During movies like these, I love commercials. So far, John's reaped compliments for being smart and talented and goofy and compelling, yet I've not seen anything from this movie to illustrate him as any of those things. There's been no mention of whether his fascination with music came from within, or just from Elvis-idolization, or both. And is he a songwriter yet? Someone help me.
A naked woman poses in art class. Stuart, a classmate of John's, has done a lovely drawing of her breasts and is lauded by the art teacher. Lennon's picture is a detailed depiction of the woman's ornate anklet. Slightly peeved, the teacher joshes that John is oh-so-clever, winning an immature grimace from John. And that's the entire point of this inept scene -- to show that John's a maverick, I suppose. At this point, Intrigue has totally thrown in the towel and is engrossed in giving me a pedicure.
After class, John bitches to Stu about the teacher, calling him a stupid beatnik. "Stu, you've got talent," John says. "I'm just a bloody doodler." John then says his love is music and someday he'll study at "The University of Boogie-Woogie in Memphis, Tennessee." My cousin went there. Great soccer team, but no good for biology majors. Stu coughs up something about art and creativity and people's personal passions. John calls it profound. I call it cloying.
A girl called Cynthia greets Stu, gives John a longing look, and then disappears. She's Cynthia Powell, "the kind of girl Aunt Mimi would love," grins Stu. John dismisses her, probably assuming that any girl Mimi would love is not the type to give out hot love. They encounter Paul, who introduces George Harrison to John and Stu -- who is, we learn, Stu Sutcliffe. They banter, then Lennon heads off to the pub but doesn't invite George. "They'd never let this sally in," John says. ["Plus George Harrison was about nine at this point. Well, if it's still 1957 at this point, maybe fourteen." -- Wing Chun] "Pay him no mind. That's just the way John is," Paul tells George. I'm glad NBC decided to make a deep psychological profile of Lennon's formative years; I'd hate for a rock icon to be depicted in scant, caricature-ish terms. What next -- will he blurt out, unprompted and out of context, a profound penchant for Asian women?
John and Lipstick hit the seaside to watch the ships. John asks about his father, wondering why no one mentions him. Lipstick recalls him as handsome and charming, but a rascal -- a weal wascally wabbit. She was sixteen. He could sing. "I only remember Blackpool," John says. The camera zooms in on Lipstick, who bites the whore-red off her kissers in something resembling anguish, or at least damn-I-put-socks-on-before-lettin'-me-toenail-polish-dry fretting. Apparently, John's dad showed up and spirited away his young son for some male-bonding time -- catch, rides at local fairs, snaring frogs from puddles. Reminds me of last weekend, when...oops. Never mind. Anyway, PaLennon decided to move to New Zealand and take his son with him, since they were getting along famously. Lipstick got wind of it and drove up to Blackpool to feign interest in her son, so as to prevent him from leaving with PaLennon. She cried, John cried and PaLennon left alone. Fast-forward to today, where Lipstick was so thrilled to have her son back that she deposited him with her sister. Makes sense. "What I never understood was, why, after all that, you got rid of me again," John says. Lipstick insists she didn't, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- most notably the fact that she got rid of him. Again. Lipstick claims Mimi and George were better positioned to provide for him, whereas she was desperately needed to churn out babies for another man, and buy them all guitars with the money she couldn't afford to spend on raising her first child. Still, they agree that she always did care, and Lipstick sadly tells John he'll never see his father again.