One always relishes the opportunity at the end of each year to stop and think about all the films I’ve watched over the past 12 months; the ones that moved me; the ones that angered me; the ones that were so evocative, I found myself still reflecting on them weeks after I saw them. Every film, no matter how nonsensical it may appear, has something to say, something to teach us… unless, arguably, it’s been directed by Michael Bay. And so to celebrate the wealth of knowledge that was available to you from the cosy comfort of the cinema auditorium this year, here are five memorable lessons we learnt from the movies in 2017.
1. Bondage is fine, but always use handcuffs with a safety release
The Fifty Shades phenomenon has surely proved to even the most prudish person that there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a little bit of kink with your partner/spouse, but having watched Gerald’s Game, it’s clear that there are perils to not imposing some sort of pre-coital safety rules. Otherwise you may be liable to find yourself trapped to a bed with no sign of escape if your lover snuffs it.
2. There’s nothing more stressful than a house party with too many guests
Just ask Jennifer Lawrence, who finds her house overrun with unruly houseguests in Darren Aronofsky’s devilishly brilliant mother!. Indeed, so disruptive are these uninvited visitors that the eponymous matriarch soon finds herself having to fight to stop people redecorating her house or destroying her sink… and I thought things were bad when I once found someone breaking into an unopened bottle of vintage port I’d been saving.
3. Marmalade can fix any problem
Proof that we should follow Paddington’s words as a mantra for life. Even when he’s been incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit, he’s able to sneak in a marmalade sandwich, and indeed it’s that sandwich that saves him from getting a beating from the appropriately named Knuckles McGinty. So if you find yourself faced with someone who didn’t get the gift they wanted this festive season, why not offer them some sweet orange preserve… mmm!
4. Being a ghost isn’t as fun as you may think
If you, like me, spent your early years obsessed with the adventures of ‘Casper: The Friendly Ghost’, you may have also been led to think that the afterlife was basically one endless holiday. However, as A Ghost Story – David Lowery’s eerie exploration of death – denotes, the hereafter is more of an eternal heartache, in which you’re forced to watch life go on without you, and – worse still – means you’re unable to leave a house party when the guests begin indulging in drunk, existential reveries.
5. How to “grapefruit”
Too be honest, there’s no way to describe this that could do justice to Tiffany Haddish’s fairly graphic demonstration of “grapefruiting” from Malcolm D. Lee’s gleefully vulgar all-girl comedy, Girls Trip. So instead of some snarky comment, I’m simply going to handover to the good lady herself…