Film Bites: Tristan & Isolde

Posted by : | March 12, 2015

Like a taster forced to sip your royal pint before you do in case it’s poisoned, Porcupine and Sundae bravely chug five minutes of Irish-related films on St. Patrick’s Day Fridays for your viewing pleasure. Should we get good and soused, we bid you slainte! But if the ale tastes of bilge, we happily spit its hideous treason. To your health! #filmbites

On the Menu Tonight: Tristan & Isolde (2006)


Oh I seem to be hurt… my shirt got the worst of it!

Minutes Ingested: Accidentally watched about a quarter of the movie! Glug glug!

Chew on This: Well I wasn’t sure how the man from Pineapple Express could handle the medieval brooding mantle of this famous literary Romeo who predates Romeo, but alas and alack, James Franco was all puffy beckoning lips and big brown eyes and sword fights. Sigh. So he, Tristan, washes up wounded on a beach where Isolde (gorge Sophia Myles) finds him and nurses him back to health. Presto Florence Nightingale syndrome! They both fall in and make love. The End. Kidding! So kidding — cuz what she doesn’t tell him is that she’s an Irish princess whom her non-progressive dad politically promised to some dude. And ol’ Tristy is the BFF of a rival, unity-loving king (the fabulous Rufus Sewell).


smolder smolder smolder

Well luckily Isolde’s groom-to-be turns up dead (by Tristan’s hand? Is that why he was wounded?), so her awesome loving parent comes up with a new power play — he promises his daughter to the winner of a Robin Hood-style contest. So titled men come from far and wide to win her land I mean her hand. She’s like life sux Ihatemydad sitting there in her private box while men die below. And draaaammmaaaaa — Tristan shows up! He’s begged his king to fight on his behalf so the king can have the boring dumb princess while he gets her handmaiden, cuz that’s who Isolde told him she was!


We’re like Romeo and Juliet! Things turned out good for them, right?

Guess what happens? Tristan bests all the men and wins the princess… and Isolde tears off her veil and shouts, “I’M YOURS!!!” And he dies inside because he’s won her for Rufus. D’oh! She has to consummate this marriage, and compared to her dad and a lot of the other jerk men around, Rufus is perfectly lovely and respectful. She could do worse. But young love yearns, and soon Tristan and Isolde are meeting in secret under bridges having passionate forbidden sex. Yummy!


Sorry, Rufus, I have a headache. A permanent headache.

This is when I stopped the movie. I’m sure things turn out fine for all parties involved as well as whatever political thingy they’re trying to achieve. Not.

Symptoms: A bit of a Franco-induced swoon, I’m not gonna lie!

Verdict: Star-crossed lovers never get old, even when the story is one of the oldest! So hooray for the money your chef saved on refrigeration — no need to keep this tale on ice. More room for Guinness!

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  1. Stephanie
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    agreed! i’d love to sit there popping bonbons just waiting for my champ to reveal himself in a series of duels…

  2. Patrick
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Man, if only the path to marriage still involved a man winning his wife as a prize in an athletic contest. Sigh… Gender equality has truly ruined romance.

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