Monday, December 29, 2008

Memories of student life 1985

Over the Christmas period, the BBC screened the delightful Starter for Ten (2006) with James McAvoy, Dominic Cooper, Catherine Tate, Benedict Clumbatch and the man who writes Gavin & Stacey (James Corden?). It was a great ensemble piece. It show why Catherine Tate is such a good actress. Although most go on and on about Dominic Cooper from the History Boys, I have been very impressed with James Corden and his sense of comic timing.
It was set at the University of Bristol in 1985. As I was at university during this period (including being a Junior Year Abroad student), it did bring it back.
They did get the period right and the various different parties with the fancy dress and alcohol. At the time, it seemed to me that for some men, it was any excuse to dress up in women's clothes. There was a stage of Tarts and Vicars or Lumberjacks and Schoolgirls. I was sort of surprised that they did not show the ritual playing of Nellie the Elephant...And there are reasons why I came to prefer a quieter existence... And I would doubt a pre med from Minnesota would be over there as a jya. This is more because of the courses needed to get into med school in the US, but I thought having an American JYA was a nice touch.
It does seem strange that British nostalgia about student days has reached the time that I was a student. But it is a pleasant movie and the acting is good.


Kate Hardy said...

I enjoyed it, too, though I don't remember men dressing up in women's clothes at my uni (except possibly Rag Week - when I was naive enough to dress up as a cat. After the, um, remarks I got when I handed in my collection tin, I learned not to do that the next year!).

I have lightbulbs flickering.

Michelle Styles said...

Oh they did at Lancaster, and then when I went to a New Year's Eve party in 1985 with my dh, a friend of ours borrowed one of my knit dresses and wore a kerchief...for that one I do have photographic evidence.
And LOL on dressing up as a cat.
It is good to have lightbulbs flickering.

Anonymous said...

I thought the movie was cute, and James McAvoy is delicious (as always). I've become a major Catherine Tate fan. I cannot believe how little credit people gave her as an actress before Doctor Who, but she really is amazing.

As for JYA life, my experience was considerably different by 1996. No fancy dress parties. Just gigs and clubs and drink. But at least I got to dance and dance some more, which was never going to be the case in a small midwest college town!