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Francesca recommends books: Revenge is Sweet | Manolo for the Big Girl

Francesca recommends books: Revenge is Sweet

Francesca tries to comport herself at all times as a lady, and believes that the desire for revenge is best overcome.

However, as a motivation for fictional characters it is satisfying indeed!

In honor of the release of the movie version of Sweeney Todd, Francesca recommends books and DVDs which show that indeed, revenge is best served cold.

First and best of all is the superfantastic The Count of Monte Cristo. The book version is available here, but Francesca must say that she somewhat prefers the movie version (sacriligious, I know). Either way, remember never to put your best friend in jail in order to save your reputation or to steal his girlfriend. You never know where that sort of thing might lead . . . .

Before you go to see Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd, you might want to watch the Broadway version. Angela Lansbury is superfantastic!

One of Francesca’s favorite movies of all time: The First Wives Club. What could be better than a film that brings together Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, and Goldie Hawn? They are wonderful! Francesca has watched this movie many times and laughs every time. As Ivana Trump says in her cameo: Remember girls, don’t get mad. Get everything.

 Finally, Francesca understands that the motivations of the Hamlet are fuzzy and oft-debated, but in essence here we have the somewhat wishy-washy Hamlet burdened with the responsibility of exacting revenge against his uncle, for killing his father. Will he do it? Will he do it? Will he do it? Read to find out . . . here is the “feel self-righteous” version, and here is the “I want to read Shakespeare, but I don’t want to break my teeth”  version. And here is a movie version for the real cheaters. (Francesca jokes! Plays are meant to be watched!)

Happy reading and happy watching!



10 Responses to “Francesca recommends books: Revenge is Sweet”

  1. Toby Wollin January 24, 2008 at 9:21 am #

    OOO, First Wives Club. I love this film and I love everyone in it. I always feel sad and a bit angry now, though, because I know the author of the book this was based on died having cosmetic surgery. She wrote an empowering story – but in the end, was still driven by the “must look young at any cost” pressures.

  2. Twistie January 24, 2008 at 12:02 pm #

    While I adore the superfantastic Shakespeare all to bits and back again, my choice for revenge theater of the era is and always will be John Webster. If you’re one of the people who failed to laugh during Shakespeare in Love when the boy tells Shakespeare that’s his name, go out straightaway and find a copy of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore or White Devils or the superfantastic The Duchess of Malfi. John Webster is the ne plus ultra of Jacobean high-bodycount theater.

  3. class-factotum January 24, 2008 at 12:34 pm #

    “The Count of Monte Cristo” is one of the best page-turners of all time! I loved that book!

  4. Sistercoyote January 24, 2008 at 1:57 pm #

    Inquiry: Is the Angela Lansbury not always superfantastic in everything?

  5. TeleriB January 24, 2008 at 3:00 pm #

    class-factorum: I had the exact opposite reaction! I so badly wanted to love that book. I did love the beginning and the end. But for a great part of the middle, Edmond is such a force of nature that I felt no tension. Not one of his plans went wrong for hundreds of pages; there was no doubt in my mind that revenge would be his. Near the end, when he runs into a sudden complication, I found it much more page-turning.

  6. LindaRuth January 24, 2008 at 4:53 pm #

    My absolute favorite revenge movie is Kind Hearts and Coronets, in which a scorned young man successfully and hilariously murders all the members of his family who stand between him and the ducal title. All the murderees are Alec Guiness. Waylon Jenning’s song, Mental Revenge, is awfully good too. Sample lyrics: “I hope that the train from Caribou Maine runs over your new love affair. You walk the floor from door to door and pull out your peroxide hair.” Poetry!

  7. Em January 24, 2008 at 7:17 pm #

    The Angela Lansbury, she is indeed superfantastic. As is everyone in that production of Sweeney except the Johanna, who, I’m sorry to say, is dreadful.

  8. Bridey January 24, 2008 at 8:13 pm #

    Yay for the Branagh Hamlet! Yes, Branagh does make one staggering misstep in his choice for one character — a shocker of a stupid decision, unsupported by the text. But it’s otherwise so strong that it makes for a wonderful movie.

    Plus, the Branagh version is the whole play, or nearly so. None of the standard cuts, and a glorious four-plus hours. It makes an enormous difference from the cut-down versions (not that those aren’t often wonderful) because it shows the weight of the political goings-on in the play — just as important as all Hamlet’s personal angst.

    And I think it shows Hamlet himself in a much more complete, and less flattering, light. Whether Hamlet is a bad person or not (I think he’s an overeducated, self-indulgent and generally destructive twit, myself), he’s a really, really terrible Prince of Denmark.

  9. m January 25, 2008 at 7:50 am #

    Must commend Francesca for her excellent taste. Dumas on the page – fantastic. Caviezel in sweeping cape and Van Dyke beard? Superfantastic indeed.

    From the FWC:
    Morte (Dan Hedaya): “What do we have to do?”
    Brenda (Bette Midler): “You have to PAY!”


  10. Theatrehussey January 25, 2008 at 11:27 pm #

    A few weeks ago you recommended Oscar Brockett’s book. Now you recommend Sweeney Todd with George Hearn and the Lansbury.

    Will you marry me. Our babies would have great taste. But they wouldn’t taste great.

    Don’t eat your babies, people.