Monday, February 12, 2007

Notes on a Scandal

As only an occasional film-goer, here's a message to all the producers out there: forget about stunning cinematography, moving screenplays and outstanding acting; no, if you want to persuade me to part with $11 for a cinema ticket and $5 for a bucket of popcorn, just drop in a random Charlton Athletic reference.

For those that haven't seen 'Notes On A Scandal', I won't be ruining this excellent film by mentioning that none other than Dame Judi Dench mentions that her father was a Charlton Athletic supporter, though it didn't seem to bring him much pleasure. She delivers the line impeccably, and it was well worth putting up with Cate Blanchett in various states of undress to witness on the big screen.

The film revolves around an inappropriate affair between art teacher Sheba Hart (Blanchett) and one of her 15-year old male pupils, and the attempts of bitter fellow teacher Barbara Covett (Dench) to use her knowledge of this affair to manipulate her. The affair itself was a little unbelievable, because speaking from experience, if my female schoolteachers found me devilishly attractive, they certainly kept it to themselves (though I wonder if, perhaps in the confines of the staff room, their true desires were disclosed).

On those rare occasions when Charlton do receive a mention in the media, it is invariably in the context of frustration and disappointment. In its most base form, this is represented by Jim Davidson's referral to his beloved club as 'Charlton Nil', whilst in 'Only Fools and Horses' we learnt that Rodney's middle name was Charlton, leading to the immortal line, "I didn't know your Mum was a fan of Charlton Heston?" Meanwhile, in the 1980s landlord Dirty Den walked into the Old Vic, perused the empty bar and mused, "It's like a Charlton home game in 'ere." We also received a movie mention in 'Buster' (and again it was in the context of a defeat).

About five years ago, I stopped saying, "Charlton....for my sins" when asked which club I supported. Perhaps it follows then that the real test of whether we are a 'big club' should not be measured in terms of trophies or shirt sales, but when we are no longer the first choice when writers and producers are looking for a club to produce a cheap laugh from.


At 4:44 PM, Anonymous covaddick said...

We also had that Russel Brand thing mention us in a joke. "And he looked at me like I was no better than Charlton Athletic". Or something along those lines. I hate him.

At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Ali said...

Well he's a West Ham fan, so he's not really got any room to talk, has he?

At 3:16 AM, Anonymous Bangkokaddick said...

I remember a line from 'Brush Strokes' where Jacko's girlfriend said 'So why do they call Charlton Athletic?' Another similar reference, though CAFC did get several mentions in that particular series as Karl Howman's character, as well as the man himself, also supported them.


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