Despite the massive administrative cock-up which must have led to me being invited, when I RSVPd nobody suddenly realised their mistake and withdrew the offer, which was a pleasant surprise. I think they must have been pretty desperate because a) they asked me, and b) it was a film I'd never heard of, Lymelife, starring pudgy mental abuser of his own offspring Alec Baldwin and the two Culkins who aren't Macaulay.
By the time I arrived at the screening I'd worked myself into a frenzy of panic. What’s the etiquette in situations like this? Do film critics speak to each other? Do they all know each other? What if I'm clearly the odd one out because I haven't got a pen with a built-in torch? Is there free booze? What if I take a beer without paying and get caught and humiliated in front of Barry Norman? In the end I decided to just man up, not drink anything and avoid all eye contact.
As it turns out film critics look a lot like normal people, only paler, and they all have laptop bags surgically attached to their shoulders. They don't have illuminating biros and there was no alcohol, free or otherwise.
Only about 30 people could fit in the screening room, so when the hipster on the door asked where I was from I had to whisper "The Incredible Suit" very quietly in case Mark Kermode overheard and outed me as a fraud. With hindsight I could have just said "freelance" but I was too well-dressed to be convincing.
We were offered water because it was hot in there, but that meant the film starting a few minutes late, which caused a massive schism to open up between the impatient and the parched. I thought there was going to be a scrap but instead there was just an exaggerated Kevin The Teenager-esque harumph from a man who didn't care if anyone died of dehydration as long as he got away in good time. Film critics are a bit tetchy as it turns out.
When the film finished and everybody filed out politely, grumbling about how bad it was, I realised that neither Barry Norman nor Mark Kermode were there. In fact the only one I vaguely recognised was The Guardian's Jason Solomons, and I wasn't even sure it was him so I took a sneaky photo:
So I'll parp out a Lymelife review tomorrow; in the meantime, if any other distributors would like to invite The Incredible Suit to future screenings, email me here! Who else are you going to ask, Claudia Winkleman?
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