Any story seems bigger when it involves a king. The ancient Greeks understood this. Most of Shakespeare’s plays could be subtitled: To Your Highness, With Love. Even my old (Marxist) creative writing professor used royalty to explain the difference between story and plot, e.g. the king died and then the queen died (story); the king died and then the queen died of grief (plot). Other than stick-in-the-mud republicans, we all pant at the mention of kings. There’s even a word – majesty – which specifies what we find so fascinating; you can’t be truly majestic unless you’re a monarch. If none of this chimes… if you hate royalty and hereditary privilege… you’re gonna be spitting blood as you watch The King’s Speech.
The grudge movie is a simple concept: you take a movie you wouldn’t want to watch in a million years and you go to watch it, grudgingly – because it’s something your partner wants to see. For millions of women across the world, this summer, the official grudge movie is Hellboy II. For millions of men, the grudge movie is Mamma Mia. Though these two movies have little in common at a surface level, they share a common bond of inducing terror in the opposite sex and – while not being good movies – they are also both hugely enjoyable (provided one isn’t compelled to watch them under duress).