I sometimes dream of being rich. We all do, right? It’s shallow of me I know but I can’t help it. I was thinking about being rich the other night while watching the movie Match Point. It’s a great Woody Allen film (he wrote and directed it) about love, murder and morality and it’s beautifully shot in London and in the English countryside where the family at the centre of the story has a nice big house.
The patriarch of the Hewett family in the film is Alec Hewett played by Brian Cox. No not the astrophysicist, I’m talking about the other Brian Cox, the older one, who is a fine actor.
As Hewett he doesn’t seem to do much other than lavish money on his family, move between a swish London abode and a country residence where he is preparing for the grouse shooting season. I love this movie and Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are excellent in the lead roles. This time around though I was mainly fascinated watching Brian Cox play out my fantasy of being rich.
“I could do that,” I commented and my wife and son both nodded and then shook their heads as if to say: “He’s off again.”
“No I really could,” I said. I could swan around London running my business empire. I could lounge around my country estate in suede trousers and tweed jackets. I really could do that.”
There’s the little matter of having the money to do so but of course that’s a mere technicality.
One of my problems is that at one point in my life we did have money, quite a lot of money. We lived the colonial high life with servants and chauffeur who used to drive us to school in my father’s Jaguar XJ6. That idyll only lasted for a few years but, frankly, I’ve never quite gotten over it. Since then I’ve had champagne tastes on a beer budget, which is hard to reconcile at times.
So I fantasise about being wealthy. Not that we’re not comfortable. In fact really we don’t want for anything and I should be grateful for what I’ve got and sometimes, after watching the television news, I am.
But there’s still that part of me that wants to win the lottery and chuck it all in, live the rest of my days in a spacious mansion. There I would wander around in a smoking jacket and sit in the deep leather armchair in my private library reading Somerset Maugham and puffing on a cigar.
It’s just a fantasy though, one lived vicariously watching movies such as Match Point or series like Downton Abbey after which I invariably get the urge to dress for dinner when in reality my meals tend to be taken in front of the television in a tartan dressing gown.
It’s not exactly the high life but when I think about it, it’s really enough.
Besides money can’t buy happiness. I know that. Still, I like to daydream. Anyone for tennis?
Arts Editor – The Courier-Mail