "I hope he didn't bump into that while he was dancing on the ceiling" might be worth it, but otherwise, this is little more than nodding and saying "I have heard of him."
Giving some serious advice: "Always keep shoes by the bed, preferably nice ones because the emergency services may be on their way and you want to be looking good."

Trouble is, while this is amusing, it's in a laughing at her way.
Responding to professional gossip Perez Hilton when he asked her to eat a cookie: "I can't. I don't want to ruin my image. I don't want to be seen smiling, eating or having fun. Perish the thought!"

That's actually mildly amusing, but again, we're not entirely sure she was attempting to be funny.
While sunbathing in LA: "To think that this is what Paris Hilton does every single day."

Far from being witty, that's one of the most heartbreakingly sharp insights into how empty her life is, surely?

John Hegley reported himself "unworried" this morning.


Anonymous said...

I'm baffled by the way this programme was constructed. It was meant to be a fly-on-the-wall reality show... But the PA was played by an actress? The programme aimed to show us 'the real Victoria Beckham', and yet it was full of carefully-constructed set-pieces? So it was all completely impromptu, but everyone knew in advance the sort of thing they were meant to be doing, and where the scene should end up?

I think I see the problem. What they've tried to do is recreate 'Curb Your Enthusiasm', only replacing Larry David with Victoria Beckham, and without the cast of brilliantly sharp comedy actors or the fantastically twisted plots.

That was always going to go well, wasn't it?

PS That Sun review, with its list of 'quips', has the air of desperation which hangs around end-of-series specials of things like Big Brother, where they try to convince us that the whole show was full of zeitgeist-defining one-liners which have become national catchphrases on a par with 'That's Very Nearly an Armful'.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

To be fair, James, the real Victoria Beckham lives in a carefully controlled environment where everyone who talks to her pretends to like her in return for some form of reward - by having actors in the role of people surrounding her, they really did capture the essence of her life, but in a way that the tax authorities were able to track.

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