Disclaimer: I’m pretty drunk.

So I just watched the paddington movie (its about a bear). And it was ok, it was funny it places, it was clever in places. I enjoyed it. But I have issues with it. Rather I have one issue with it.

I was annoyed by the family.

On the surface, paddington gets adopted by an ordinary English family. Hilarity ensues. Paddington brings the family closer and everyone ends up happy. Hurrah for bears.

On the other hand… Bear gets adopted by a middle class English family. Hilarity ensues. Hold on… Nope, Paddington gets adopted by a typical 2.0 children white heterosexual nuclear family where the parent works in risk management. Families house is (drawing on my local(ish) knowledge of London) worth about 1.5-2 million pounds, (Roughly $3,000,000). Family is basically fucking loaded. Money is no object. The cleaners and other domestic staff this stupendously rich family employ are kept cleverly off-screen. This is clearly life in ‘Windsor gardens’, where the only concerns are that daddys job is a bit boring (although obviously colossally well paid) and that their neighbor is ‘a bit nosy’. Welcome to England in 2015. Yeah bollocks.

This film reminded me of ‘Home alone’, the first film I saw which made me think ‘how the fuck do this family afford this lifestyle’, and made me think about something I’ve only realized now I live in a nice village, where I’ve met my first proper screenwriter neighbour. I grew up in a VERY wealthy part of London (we were the odd ones out…) which was apparently famous for being full of screenwriters.

I think the problem is, that screenwriters write about the home life they know. And most screenwriters are not worrying about how to pay for the electricity this week. At least not the ones who get the job of writing movies. And probably this doesn’t matter, maybe I’m drunk and overthinking it, but I can’t help but think that the VAST majority of people who go with their parents to see paddington, will not *in any way* recognize the blissful ‘money is no object’ family life that is pictured as ‘normal’ in Home alone, and Paddington and stories like Mary Poppins and Peter Pan.  They will, as I did, see it as some ideal goal of wealthy family life that ‘other people’ have and that they recognize as lacking. And that’s not a good thing. If you want to see what London is actually like, try ‘attack the block’. More accurate, even though it has aliens in.

Yeah, I am the kind of guy that can watch a children’s movie when drunk and still find things to be negative about. Bah :D

 

 

2 Responses to “The post where cliff moans about the paddington movie”

  1. Paul says:

    American rom coms are terrible for this, ordinary British families all seem to live in National Trust properties. They never show our urban sprawl. Just pretty little villages and National Trust properties.

  2. Mathew says:

    Paddington is our children’s favourite (Canadian spelling) movie right now. Which I find kind of remarkable given the propensity for most kids to really only like the rambunctious animated cliches that are abound these days.

    I thought about the house and neighbourhood too. Living in Vancouver, Canada where houses are typically over $1 million, I am reminded of the fact that many were beneficiaries of being in the housing market during exploding housing prices. Most can’t buy into the market now, but many who otherwise couldn’t were able to ride their equity within the market. In the case of Paddington, I make myself think they inherited the house (or another similarly valued house) at some point.

    So, real estate prices (expansions, contractions, bubbles) in Democracy 4? There would be a wonderful mechanic if you captured how it interplays with personal debt levels, foreign investment, interest rates, etc. The example I would use is how Canada has higher debt levels now than the US leading up to 2008, but it is less susceptible to bursting due to policy decisions, bank regulations and housing insurance.