James Luxford survives a lack of movie action

I’m back in the UK, and as I write this the new Mrs Lauren Luxford (sounds like a super hero’s alter ego, doesn’t it?) and I are well rested and tanned (or in my case, burned) from a surprise honeymoon on the Greek island of Santorini. After a fantastic wedding, we found ourselves hurtling towards our luxury apartment which boasted everything we could need – waiter service, a breathtaking view, pools, Jacuzzis, a spa... set against the backdrop of an almost paradise-like island. As a film critic for several different outlets all over the world, my inbox is usually quite busy and, to my own admission, I do have trouble “switching off” from work. With this in mind, my wife imposed a strict ‘no work’ ban on me which I stuck to, despite some wobbles. What became a little more difficult was the task ahead of me – a week without movies!

We didn’t bring DVDs, and the hotel TV had two channels in English – a news network (handy for statements on Syria, not so handy for movie watching) and a documentary channel with American reality shows about people climbing mountains, or driving trucks or driving trucks up a mountain... I forget, but they all used the word “extreme” a lot. So, with the exception of two minutes of a Greek-dubbed Police Academy, I accepted my fate. This, despite my tongue in cheek grumblings, was an amazing holiday that gave me and Lauren some much needed luxuriating after more than 12 months of being in ‘wedding mode’. Then came the moment of reckoning, not only in my film fast but in The Luxfords’ short time as man and wife. We discovered the reception at the apartments had a small selection of DVDs, mostly in Greek and some, oddly, pirated copies of movies that have been out for years. One afternoon Lauren came up with a DVD that was genuine and in English – The Devil Wears Prada.

Here’s where things got confrontational.

I dislike the film. I just never ‘got’ it. Of course, Meryl Streep is amazing, but on the whole I find the story a bit shallow, and most of the characters unbearable. I explained all of this to Lauren and she calmly replied that while she understands this, she does like the film and was going to watch it. Unrelenting and unwilling, I sloped off to the pool, slightly narked at the notion that, for the first week since we’ve been together, Lauren will watch more movies than I will. As mentioned, the gravity of all of this ‘drama’ is very much tongue-in-cheek (although I really did sulk by the pool). It was a wonderful honeymoon that I enjoyed immensely. It did make me realise however what dominance the movie world has in my life, as even now, heading back home, I’m deciding which movie is going to be the first to end the drought. I’ve decided it will be Star Trek Into Darkness, which should be waiting upon my return – hopefully not dubbed into Greek.