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Mr A. caught a bug and he graciously shared it with me. We have both been out of commission for the last few days. That gave us little time for our current source of entertainment. By tonight, however, we have conquered the flu and are settled in for a new adventure.

Tonight is a journey into the world of crime with the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

The debate between which of the fair sexes is the weaker one is debated and settled quite early on actully. With the naive, spoiled, rich female as the loser.

It is a movie about a clever battle of the wits between two charismatic con-men over a beautiful, ripe piece of territory full of wealthy targets. The stage is the classy Beaumont-sur-Mer full of beautifully trimmed lawns and a view of the ocean. The main characters are two opposite men in the same line of work. The first is cultured, winning the hearts of women with tales of a regal birth and a nation dependent on him at war with the communists. The second is down-to-earth, charming his way into women’s wallets with sad stories of dependent grandmothers and fatal illnesses. Both are (to varying degrees) successful.

Their paths inevitably cross and when their attempts to con each other fall short, they must part ways. But how to decide who shall stay and who shall go?

A stumbling Soup Queen trips into the scene and a wager is made. The gamble a whopping $50,000. The ruse to seduce it from her pocketbook. The loser packs up and leaves.

To avoid spoiling a 26-year-old film based on a 51-year-old film, I will refrain from elaborating the ending. You will have to watch this spectacular classic (or check out the Wikipedia page) to find out which man triumphs and boots the other out of that beautiful corner of the world.

It is a charming, humorous film that through the spiderwebs the con-men weave around the un-suspecting woman, shines light on the one thing far more important than trickery….honesty and kindness and generosity. In that case, the weaker sex triumphs.

But, of course, as all wise women do, the Soup Queen has at least one card up her sleeve that quite turns the flow of the film.

Mr A. had very little to say tonight. He is exhausted, the poor soul. This sickness has quite worn him down. That along with the fact that he has been working far too hard. He even dozed throughout his favorite scene.

It is a dramatic scene, at the very beginning of the ruse, when Steven Martin’s character’s commitment is tested quite severely, along with the feelings in his legs (which are not quite as numb as he lets on) as he is struck repeatedly in the knees by the sharp end of a plastic flower by Keaton’s character. In order to prove to his naive target, that he is in-fact a cripple. In this case, Martin does triumph, through a series of carefully concealing facial expressions, he quite dupes the girl into believing his heartbreaking story.

You must be very careful not to be tricked by this clever movie. In fact, only one thing is for certain….that Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a charming thrill ride to be undertaken by anyone with the brains and the character to see their way through the traps.

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