Wednesday, September 21, 2005
We can't quite believe this either
ARMY! Private Benjamin, Channel 4, 11.05pm
Of all the films you might expect to see in a late-night slot on Channel 4, Private Benjamin is one that we sincerely doubt would appear in a high position on anyone's list. Not that we don't love it in oh so many ways, it's just that...well, it strikes us as more of an ITV film than a Channel 4 one, and if you're not sure what the difference between the two is, then we slightly fear you. Anyway, it's been a while since we last saw this film, but to the best of our recollection there is no sex, no drugs, no gratuitous violence (well, the fact that the lead character joins the army notwithstanding) so you can understand our level of confusion here. Anyway, enough of our confusion over the scheduling, and on with the preview: this is a Goldie Hawn vehicle from 1980, some seven years before she was due to reach her absolute peak in Overboard. In this film, she plays spoilt socialite Judy Benjamin who is tragically widowed on her wedding night and looks for something to fill that aching void. So she grabs the dildo she got as a wedding present. Kidding! No, she joins the army. No, seriously, that's what she does. From the recesses of our mind we vaguely recall it having something to do with an advertising campaign that somewhat oversells the luxury a new recruit can expect, and then of course there's plenty of fish out of water comedy to be enjoyed. It's silly and utterly disposable, which is pretty much exactly the quality we expect from our TV, so our thanks to Channel 4 for deciding to screen this despite the total absence of any controversial material. Unless, of course, the controversy is that Channel 4 would dare to screen something utterly uncontroversial in this slot. Decide for yourselves, kids.