Here is an interesting thought: could James Bond live in a McMansion?
When I first heard that “American Beauty” director Sam Mendes had been tapped to make the newest James Bond film, I wondered how the choice might transform the series. Would we find Bond sitting in a McMansion wearing a cardigan and brooding over a failed marriage? Would his spy gadgetry be disguised as high-end kitchen appliances that symbolize the emptiness of American life? Would we discover in the end that the true enemy was, in fact, the inescapable horror of suburban ennui? Would he switch his drink order to white wine?
Fortunately the answer on all counts is a firm no. With “Skyfall,” the 23rd entry in the Bond franchise, Mr. Mendes has not altered Bond so much as found the character’s core and polished it up for a modern age. He has made a Bond film that is different from its predecessors, but almost entirely in ways that are improvements. It is the most beautiful Bond film. It is the darkest Bond film. It is the most psychologically revealing Bond film. And for these reasons, it may also be the best.
The easy answer is that James Bond is too suave to ever live in a mass-produced, garish McMansion. Plus, McMansions are a little too much new-American for Bond.
But, then I started thinking about the homes in which James Bond might live. I haven’t seen many of the movies but I have read some of the books and I don’t remember too many instances of James Bond even being at home. Bond is not the sort of character who is tied down to a sentimental, comfortable home. The concept of home is related to being tied down and having roots. While the quirky Sherlock Holmes is commonly found in his home and office, Bond doesn’t fit into a domestic scene. Rather, Bond is a world-traveler who can look cool in all situations. He doesn’t need a home much.
In the end, how much of Bond’s appeal is tied to being anti-domestic?