The Universe and Me

Sunday, November 06, 2005

So it's an obsession

Movie: Dirty Filthy Love. Offbeat British romantic comedy. Not as racy as the title would suggest, not at all. Instead it concerned a man named Mark (not Jack!) who suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. At first these conditions seemed to be triggered by the stress of his failing marriage which led to him losing his job. I kept wondering if the condition developed because he was subconsciously trying to push his wife away and Tourette’s gave him the chance to say what he was really thinking about her, and about some other people in his life. Turns out that wasn’t the case and he’d had a lesser version of these problems as a child. So he meets Charlotte, played by Shirley Henderson whose distinctive voice Harry Potter fans will recognize as Moaning Myrtle, who has some OCD problems of her own, not the least of which concerns numbers. Oh, nobody introduce her to Lost! She’d completely freak out. She does her best to help Mark and, being a movie, falls in love with him while doing so. Something she said, from a psychological point of view, was very astute: OCD people are unable to filter out all the white noise in their brains which is forcing them into this behaviour so what they need to do is ignore the white noise. She also had the funniest line: “I refuse to go to my grave holding a packet of wet wipes.” The exchange with a friend, “You’re still there for me, aren’t you?” “Actually, I’ve got to go now” was equally inspired. As was the scene where Charlotte has the self help group stick their hands in farmyard muck and mud for a five full minutes.


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