… what a Waste of Time …
Over the epic course of generational time that marks Remembrance of Things Past, Proust charts subtle and ever evolving change in societal attitudes — the acceptance of modernity, and of democratic values. Waste of Time gives only the slightest nod to this grand topic and immerses itself in gossip.
Did he sleep with her? Did she sleep with her? Did she sleep with him? Did he sleep with him? And what did they do when they did? How do Lesbians manage? etc.
Sure there are a few laughs, like any gossip.
It didn’t help that the actors seemed less practiced than in the two earlier, and far more effective, Proust adaptations — the actor playing Marcel, Proust’s stand-in, gave the impression he’d never seen the script before. (For reviews of the first two adaptations, see: Swann in Love, and Albertine Regained).
You couldn’t glean that a monumental novel stands behind the dramatization.
Swann in Love will be presented again at Classic Stage in NYC’s East Village on April 13 — and that’s time well spent!
The relevance of this production had the ring of “Let them eat cake!” as the exposition was at best shallow gossip without insight. Although the open acknowledgement of sexual variety may have been somewhat radical for some in its time, as portrayed, it was inconsequential since it concerned only a very small, self important, yet extremely insignificant social group. Never judge a book by its title – but the exception proves the rule – Waste of Time – reflects the content and sums it up.