The Universe and Me

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Out on the edge of the prairie

Movie: A Prairie Home Companion. I’ve long been a fan of Garrison Keillor’s, ever since listening to cassettes of the stories he used to tell on his long-running radio program. That led me to read his books, and to watch this movie. One thing I rarely did, though, was listen to his radio show. I remember once tuning in and hearing someone sing a page from Roget’s Thesaurus. Unless that was a dream. The reason I didn’t make the radio show a must-hear was because of the style of music played. It was so not to my tastes. And remains that way. So I didn’t appreciate it in the movie, where it sure wasn’t helped by some actors who can’t sing. Being half Swedish, I did always appreciate Garrison’s style of humour, which seems to be toned down here. He does manage a few funny lines: “Are you tired of your current herring?” “We are a dark people, people who believed it could be worse” (in reference to Scandinavians), “If you’re ever happy, this too shall pass” and when referring to Powdermilk Biscuits, “Heavens, they’re tasty!” I’d have liked a Lake Wobegone story in this film. The absence was disappointing. And I don’t believe the café at the beginning and end was named The Chatterbox Café, either. But I could be wrong. Overall, if you love traditional Americana, you’ll feel more at home in this movie than I did. I’m glad they made it and I’m glad I watched it, but I can’t rave about it like I hoped.


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