My mother says that in her day, people only ever kissed in the movies or on TV. And even then, it was a chaste lip lock.
“It’s disgusting what they show these days!” she said the other day after watching an episode of the new ‘Dallas’. “Have you seen the way these young actors kiss now? It’s like they’re having lunch! All that open-mouthed jawing!”
I wasn’t sure what I was more uncomfortable with – talking about open-mouth kissing with my mother, or that my mother felt comfortable enough to talk about open-mouth kissing with me.
But, as always, she had a point. Once upon a time, people didn’t even kiss in public, and if they did, it always looked so ridiculous. When Humphrey Bogart smooches Ingrid Bergman in ‘Casablanca’, they spend most of it facing the camera with their cheeks glued together.
There was never any nudity. At most, you might see the guy topless.
Then, quite without anyone noticing it, the line was crossed. Sharon Stone crossed her legs and suddenly, the world was her gynaecologist.
These days, everyone is taking off their clothes on screen and attacking each other in acts of such violent passion that Saffy was once moved to shout out in the middle of ‘Lust, Caution’, “Are you kidding me? Nobody has sex like that!”
Later, it was all she could talk about. “Oh my God, Sharyn, you could see everything! Even Tony Leung’s bits!”
Sharyn’s glasses fogged up. “Where got!”
“Go see it,” Saffy urged. “It’s disgusting! I’ll come see it with you if you’re squeamish. Anyway, it’s pure fantasy. They made all that up. Because nobody has sex like that!” she repeated firmly.
All this came up again recently when we went to the new James Bond movie, ‘Skyfall’.
“Daniel Craig is hot!’ Amanda announced as we settled into the seats.
“Speaking of which, why is it so bloody cold in Singaporean cinemas?” Saffy grumbled as she pulled out a cardigan from her bag. “There’s no global warming in here!”
For the three people out there who’ve not watched the movie yet, I’m sure I’m not giving away any secrets when I say that there are a few gratuitous shots of a topless Daniel Craig, though as Amanda whispered during one scene, “I have fond memories of his bottom from that ‘Tomb Raider’ movie! Why’s he suddenly so shy?”
As the credits started to roll and the cinema lights came on, Saffy turned to us and demanded, “Why was there no sex in this movie?”
“Um,” I began.
“It’s a James Bond movie. There is supposed to be sex in it!”
“He slept with that funny looking Asian girl, didn’t he?” I said.
“Behind a frosted shower door! We didn’t see anything!”
Amanda said, “I was just saying that we saw Daniel Craig’s bottom in ‘Tomb Raider’.”
“Exactly!” Saffy’s breasts expanded in all its 3-D glory. “They were just teasing us in this movie with all those topless shots of him. They show people getting killed but they won’t show a little gratuitous sex! What’s that all about?”
“They should get Michael Fassbender to be the next James Bond,” Amanda suggested. “Now, there’s a man who’s not shy of showing off his toolbox!”
“I also say,” Saffy grunted. “Such a disappointing movie. Let’s have dinner.”
Leave it to my mother to call up to say that she and my father had just gone to watch ‘Skyfall’ and to complain about how much sex there was in it.
I blinked. “But there’s no sex in ‘Skyfall’! What movie were you watching?”
“Excuse me, but that David Craig was running around naked for half that movie!”
It was my mother’s turn to pause. “Who’s Daniel? What are we talking about now?”
My sister says it’s a miracle that Mother somehow managed to raise three children without losing any of them at the amusement park. “It’s an even bigger miracle that she got pregnant with us in the first place if she thinks that there was any sex in ‘Skyfall’!”
Of course, this was all before we went to watch ‘Magic Mike’.
Saffy said it had that werewolf from ‘True Blood’ in it. “He’s hot! He’s always naked. This is going to be such a great movie!”
Again, for the three people out there who’ve not seen ‘Magic Mike’, I hope I’m not spoiling it for you when I say that there’s no sex or nudity in it. Suffice it to say, too, that Saffy was in a black mood for the rest of the weekend.
Every so often, she would shout out, “It’s a movie about male strippers!”