I thought she milked it a bit

chopin7

Senior Member
Albanian
Hello

There's George and Ben after some concert.
Ben asks George "What did you think of the Wieniawski?"
George responds "Not bad. I thought she milked it a bit."
After this, he adds "Well, when the piece is that romantic, there’s no need to embellish".
After his last sentence, I can find a meaning for "milk".
But no meaning of "milk" seems to fit here.
At least, the ones I know.
Movie "Love is Strange"

Thank you
 
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I think it's this definition of milk from our dictionaries:

    to extract;
    draw out;
    obtain:to milk laughs from the audience.
    (transitive) to extract as much money, help, etc, as possible from:
    to milk a situation of its news value
    In this case, I expect the milking is to do with drawing out as much musical effect as possible from the piece.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    In this case, I expect the milking is to do with drawing out as much musical effect as possible from the piece.

    Yes, but the sense is negative; the implication with this usage is that it is excessive. (Which is why he then adds that "there’s no need to embellish.")
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Chopin,

    Apparently the piece of music was pretty enough to stand on its own. George felt that the performer didn't need to "milk it" - to add any additional interpretation to the work as it's originally written. That could be in the form of maybe adding some fancy extra notes to the melody, adding some additional vocal runs not in the song as it was written. Even adding more emotion with body language, tone, tempo, rhythm, loudness or softness - just more than he deemed necessary.

    In this case, yes, you're correct. It was said with a negative attitude because milking it in this instance wasn't needed, a far as he was concerned.
     

    chopin7

    Senior Member
    Albanian
    Thanks, everybody.
    My impression here was that "milk" is not a good choice of word.
    But anyway...
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    "milk" probably isn't the best choice, that's true.

    I might say:
    she overdid it
    she went overboard
    she was overly dramatic
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I like perpend's answer, but "milk it" works here, too. It's a matter of style and taste. Also, this is just a little snippet of the whole movie, so it's impossible to know if that word fits the pattern and rhythm of the character's "voice" overall. If the man in the movie was a sophisticated and knowledgeable music critic, he might have used a different phrase - but then again, he might not have. It all depends on how it's meant to work in the moment here.
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    "milk" probably isn't the best choice, that's true.

    I might say:
    she overdid it
    she went overboard
    she was overly dramatic
    That's exactly what milking means in this sort of context.. Trying to get the last drop out of the performance as possible, I'll not try to milk this any further: but I could go on for ages trying to expand on the romance that flowed, even exuded, from her spirit .... etcetera.

    GF..

    Milk(ing) is the perfect word for this...... Who drank the milk? :D
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    I agree with AngelEyes. The meaning of milked it fits in here fine - the only question is whether it fits in with the overall mood and tone of the dialogue. It's a bit slangy, but that's not necessarily a bad thing because it's also pretty vivid.
     

    chopin7

    Senior Member
    Albanian
    Thank you, George French and Justkate.
    All I can say is that the personage who says this is indeed very sophisticated and very knowledgeable about music.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Okay, I got curious and went and found info on this movie, which features two aging gay men and the problems that ensue after they marry. After watching the movie trailer and getting a feel for them both - and also for the nature of the film - I think "milk it" works. It's true, they're learned and refined, but the more casual phrase we're discussing here fits, in my opinion, Chopin.

    They're referring to a violinist's interpretation of a musical piece, I believe. Yes, that's a bit highbrow, but these characters aren't stuffy at all. So while the other suggestions here work, too, "milk it" is not out of line. The musical piece was probably a passionate one, and the musician must have gotten carried away a bit in either, or both, her interpretation and her posture while performing it.

    Even highly educated people choose more plain-spoken words in everyday conversation, which I think is the intention of the script here.
     
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