Sunday Bookends: Christmas romance movies off the agenda, Christmas prep with Michael Buble, British cleavage, and social media detox failure

I wrote last week that I was on a Christmas movie binge, but, no. I’m over it.

Oh. My. Word.

Seriously?

How many more movies can I watch where one parent of the main character is already dead at such a young age? Or where the husband has died and now she’s looking for new romance?

Duuuuudes. Stop the tropes already. I just can’t take it.

I just want one Christmas movie where Mom and Dad are still alive and their death isn’t the reason someone hates Christmas.

So, bah-humbug. No more of those cheesy Christmas romance movies.

Back to reality.

(Oops. There goes gravity…sorry that line immediately made me think of Eminem’s Lose Yourself. And I don’t even really listen to Eminem.)

And part of that reality was watching a 1934  film from England called The Scarlet Pimpernel (yes, there have been a few remakes) where there was plenty of harsh reality and cringeworthy brutality. The movie, starling Leslie Howard (no idea, but I think he’s a famous British actor)  opens with the beheadings of French citizens during the 1792 French Revolution’s Reign of Terror by the guillotine. Movie makers from the 30s made in England didn’t bat an eye at disturbing visuals or sounds, let me tell you that.

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According to the trivia link on Amazon (yes, Amazon! And no, I’m still not trying to sell Amazon Prime to you and have not been paid for this reference. Ha! But I should be.), movie makers of the 30s also weren’t afraid to show a little skin. However, the folks in the United States weren’t pleased with that skin, based on what the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America said about the movie: “There is cleavage in Reel 1. There is cleavage in Reel 4. There is gross cleavage in Reel 8,” adding that it was the last film it would pass containing ‘scenes of offensive cleavage.'”

(My husband interjects here “That was during the time of the Hayes Code which was basically the movie industry censoring itself because parents were complaining.” Thank you movie and history trivia Rain Man. And actually, I like his little interjections of history, so don’t take this teasing too seriously).

I read this bit of trivia before I watched the movie so I immediately turned it back on to find out where the cleavage was, not because I enjoy cleavage of women (I don’t swing that way) but because I wanted to see if it was truly “offensive.”

My verdict? There was definitely- gasp!!!– dare I say it? Clear and fairly offensive cleavage from Miss Merle Oberon who leaned over quite seductively more than once! By the way, be sure to say cleavage in a very pompous or posh British tone or it doesn’t work at all for this conversation.

I actually kept watching the movie as a joke because of the cleavage trivia but then I got engrossed in the story and couldn’t stop watching it. The story is basically that aristocrats in France were being marched to the guillotine on a daily basis but some were being saved by an English man called the Scarlet Pimpernel, which had the ones doing the beheadings on high alert and on the lookout for him.

Cleavage or not I highly recommend the movie (on Amazon or wherever you choose to watch it.). The movie was well written and acted.

Here, I took a photo of the cleavage for you in case you’re curious….

I’m kidding. You can find the cleavage yourself and be appropriately horrified, even though it’s tame compared to what we see in today’s movies. The censors of the 30s would have a stroke if they saw what was on today’s movie screens.

Anyhooo….

Enough about the cleavage of the French, er, British pretending to be French. Also, I’m not writing the word cleavage ever again because I feel like a weirdo now. Plus, I’ve written the word how many times now in this post? Let’s not count.

We got more snow this past week but it looks like we will not have a white Christmas this year since the predicted temps are set at the mid-40s.  I’m okay with that since snow on Christmas could mean we can’t get to my parents to spend the day with them. We went to their house Friday so we could help decorate their Christmas tree.

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I’ll probably ramble on about Christmas decorations later in the week.

I’m not doing great with my social media detox lately but it’s better than it could be. Last year my detox involved not logging on to any sites at all but this year I find myself logging on to check certain groups only. The issue with that is that I sometimes trail off of those groups and get stuck into the ridiculousness that is our world today.

(A beautiful painting of a newborn baby as Jesus and then a thread moaning over how white the baby is? Come on already! It was the sentiment behind the photo that mattered, not the perceived race of the baby! Social media makes us horrible, bitter, nasty, self-serving morons. I mean, how many more things we once enjoyed can everyone piss all over so we are all a bunch of depressed, uptight, self-righteous, finger-pointing, miserable people like most of Hollywood?)

I actually had to pull up the post I wrote last year where I made a list of suggestions of activities a person can engage in other than social media to remind me of activities I’ve been remiss on participating in because I have been distracted by the stupidity that is social media.

To try to take my mind off of everything with house selling and buying this weekend, I put on Michael Buble’s Christmas album this week (and did NOT look up to see what anyone’s opinion of it was), pulled out a book about Advent (also did NOT look up what anyone’s opinion of THAT was), kept working on my novel, watched more Dick VanDyke and read more light mysteries (The Cat Who) and romances.

For your enjoyment, because I was so excited to find it! Michael Buble’s Christmas Album and the Yuletide Log at the same time! Enjoy (or run away screaming if you aren’t a fan of either.)

So what were you reading, watching or doing this past week? Let me know in the comments.


Lisa R. Howeler is a writer and photographer from the “boondocks” who writes a little bit about a lot of things on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She’s published a fiction novel ‘A Story to Tell’ on Kindle and also provides stock images for bloggers and others at Alamy.com and Lightstock.com.

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Lisa R. Howeler

I'm a mom, a wife, a writer, a photographer and a former journalist. I write a little bit about a lot of things on my blog Boondock Ramblings. In September of 2019 I self-published my first novel, A Story to Tell and published another one, A New Beginning, in May of 2020. I enjoy John Wayne and Cary Grant movies, Jan Karon's books, and I have an electic taste in music. Welcome to my blog and feel free to poke around. Fridays are Fiction Fridays, where I share a piece of fiction I'm working on.

14 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Christmas romance movies off the agenda, Christmas prep with Michael Buble, British cleavage, and social media detox failure

  1. I’ve seen that movie. Funny, but I don’t remember the ‘cleavage’ but I do remember that Leslie Howard also played Ashley Wilkes in the epic movie, Gone With the Wind. (My favorite movie of all time.) I successfully stayed off social media over Christmas because I was too darn busy with all my family here for a number of days. And I LOVE Michael Buble, so I enjoyed that video. Saw him in concert a few years ago and it was the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was looking up Leslie Howard I said “oh! That’s why he looks familiar! He’s Ashley!” And then I pretended to swoon. My husband was so confused. Anyhow, my mom had an uncle named Ashley Ray Waignright and I always said if I wrote a story in the South that would be my main character. No one called him Ashley Ray, though… he was always just Uncle Ray.

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  2. Personally, I have no problem with cleavage, though I can see how I would be mortified if I had teenage children who couldn’t stop staring at it. Though I do hope I raise them to be better than that. This post, though, did remind me that one of my favorite books is The Scarlet Pimpernel and I have yet to see a movie. Hmm, I should remedy that one day. I’ve heard they’re not that bad.

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    1. I’m really not offended my cleavage either (well, unless it’s like the whole movie) but it was so funny that it was such a big deal bag then. But it was quite a bit of that woman’s breasts the viewers had to see during the movie. 😉

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  3. You use the a lot of parenthetical asides (I have no idea where you get that from, it’s really weird). I just don’t understand (but I don’t understand a lot, about you 🤔) 😉.

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  4. I’m a fan of the 80s (I think) “Scarlet Pimpernel” myself. That Anthony Andrews is a hottie.

    I enjoyed reading your review. You ought to write up other films. 😀

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    1. lol. I was being so silly with that review and then worried any of my followers who read my more faith-filled posts might be offended with my many mentions of “cleavage.” At least I didn’t really post that photo 😉 I love old movies so I’d have to do some reviews of them.

      I saw another version of the Scarlet Pimpernel but I don’t remember which one. I’ll have to look up this Anthony Andrews… 😉

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      1. He’s (unfortunately) too old to consider now that I’m older. 😀

        All your mentions of cleavage made me think of how I kept trying to shield my boys from “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Three Musketeers.” 🙂

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