Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Scenes of a Sexual Nature

I went into town intending to buy my mother a copy of The Queen on DVD as an extra gift for Mothering Sunday. As I was queuing to pay, reading everything readable in sight as I do, my eyes lighted upon a copy of Scenes of a Sexual Nature, also newly released on DVD. So I bought it.

I had heard about it some time ago from an aquaintance whose nephew was involved in the production.

For a spur of the moment buy, it was a great success. While it isn't quite in the same category as The Queen (and I don't think I'll be lending my copy to my mother) it is a very entertaining film. The BBC's review describes it as "a determinedly low-key comedy drama with no revelations to rock your world, but it's also an invigorating breath of fresh air". I would say it is rather better than that. I found it interesting and touching, and it made me laugh out loud. It was great to see that the couples weren't all young and beautiful.

Trailers and information on the cast etc. are here. Excellent cast; great fun; I thoroughly enjoyed it.


  1. A.
    I'd watch it just to see a real woman named Eglantine - the heroine of 'Bedknob and Broomstick' being the only other one I've ever heard of.

  2. Eglantine Rembauville is lovely and has one of those beautiful French accents - a little bit more attractive than Eglantine Price I think!

    You have made me start thinking about French names: it is really only relatively recently that the state hasn't had the final say over what makes an acceptable name. I'm sure the law changed to something more relaxed towards the end of the time we were living in Paris which would make it about 1992/3.

  3. State control of names? Really? I had no idea. How does one determine what constitutes an acceptable name? It has to sound ... euphonious in French?

  4. Euphonious - perhaps, most names sound pleasant in French I always think.

    It was part of the Napoleonic Code I believe, certainly from the time of the revolution, that only names from the saints' days listed in calendars and historical names were allowed. "les noms en usage dans les différents calendriers, et ceux des personnages connus dans l'histoire ancienne pourront seuls être reçus, comme prénoms, sur les registres destinés à constater la naissance des enfants ; et il est interdit aux officiers publics d'en admettre aucun autre dans leurs actes".

    In 1966 it was relaxed to allow mythological names, foreign names, contractions, variable spellings and a few more. Then in 1993 it was relaxed still further.

    If you want to plough through all the legalese you can find it here. I remember being totally amazed when I first heard.

  5. Moi aussi. I know that I find many of the names bestowed on children these days in the US to be awful, but still... I guess that means there's no French equivalent of Dweezil and Moon Unit Zappa.
    (I'm pleased to say that I actually could read the passage without resorting to my Larousse)

  6. Interestingly, I heard a piece on the radio last night about a Swedish couple who wanted to name their newborn daughter 'Metallica'; the radio piece described the parents' submission of three possible names to the tax authorities and their subsequent efforts to get the name 'approved'. So, I guess it's not just France. I think in the US, there'd only be a fuss if the name were obscene.

  7. I don't think there can be any rules about naming children in the UK either. You occasionally hear of children being named after an entire football team, and then of course there are the celebrities... Fifi Trixabelle is the first that springs to mind. The Beckhams reportedly had a problem in Spain with the name of their third which didn't fit with the rules there. While they have chosen unusual names, they aren't too bizarre.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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