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They Call Me Gwen

It was Thomas the Lapidary, perennial vendor of the shiny and decorative at Origins, who recommended Guinevere to us as a bad, bad movie. We figured that Thomas was a man who knew his crowns and tiaras, and hunted the movie up. The short review: He was right!

Guinevere is a riff on the King Arthur legend, focusing on the role of the titular character, loosely based on novesl by Persia Woolley. It makes some pretense of being feminist. The movie – and its heroine – is idealistic. Sincere. Nauseatingly earnest. She and the movie take themselves very seriously, which may be admirable, but certainly isn’t entertaining. Billy Joel said it best in Angry Young Man:

His honor is pure

And his courage as well

And he’s fair and he’s true

And he’s boring as hell

The movie opens with Princess Guinevere of the kingdom of Camelot at the Sanctuary, which is something of a refuge and something of a boarding school for the princes and princesses of the constantly warring tiny kingdoms of the British Isles. The Sanctuary is run by Morgan le Fay, and her adopted son, Lancelot, and Guinevere are in love. Twoo love, primarily expressed by deep and meaningful lingering stares.

Merlin shows up at the Sanctuary and tells Guinevere that she is to marry his young ward, Arthur, because Camelot is strategically located for the conquering and unifying of Britain. As played by Donald Pleasance (of Halloween fame), Merlin is overbearing and creepy, and I have this nagging worry that he is a child molester. Morgan le Fay insists that Guinevere marry Lancelot instead, right here, right now, just to screw over Arthur’s plans.

Guinevere refuses both plans, not because she gets to decide whom she will marry, but because her Dad gets to decide whom she will marry. She runs home to Camelot, where the evil King Malegant also wants to marry her. She and her Dad refuse him, and he attacks Camelot. Malegant’s army is larger and all seems lost until a small band of well-armed young men show up and offer their services, in return for Guinevere’s hand in marriage.

Of course, these immature and crass young men are victorious, and are revealed to be Arthur and his frat brothers knights. Morgan le Fay sends assassins to kill Guinevere to prevent the wedding, but Guinevere is kind of kick-ass and fights them off. Arthur is sufficiently impressed by his kick-ass fiancée to offer her an equal relationship. Then the Christian Bishops show up and force Guinevere to vow never to be kick-ass again. Lancelot shows up and uses more meaningful, lingering stares to tempt Guinevere into running away with him. She refuses.

Her steward points out that it will be very difficult for the staff to serve dinner at a table big enough to accommodate all the VIPs who will be visiting Camelot. Guinevere tells him to make a hollow table – oh, and by the way – “Make it round.” I see what you did thar, movie!

After the wedding, Arthur pouts and sulks and insists on riding out to attack Malegant’s kingdom in an ill-advised plan, rather than actually governing. Merlin admits that Arthur is kind of a meathead, but given that his Dad, Uther, was a murdering rapist, Arthur could have been a lot worse. All that governing stuff will have to fall to Guinevere.

Malegant sends word that he is holding Arthur and his frat brothers prisoner, and unless Guinevere comes and marries him, heads will roll. Guinevere travels to Malegant’s kingdom, assembling a ragtag army of unarmed common folk as she travels. Does she have a clever plan to defeat Malegant? No, of course not – she’s vowed not to be kickass. Fortunately, the night before she is to marry Malegant, Lancelot shows up and in one last act of loyalty, manages to bluff Malegant into surrendering. Lancelot then rides off into the sunset, after one last meaningful, lingering stare. Guinevere bails out frees the juvenile delinquents Arthur and his knights, who continue to behave like sullen teenagers, and Guinevere and Arthur live resentfully ever after. The end.




Ann arbor awards 2011?

Will you guys be at the new location for U-con this year? I'm coming up this year again & hope to get my fill of early sneak peaks of badness!
Signed your offcial stalker

Re: Ann arbor awards 2011?

We will indeed! We are, according to the UCon site, event EV-SA19-01.

Is this our official CyberStalker or our official MeatspaceStalker? Either way bueno!