Trendy Man: Mr. Melon, your wife was just showing us her Klimt.
Thorton Melon: You too, huh? She's shown it to everybody.
Trendy Man: Well, she's very proud of it.
Now, had the conversation ended here, I could understand and appreciate, on the PG-13 level, the pun they were making regarding Thorton's philandering wife. However, Dangerfield then says:
Thorton Melon: I'm proud of mine too. I don't go waving it around at parties, though.
I … what? Wait. Either I missed the initial pun or Dangerfield has quite a bit of explaining to do. The movie doesn't pause for contemplation, moving on with:
Trendy Man: It's an exceptional painting.
Thorton Melon: Oh, the painting.
Instead of attempting to ponder Dangerfield's potential middle-sexuality, at the risk of rendering oneself asexual, let us instead focus on the fact that Klimt is an exceptional painter.
Housed in Austria's Gallery Belvedere for the past half-century, the five paintings now hanging in LACMA were only recently restored to their rightful owner after being pilfered by the Nazis in the 1930s. After a lengthy legal battle, Maria Altmann reclaimed, amongst three landscapes, the two gold-plated portraits of her aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer.
Oil, silver, and gold on canvas – how often does one read those as the ingredients for a 1907 painting? And how often does one see an intelligent and beautiful woman rendered? Her dress, Byzantine in style, is a menagerie of eyes, squares and circles (the squares and circles, of course, represent the PG-13 anatomy referenced above.)
Melon's wife was right in showing off her Klimt.
LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd., in Los Angeles. Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs 12 p.m.-8 p.m.; Fri 12 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sat & Sun 11 a.m.- 8p.m. Admission is $9, $5 for students with ID or free everyday after 5 p.m. For more information, call (323) 857-6000 or visit www.lacma.org.