I’ve always thought there was something romantic about libraries and bookshops. Once upon a time I even dreamt of bumping into my Prince Charming in such a place. Well, that was until my innocent mind was ruined thanks to the Netflix series – YOU (I really owe y’all a review on the one). Anyway so its understandable why a film titled ‘The Bookshop’ would appeal to me. It also stars that Brit legend and silver fox, Bill Nighy, which added to the appeal. So I dragged #zlotybaby along to see said film on our last date night. And let’s just say I doubt she’ll be letting me make movie choices again anytime soon.
The protagonist of the story is Florence Green, played by Emily Mortimer. At first glance, she is a somewhat dowdy looking, wouldn’t say boo to a ghost type. Not quite a 30-something virgin but a bit of loner since her husband died in the war. Despite appearances, she does actually have some spirit because she is willing to go against the grain to pursue her dream of turning a decaying building into a bookshop in this butt-fuck nowhere village somewhere in Blighty. Anyway, she comes up against a lot of passive-aggressive opposition from other major players in the village.
One of her first customers is Mr Brundish (Bill Nighy), a slightly eccentric (he burns the book sleeves with the authors pictures on – strange) recluse whose major love is books (especially since his wife didn’t drown while out fetching blueberries to make a pie for him). At some point, the Mr Brundish and Florence strike up a ‘friendship’ and he is pretty much the only person willing to champion her cause and help her fight to keep the bookshop open.
To me, it’s not exactly clear why the villagers, led by some sour-faced old hag (played by Patricia Clarkson), are soooo against Florence’s bookshop. Even though most of them seem a bit backward, they obviously can read because they buy the books from Florence’s store. I guess, a part of it is to do with them being a bunch of conservative twats and not wanting a single woman running a business and corrupting their delicate minds with her dirty dirty books…
The movie got some awards and lots of smart, film buff types said good things about it but honestly… I don’t know why. The only thing I could take away from it was firstly, that it’s possible to meet the love of your life in a bookshop (because Flo did after all!) but then he may die and you are basically doomed without him. And secondly that the world really hasn’t changed that much since the 1950s, mainstream society really doesn’t have much love for born-again virgins (we worked out that it was unlikely that Florence got laid in about 16 years and for Mr Brundish it was probably about 55 years). Sure, they touched hands at some point in the movie but that was probably the most action that either of them (or perhaps that whole god-foresaken village) had seen in an awfully long time.
Perhaps I’m just a little too basic (or sex-obsessed) but I wouldn’t recommend you pay to see this movie. Actually, even if you get hold of a free version, I would say make sure you exhaust all options available on Netflix before wasting a few hours of your precious life. All in all, the movie was pretty underwhelming. Obviously, some people enjoy spending hours reading between the lines but I’m sure you can find better things to do such as munch on pasta and talk about anything and everything else like #zlotybaby and I did after this ordeal. So yep, give it a miss and rather do some swiping so you increase your chances of getting lucky rather than living a sexless existence like the main characters in this story.
Rinsers, Have you watched The Bookshop? What did you think? Also, can anyone provide any insight into why through the ages, societies continue hate upon and ostracize born-again virgins and other forms of social recluse? Answers in the comment section below. Please and thank you.