Thursday, April 1, 2010

Betty and the Real World

Tulips For Augusta has a ton of real world references. It's almost as though Betty lived there--you know, in the real world:
  • Sjors. Evidently much-read and much-beloved at some point by Dutch children.
  • Constantijn asks Augusta if her thumbs prick every time they meet. He's quoting Shakespeare's Macbeth "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes." Something Wicked This Way Comes is also the scariest Disney movie ever made. Scarred me for life...I'm not kidding. I'm thinking of starting a class-action law suit.
  • When Augusta helps out at the jumble sale she unearths a great, leaden tea pot that would have been approved by Mrs. Beeton. I am desolate to find after much Googling that Mrs. Beeton never actually began a recipe with the words, "first, catch your hare..."
  • Perfume. Stinky Susan wears Chanel No5. Described as the scent of a woman rather than the scent of a flower bouquet. "I want to give women an artificial perfume," said Chanel. "Yes, I really do mean artificial, like a dress, something that has been made. I don't want any rose or lily of the valley, I want a perfume that is a composition." Augusta sports Chantilly (refined, oriental fragrance. This feminine scent possesses a blend of sandalwood, moss, and orange blossom) and Balmain's Jolie Madame (full of dark, wet greens).
The Course of True Love has Marc asking Claribel out to the theatre:
  • They go see The Phantom of the Opera. I've never seen it live (which is probably pretty awesome) but have had to slog my way through Music of the Night along with every high school band in the last 20 years. Yuck. Not my favorite.
  • They also go to see Starlight Express. "The plot features around a group of toy railway trains, portrayed by actors on roller-skates, who come to life inside the mind of a small boy." Ummmmm...roller-skates. Okay. [Betty Debbie] Roller skates are never a good idea. At least not for this Betty. The only picture of me in roller skates is of me sitting on the floor of the rink cradling my pathetic broken wrist. Last year. Ow.


  1. I saw Starlight Express in London back in the eighties and am having trouble imaging hunky Dignified Dutch Doctor sitting through it. It was all very forgettable (except of course for the roller skates and lots of flashing lights and perhaps a slight case of whiplash from watching the skaters go round and round on the "track"). I do remember being told it was a "must see" at the time - very contemporary of Betty to have included it.

  2. It sounds so beyond tacky (was it anything like the movie Xanadu??).

    [Betty Keira] He wasn't watching the play, he was watching her delighted face.

  3. Oh, I forgot about the part where he was watching her face (haven't read this one). The fact that the play was bad would make that even more romantic somehow. I never saw Xanadu but I have seen clips. There was no "saving the roller rink by mystical means" plot in Starlight (isn't that sort of what Xanadu is about?) but it was pretty tacky so yes, maybe it was a bit like Xanadu!

  4. I paid real money to see "Xanadu" in the theatre. I'm sure I have yet recovered.

  5. I recall seeing Xanadu more than once in the movie theater and loving it. Please note that at that time I would have been a very silly young girl whose parents were quite strict about rated R movies, so Xanadu was the epitome of romantic bliss. As an artsy-fartsy movie snob of 42 (my husband and I constantly manipulate the Netflix queue on each other, since he likes so-called "action" movies), I now cringe at the thought of having to watch Xanadu completely sober.

  6. I have seen both Phantom and Starlight, not tacky at all but great shows especiall Phantom. Even dutch doctors can be modern if they want to be