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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Las Vegas? I'm just not that kind of guy

Went to a preview of Last Vegas last night. I'm not quite as old as its lead actors but I'm part of the demographic it's aimed at. As the entertainment business starts to realise that very soon most of the population will be over fifty it's belatedly responding with dramas thick with jokes about Viagra, old eight-track cartridges and the number of trips to the bathroom it takes to get through the average night.

This one's about four childhood friends who are still bosom buddies almost sixty years later and go to Las Vegas for a stag weekend prior to the wedding of one of them to his 32-year old cupcake. This isn't the Vegas of Sammy and Dean. It's the modern Las Vegas, where clubbing is more profitable than gambling and if you're prepared to go into a year's worth of debt you can pretend you're 50 Cent for a few hours. Thanks to a win at the tables our four geezers get to behave like the characters in The Hangover: their suite is comped and next thing you know they've got a hundred Maxim girls twerking round its indoor swimming pools.

I had a comfy chair in a preview theatre so I quite enjoyed it. It was best when Mary Steenburgen appeared as the only prom fresh lounge singer in town. "Are you good in bed?" "I don't remember." That kind of thing.

Couldn't help thinking while watching it how far and fast my oldest male friends would run to get away from the prospect of an actual weekend in Vegas. Their idea of perfect escape is to idle away a winter afternoon in a French restaurant far below the pavements of Soho, to mooch muddily around some war graves in Flanders, to watch any half-organised sporting encounter or - and this really remains the all-weather favourite - to sit around amusing each other by talking absolute bollocks.

As Jerry Seinfeld says, "Girls, you want to know what guys are thinking? You really want to know? I'll tell you. (Pause.) Nothing."