The only thing as enjoyable as watching "Withnail & I" yet again is watching it with someone who has never watched it before. This thread is for stories about people you invited to watch it with you, and their opinions of it afterward. Did they become huge fans and try to organize a trip to Crow Crag? Did they scratch their heads, scoot away from you on the couch a little, and sort of stop calling you anymore?
I've popped six people's Withnail cherries so far.
1. My husband. He thought it was slightly amusing and mostly depressing, and doesn't want to watch it again. This might be partially because I said that Paul McGann looked like a Greek god in the shaving in the bath scene, and I may or may not have rewound the scenes with Marwood in just his underpants more than was strictly necessary. The good part is that my husband has a memory like a steel trap, and he does enjoy trading Withnail lines with me at odd moments when no one else knows what the fuck we're talking about. How he can remember all that having only seen the film twice is beyond me, but it's good fun.
2. / 3. A married couple, who are friends of ours, and young enough to be our kids. They liked it, but I think they're just too young to really "get it". The guy definitely liked it better than the girl. He laughed through the entire thing. I gave him the DVD for his birthday. He probably never watches it because his wife doesn't want to. Still, I'm spreading the good word of Withnail! Can I get a chorus of "BALLS!"
4. A close single guy friend of ours - he went NUTS over it, immediately bought it, and he and I are currently planning a Withnail Feast/Fest in which we're going to cook a leg of lamb (with garlic, rosemary, and salt), a pork pie, and we're going to have a SIP of every drink in the movie as it goes along. This should be epic! My husband is planning to lock himself in the computer room for the duration, I believe. Or possibly leave the state for a few days.
5. My MOTHER. (I know! Right???) My mother is in her early 70's. She's also a Bible-banger who lives down south in the Land of Baptists. I watched it with her during one of her visits up to NY last summer. I nearly fell over when she asked if we could watch it again when she came up to visit me recently. Who knew?!?! I think she may have suspected it was a cult brainwashing film, as all I've done is talk about Withnail since I fell under its spell. Not really, but if she had thought that she might have been closer to the truth than she knew.
6. This one was long distance - I wasn't actually there - a girl I met online who has the same taste in nearly everything (actually, I bought a Withnail-esque coat from her on ebay and we just kept emailing). She and her husband watched it, and liked it, but I don't think she became a huge fan.
And... I'm getting ready for number seven! This coming Tuesday another guy friend of ours is coming over to watch it for the first time. I'll let you know his reaction after the screening.
I find myself having to sit on my hands when showing Withnail to friends here in America, because most of them are not very hip to British colloquialism and humor (I prefer British film and tele over American every time), so I keep wanting to hit the pause button and say "did you get that?". I mean, I guess "shag sack" sounds kind of funny to anyone, but it's REALLY funny when you know what it means.
So... who have you deflowered? And how did they like it?
... followed by yet another anecdote about his sensitive crimes in a punt with a chap called Norman, who had red hair and a book of poetry stained with the butter drips from crumpets.