The King's Speech
There's nothing funnier than a stutterer, which was one of the reasons that I was horribly disappointed to discover that "The King's Speech" was NOT a comedy. No, instead of mining the dual motherlodes of British accents and sp-sp-sp-spit it out, Bertie, I was instead subjected to a heavy morality tale about what it's like to grow up as a poor, neglected duke or prince or otherwise blue-blooded Briton who never had to work a day in his life yet who was tortured by the inability to say "Sally picked a peck of thistles" five times fast.
Let's face it – Hollywood is running out of ideas when it comes to casting male leads in roles where they overcome some form of disability in order to win an Oscar. It's at the point now where they've run out of retards, cripples and quads and are forced to dredge the bottom of the barrel to come up with people who stutter as some kind of inspirational tale that will leave audiences clutching their tear-soaked hankies at the end of the film. Honestly, this guy (played by the ubiquitous Colin Firth) gets to be the kind of England. He didn't have to overcome ANYTHING to achieve that position – he just had to not die at birth and be in the country when his big brother decided he wanted to chase American snatch more than he wanted to ride shotgun over a herd of Corgis.
Stuttering might be tragic when you're ten years old, but when you're the King of fucking England, you don't have to put up with teasing and taunts like you're on the playground at recess. You can simply have the laughing bastards executed, or better yet, have their own tongues cut out so that you can laugh at their own pathetic attempts to communicate. Sadly, King George the Whatever was a huge pussy in the 30's, which means that he never even got into a fist fight with some inbred aristocrat who dared to sni-sni-snicker at his twisted elocution. Would it have really killed the director to at least put in some kind of fantasy dream sequence where Firth imagines the terrible vengeance that he longed to unleash on his intolerant subjects? I am sure they still had the rack kicking around somewhere in the Tower of London in that era, or maybe in the Queen Mum's parlor of pleasure.
Incidentally, and in case you care, "The King's Speech" is of course populated with all of the actors and actresses who are legally required to appear in any film set in dreary old England. Aside from Firth we've got Helena Bonham Carter taking a break from destroying childhoods with her role in "Alice in Wonderland," as well as Geoffrey Rush and Derek Jacobi. Honestly, I'm surprised they don't dig up the corpse of Benny Hill or the fat dude who played that detective on that show where he fucked Miss Marple. King Hill has a nice ring to it, and the dead don't ever, ever stutter.
To spread the word about this The King's Speech review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.