It is interesting to see that the movie of the book has hit the big screen and that established UK media reviewers of movies are apparently united in considering this thriller movie to be not at all thrilling. The book itself has been much harried by many, including well established authors of crime and thriller fiction.
I accidentally found myself to be the owner of two copies of the book, neither of which I have read. There's nothing like crane sized dollops of hype to move me in the direction of supreme avoidance of said hyped object.
My father read the book and didn't even mention it in passing, which suggests complete ambivalence. (I get to know really quickly if he thinks something is beyond excellent or absolutely dire.) My mother read it and enthused so much I reckon she enjoyed that book more than giving birth to a daughter. (The result I mean - I'm not so ignorant that I think the process of delivery is an enjoyable experience.) An aunt of mine was similarly fascinated, by all accounts. My ex-next door neighbour informed me that her mother-in-law found the book an excellent distraction when in hospital recovering from an operation. (And given how quickly the NHS sends you home post-op, there's proof, if you need it, that the book's a page turner...)
So what of the impact of "The Da Vinci Code" as it extends from extensively bought and read book to glossy movie screen production with millions more about to get hooked? For one thing, last weekend's UK Sunday paper travel sections featured Paris quite a bit. I expect France can look forward to a surge in tourism this summer.
Secondly, I predict that cryptologists will be more widely acknowledged. Last Friday night's BBC programme "Have I Got News for You", (the king of satire), highlighted a statement issued by a French society of cryptologists where they felt at pains to point out that not all female cryptologists are young and sexy like the character played by Audrey Tautou in the movie. Feeling obliged to suggest that most are older and possibly dowdy will certainly get them noticed.
I've seen the trailers and think that this may be the start of the decline of Tom Hanks's career. Age comes to us all. If you're a woman, Hollywood is much less than kind. If you're a man, then you can go on to a ripe old age and, on screen, shimmy on up to a woman half your age with no suggestion that the younger woman may find your age a tad repulsive. So Hanks still has a very good career ahead of him, but I think his appearance in DVC will be the start of less calls to him. He's not looking fresh anymore and that was always his strength.
Paul Bettany plays an albino monk. From what I've seen in the trailers that's another character to add to nightmares. For Bettany, it may provide a future in Hollywood where he's always getting calls to play baddies. They love British men as baddies - Alan Rickman was called upon and delivered so well in "Die Hard" and "Robin Hood Prince of Thieves". It's only Tom Wilkinson who has not been tarred with that particular brush. Unless of course, your name is Sean Connery...
It is likely to rain next weekend and I'm having a weekend away. If the weather holds good, I may just have my first experience of sailing. If it rains, there are lots of other things to do but I've suggested the cinema as a distraction. As the potential "bums on seats" brigade will be pre-booking DVC or queuing for entry, a lesser known British movie will be the one that catches my eye.
Confetti, the movie looks pretty damn good. It's about a competition for the "Most Original Wedding of the Year" and follows three shortlisted couples' attempts to win. At stake is a dream house worth £500,000, a cover shoot with "Confetti" magazine and the dream day of their lives... Two top (and gay) male wedding planners assist the couples in their efforts to win. The "original" wedding themes include tennis, Hollywood musicals and naturism. (Get naked, get noticed?)
The most attractive part for me is the fact that the cast is littered with excellent comic actors and that the scenes were improvised. The cast includes the wonderful Martin Freeman ("The Office" and stand-in porn star for "love actually"); Jessica Stevenson ("Spaced", "The Royle Family" and "Bob and Rose"); Alison Steadman ("Secrets and Lies", "Life is Sweet", "Topsy Turvy", "Fat Friends"), Jimmy Carr (stand up and so much more...). That list is not exhaustive.
Well there you go, if it rains next weekend I'll be attempting to see "Confetti" and not DVC. Likewise, my big holiday of the year is planned for Venice, flying over France to get there and stopping off or down. Good luck to the producers of both movies. I'm just a person who prefers less hype, less sophisticated and glossy marketing and a bit of laugh sometimes. Some of the reviews of DVC note that the laughs that come are unintentional, so that doesn't rule it out for me at some point in the future. And if really good talent in writing thrillers and crime fiction dries up for a while, I may just pick up the book.