Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Thin Man Goes Home (1944)

Thin Man number five, and I am still giving the movie four stars. Although, I just read that this Asta is not the original Asta, and that is making me a little bit sad. This Asta is just as good of an actor as the original, though. He even has a happy dance for when things are going well.

So, in this movie Nick and Nora go off to visit Nick's parents. Nick is prepared for a restful vacation, but of course there is a new murder to solve. Nora is thrilled about the case, hoping that this will be Nick's chance to finally show his dad that he is a great detective and has chosen the right career. Nick being Nick, he works on the case while pretending not to work on the case, driving Nora so crazy she eventually tries to take it on herself.

I think that one of my favorite scenes is near the end of the movie when Nick and Nora attend some kind of charity auction at a hotel. Nick wants to go do some sleuthing, so he hands Nora off to a poor sailor without a dance partner who immediately starts jitterbugging with her. He throws her up in the air, swirls her around on the floor...

Also, the bonus to being at Nick's childhood home, is that when the final scene comes around with all the suspects gathered together in one room, Nick's mom is there to make them "cocoa to calm the nerves."

Only one more movie in the set (unless you count the William Powell and Myrna Loy documentaries). I guess I'll have to start re-watching soon...

Love Affair (1939)

So, not only did I see "An Affair to Remember" first, but until recently (probably because of you) I never even realized that it was based on another movie..."Love Affair." Now I know that it is not really based on "Love Affair," it is "Love Affair." It's been a few years since I saw the 50s movie, but I was actually able to recite a lot of the lines in "Love Affair" right along with the movie and say things like, "Now they're going to meet his grandmother, and she's going to offer Terry her shawl when she dies." Now I have to watch "An Affair to Remember" again before I forget this movie and see how much of it is identical. Although, with Leo McCarey directing and writing both movies, I'm sure the newer one will be as identical as I think it's going to be. But with the addition of an orange Cary Grant.

Do I need to explain the plot? American Terry McKay (Dunne) meets the charming French playboy Michel Marnet (Charles Boyer) on a ship from Europe to the US. They are both engaged, but...they fall in love. After a lot of flirting, some painful silences, and the fear of imminent docking, they decide that if what they have is real, in six months they will meet on the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building at 5:00 pm on July 1.

Of course Terry is hit by a car and paralyzed on her way to meet Michel. "I was looking were up there." And of course Michel waits until midnight in a thunderstorm and leaves hurt and furious. And of course Terry is unwilling to call him and tell him what has happened. She's just waiting to learn to walk again so she can run into his arms. Even knowing the plot, it still feels horrible to watch it unfold.

Why Irene Dunne is wonderful:
She really does have perfect timing. Even though this is not at all a comedy, every once in a while you can see how great she is at delivering, for lack of a better word, sassy comebacks. When Michel first meets Terry, he starts trying to butter her up with all sorts of comments about how bored he was before he met her and how he was worried beautiful women didn't travel anymore. Just as my friends were saying, "I'd be throwing him out at this point," Terry shoots back with, "Have you been getting results with a line like that?" She also manages to get in a very nice, "How's your fiancee?"

Random final detail of interest: The creator of Pepe Le Pew modeled the skunk's voice and mannerisms after Charles Boyer.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

When Ladies Meet (1941)


Great premise! Will definitely watch again, four stars.
I got this on Tivo when, after seeing The Women and then No More Ladies, I created a Joan Crawford wish list. This movie begs the question - are all Joan Crawford movies about infidelity and do they all have either the word "women" or "ladies" in the title? Can all problems be solved by inviting the key players to a weekend in the country? So far, the answer is yes!

An idealistic young novelist falls for her publisher, a married man. While writing a book about it, she theorizes what she would say to his wife if they met. Of course, in her book the two women speak to each other respectfully and with calm understanding of each other's position. Both her former boyfriend and the publisher try to tell her that in real life it would never be like that and try to convince her that her book has to be changed to make it more real (i.e. to make the women more selfish and more black and white - one evil and one good).

This movie also reminded me that when I was 19, I found myself canoodling with a guy one night and then the next day being introduced to his girlfriend. I was very proud of myself when I managed to get her alone and tell her the situation. She walked right back into the cafe (which he owned), slapped him in the face, and walked out again. She got in my car, and I drove her home - one of the single most gratifying evenings of my life. (But then again, I _am_ a lesbian, so I guess I'm _bound_ to pick loyalty to a girl over loyalty to some guy I didn't even like.) Anyhow, I was also young and idealistic enough to believe that there was good and there was evil and it was easy to tell the difference. Later, when I met my wife and she was in a relationship, I played the same tune that Crawford plays in this movie "if it's really the love of my life, it's all right" - and the truth is, it's not all right, it's terrible, but sometimes it happens. Very, very rarely do women stick together in this situation, but Joan Crawford and I can be forgiven for dreaming that it might be possible, I think.

But, I digress - back to the plot: in desperation, (desperation to win her back, not desperation to fix the book) the ex-boyfriend befriends the wife and brings about a meeting between her and the novelist in real life. We get to watch the scenario play out, and it's great!

At first, the two women don't know their relationship to each other, and they get along well. You find yourself cursing the evil ex-boyfriend. Then they begin to talk about the book and each woman makes her case for her own perspective...respectfully and with understanding of the other woman's position. You find yourself half rooting for them to be grown-ups and half wanting the other shoe to drop so that they can have their cat-fight.

Of course the truth comes out and then things get heated pretty quickly, but it's really interesting to see a movie that allows characters to have a certain degree of honesty about themselves...and yet each one has a blind spot. By meeting, they are able to point out each other's blind spots and there is a resolution, even if it's not a happy ending, per se.

On Tivo's LiveGuide this movie was billed as a romantic comedy, but the comedy is lightly sprinkled over the movie rather than really a part of it. However, there were some great comic moments, mostly derived from the interactions of the oblivious hostess with her weekend guests. I leave you with the words of the dotty hostess, Bridgie Drake:
"If a woman must make a fool of herself, the least a man can do is to let her be one in her own way."

Suspicion (1941)

Smarmy Cary Grant character... or is he? While watching this, I was trying to think of other smarmy Cary Grant characters. I think that lately I've been watching a lot of the "I would run off with that Cary Grant character" movies, so I'm having trouble remembering other smarmy ones. Anyways, this is not a Cary Grant character I'm planning on running off with. Lina (Joan Fontaine) feels differently, though. She meets and marries Johnnie (Grant) pretty quickly, only to discover that he is completely broke and hasn't worked a day in his life. He's too busy gambling and spending the money he does not have. But he's Johnnie, handsome and lovable, so Lina believes she can change him... until she starts to suspect him of murder.

I think it's worth watching this movie for the shadows. Sometimes when Lina steps into the front hall of her house she looks like she is in a cage. Here's Johnnie coming up the stairs with his mysterious glass of milk for Lina. See the shadows?

What you can't really tell from the picture is that the glass of milk is glowing from within just to show us how suspicious it is. Would you trust Johnnie? Lina doesn't...

She makes Johnnie sleep in his dressing room and leaves the milk on her night stand.

I think I'm giving this movie three stars. I'm sure I'll watch it again someday. Right now it's making me want to watch "Notorious," though.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday (1938)

So, I got a Cary Grant box set for my birthday, and I'm slowly but surely making my way through it. All I remembered about this movie was that Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn walk around on couches and that I really liked it. I still really like it. And it turns out it is somewhat of a tortured love story while also remaining a romantic comedy!

When you look at that picture, can you tell which woman Johnny (Cary Grant) should be with? Is it his fiance Julia with the fantastic hat? Or is it her "black sheep in the family" sister Linda (Hepburn)? Is this even a question? From the moment Johnny and Linda meet they are joking and having the best time of their lives. And I spent the whole movie watching them wanting to climb into the tv and shake Johnny.

Johnny and Linda are confused for so long... Although maybe more Johnny than Linda. Linda is just too good of a sister to try to woo away her sister's fiance. Johnny is the one who can't see that maybe he is not in love Julia who he has known for a week and with whom he does not seem to be able to carry on a meaningful conversation. Johnny wants to quit his job and take an amazing holiday to find himself and discover the world while he's still young. Julia wants him to sit down at a desk and make millions for the rest of his life. Johnny completely misses the fact that not only do he and Linda understand each other completely, but that she is the one he always seeks out when he needs to talk and that she is the one he is head-over-heels happy with. (Is that a phrase?) They do backflips together!!! See how much fun they're having?

Everyone needs someone who makes them want to do backflips.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dark Passage (1947)

I love Humphrey Bogart. I love Lauren Bacall. Their movies together, Big Sleep and Key Largo, rank among my favorites. I'll watch them again and again. However, there is one movie that I constantly pick up at the video store and then put down again.

I don't know why I didn't want to watch it, but it seems that my instinct was good -because this movie SUCKS.

This is one of the things I like about classic movies: they are usually watchable because, to be a classic, a movie has to have something that keeps it from being shelved forever: great costumes, great actors, great lines - anything to keep us interested. Ergo, they are usually watchable, even if not great.

However, there are a few movies that snuck in the back door...once their stars are established as great, some movies become classics just by virtue of the presence of a single actor. This is very definitely a classic based ONLY on the star power of the Bogie/Bacall combination.

Alas, it doesn't even have much of Bogey and Bacall.

Here is the problem: the synopsis tells us that Humphrey is going to be recovering from "underworld plastic surgery" but instead of investing in some make-up or special effects, the director decided to shoot the first half of the movie in first-person perspective.

This is a horrible thing to do to an audience. For the first 30 minutes we get to watch Humphrey Bogart's hairy hands picking up objects, opening doors, shaving and turning shower knobs. There are a few establishing shots, a few shots of him with his face in deliberate, exaggerated shadow, and, mercifully, some of the longest unedited shots in history of Lauren Bacall. Just watching Lauren Bacall is...wonderful. It's kind of a torture, too, partly because her face and her features are just so exquisite that you can clearly see you will never, ever be that beautiful - the flawless skin, the perfect curve of the lips, the bone structure!

But I digress. Back to the badness of this movie. Since we can't see his face, we have to have EVERYTHING explained to us - at least that is what the director thought. From the first scene, the voice over explains EVERYTHING. First, Vincent thinks about how long it will be before the cops find him. "Ten, fifteen minutes." Then he goes on... "Got to start taking risks!" It's like reading the diary of an extremely timid crook.

Even when the VO stops for a while (and it does come back throughout the movie), the dialogue is pretty awful. A lot of long, expository monologues. After the plastic surgeon works on Humphrey he gives him instructions for his recovery, that's the important stuff. Then he goes on to give a little speech, "You'll look ten years older, but you'll always feel ten years younger."

The movie is always telling you what to think: hate her, love her, suspect him, look at's tiresome.

Lauren Bacall's clothes have a few good moments and a few inexplicably awful ones. I know she's supposed to be painting in the first scene, but must leisure clothes be HIDEOUS?

Most of all this movie is SLLLLLOOOOOOWWWWWW. DEATHLY slow. We're an hour and fifteen minutes in and it feels like we've been watching for years.

One star, cannot recommend except for serious Bogie-Bacall fans who are seriously curious.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)

Four stars - will watch again annually.
I was all excited to watch a classic Christmas movie that didn't include any racially-insensitive musical numbers (see "Mandy" in "White Christmas").

But alas, I had forgotten the horrible cake-walk number in which a "Zulu" sings to his love in broken English under the bamboo tree (huh?). It's not just racially insensitive, it's absurd.

However, you can't toss out the baby with the bath water and in this case the baby is a sweetly ridiculous period piece full of apocryphal Americana. What other movie can boast the ice wagon, homemade ketchup, early Halloween celebrations, trolleys, straw hats, and a "Skip to My Lou" dance number? Not to mention the romantic scene where they turn down the gas lights!

And I haven't even touched on the costumes!! Judy Garland makes her entrance in a blue-striped tennis dress with a white bow that DEFIES DESCRIPTION.

Then she appears for the first party of the movie in a dress that looks so much like it was made from a curtain that I feel certain it was one of the cast-offs in the tryout for Scarlett O'Hara's curtain-dress. I can hear the director, "no, no, it looks too much like a curtain!"

Since I'm so fond of this movie, let me introduce you to the Smith family:
Alonzo Smith, the father who completely misunderstands his own family
Anna Smith, the perfect mother, savvy and sympathetic
Rose Smith, the oldest daughter, a bit prissy
Alonzo Smith Jr, the eldest son
Esther Smith, the impetuous one, not a bit prissy
Agnes Smith, the relatively normal odd, precocious young girl
Tootie Smith, the REALLY odd, precocious young girl
Katie, the tart, matter-of-fact family maid - obviously the inspiration for the Brady Bunch's Alice
Grandpa, the Grandpa

This also contains one of my favorite Christmas carols, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" one of the best sad/happy songs ever!

I leave you with a parting quote:

Anna: "What about Katie and Grandpa and the chickens - not that we have many left."
Alonzo: "Those are minor details that can be worked out later!"
Grandpa: "So I'm a minor detail?"
Alonzo: "Now you all know very well that I was talking about the chickens!"
Anna: "Of course, never mind what happens to your family, at a time like this talk about the chickens!"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It Happened One Night (1934)

Very funny!
Four stars, will watch it again.

An heiress runs away from home and accidentally falls in with a reporter who is desperate to get her story. Sound familiar? Maybe you saw the more popular Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn? Yeah, very similar.

Clark Gable is very funny and the writing is awesome. They have a hysterical fight about what exactly a piggyback ride is and their non-stop bickering/negotiations as they tour the country trying to get to New York City keeps the movie moving.

I don't have anything else to say that doesn't spoil some other aspect of the movie.

A classic in every sense of the world.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Lady Vanishes (1938)

I wanted to see this movie for a long time, mostly because it's referenced in "When Harry Met Sally." When Sally spots Harry in a bookstore and says she won't say hi because he never remembers her anyways, Carrie Fisher's character tells her that she's probably destined to fall in love with him, it's just like the movie..."you're the most contemptible man..." So I saw it and promptly forgot all about it. This doesn't mean it is not a great movie, though! I just rewatched it, and it definitely deserves four stars.

This movie is great Hitchcock. There are trains, there is intrigue... Iris (Margaret Lockwood) is traveling home to England to be married, and she's not terribly happy about it. While in the hotel by the train station she meets a number of the other passengers who are about to be on her train. There's the couple having the affair and the dopey guys who are obsessed with cricket. And most significantly, there's the charmingly sarcastic musician Gilbert (Michael Redgrave) who threatens to share her room with her -scandal!- when she has him thrown out of his room for playing his music and dancing too loudly. And of course there's the sweet old governess Miss Froy. Iris is mysteriously knocked out by a flower pot before getting on the train, and Miss Froy stays with her and helps her. After spending part of the day with Miss Froy on the train, Iris wakes up to find that not only is Miss Froy gone, but that most of the other passengers deny every having seen her and claim that Iris has been alone the whole time. Gilbert is the only one willing to help her... and the intrigue begins...

The love story between Iris and Gilbert's characters can be summed up with three quotes:

1) When they meet: "You are the most contemptible person I've every met in my life." her
"Confidentially, you're a bit of a stinker, too." him

2) After having spent a number of intense hours together trying to solve the mystery of the missing Miss Froy:
"Do you like me?" him
"Not much." her

3) When things are going the most swimmingly: "You heartless, caddish, swollen-headed beast..." her, of course as she is kissing him

So I love the mystery, and it was probably good that I didn't remember the plot, because that allowed me to enjoy the mystery all over again. The movie also made me think a lot about why I love stories where the characters hate each other before they fall in love. Do we all love these stories? Someone else must, or there wouldn't be so many of them...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

In the Good Old Summertime (1959)

Four stars, will definitely watch again. You know it's good when you see it pop up on your Tivo and you watch it again start to finish, even though you still remember the plot.

The best thing about in the Good Old Summertime is that it's a Christmas movie. It starts out with a voiceover reminiscing about the good old days in Chicago in the summertime and ends on Christmas Eve.

If you have an eerie feeling that you've seen this one before, you may have seen its predecessor, "The Shop Around the Corner" or the Broadway musical "She Loves Me" or the more recent re-write, "You've Got Mail".

I find it strange that I love this move although I hate You've Got Mail. The premise could just be aggravating, really: two people fall in love through the mail while simultaneously meeting and annoying each other in real life.

Luckily, Judy Garland is just so full of emotion for everything that it makes it believable that her character would love her pen pal as passionately as she hated her coworker.

Plus there are the costumes! Judy Garland's first outfit features a parasol, a hat with cherries on it, and a fake bird that perches atop the hat. AWESOME.

Also features Buster Keaton in a supporting role...up till recently I had no idea how long he had survived in the film business - it's really amazing! Of course he does the physical comedy that adds so much to the scenes he's in.

The movie features a violin virtuoso - giving over one whole scene just to her playing - kind of like the operatic orphan in "Here Comes the Groom".

The movie ends with a forgettable Christmas song and an unforgettable line "Psyhologically I'm very confused but personally I feel just wonderful."
And then as a bonus, you get a return to the "Good Old Summertime" and get to see tiny Liza Minelli's screen debut.

My Favorite Wife (1940)

Four stars, will definitely watch again.

A shipwrecked woman returns to her family after seven years on a desert island and finds that she has been declared dead and her husband has just married another woman.

There is no sympathy for the other woman, she is an absolute pill but after a half hour of Cary Grant not being able to figure out how to tell his second wife that his first wife is still alive you do kind of want to just pick him up and shake him.

But he just looks so darn cute in his leopard-print bathrobe.

Anyhow, eventually Grant figures out that his wife wasn't alone on the island, he tries to figure out what happened on the island, she tries to hide it, and hilarity ensues!

It's akin to Bringing Up Baby in the combination of physical comedy and comedy of errors.

Every Girl Should Be Married (1948)

Four plus stars...will definitely watch again

If I were Anabel (Betsy Drake) and ran into Madison Brown (Cary Grant) at the lunch counter and then in the department store where I worked buying baby booties and being charmingly nice to young children, I'm sure that I, too, would see no other course than to stalk him until we were married. The movie was wonderfully hilarious.

One of the most wonderful things about the movie is that Dr. Brown knows what Anabel is up to the entire time. When she stalks him for two weeks to learn all of his habits, interests, and favorite foods, he lets her know he was aware the whole time. During Anabel's first attempt to get Dr. Brown, which goes a little wrong because she does not know yet that he is a "baby doctor," she makes an appointment with him and tells him all about her " might be emotional." Dr. Brown tells her "I’d recommend a little less romantic imagination and more sleep." Annabel has her work cut out for her. She has to find craftier and craftier ways to get Dr. Brown's attention. "I know it’s dreadful," she tells her friend "but it’s the kind of thing men force us to do."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One Touch of Venus (1948)

Two stars. If a friend really wants to watch it with me, I would probably be willing to watch it again, but I will need to be doing something else while I watch!

I’ve been wanting to re-watch Mannequin (very much NOT a classic movie, as it stars Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall, James Spader, and lots of 80s music) for a long time now, so when my dad told me about One Touch of Venus I was really excited. A statue of Venus comes to life in a department store and falls in love with a lowly window dresser (who I will be calling "doofy guy"). When I read on the box that it is a musical romantic comedy, I was even more excited. I could only imagine the kinds of songs they would sing together.

It turns out the movie is only loosely a musical. Venus sings "Speak Low" a few times to woo her reluctant doofy guy and to call him back to her. The song also works well for a parallel plot involving doofy guy's fiance and doofy guy's best friend. There is a really silly number about finding the right man and then one more entirely forgettable song later on. So forgettable I can't even remember where it fell. Just that there were three songs.

I also wasn't sure if Venus was really in love with doofy guy, or if she just thought he would make a good pet with all of his "Golly you’re beautiful" comments. At one point, while trying to make Venus feel tired, he almost managed to hypnotize himself. Venus wasn't really any less doofy than her guy, though, so maybe it was a good match.

The high points:

*Secretary to the head of the department store, Molly, played by Eve Arden... the only character I could stand... although she was forced to change her ways to get her guy

*the fact that there was a model home in the department store, and that part of the story took place there... this is why I love IKEA...model rooms are fun...dollhouses for grownups

*Venus's very original way to help doofy guy evade arrest... She used her magic to turn the arrest warrant into a string of paper dolls. Then, when the cops still seemed to want to arrest her doofy guy, she used more magic to make one of the cops act like an owl.

*this quote about a fiance who can't wait to pick a wedding date: "Why, even when we have dinner together, the only thing she has is rice."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Married a Witch (1942)

"Thou has denounced me as a witch, and for that thou will be accursed. Thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children." How could you not watch a movie that has this dialogue near the beginning? Apparently Thorne Smith, the creator of the great Cary Grant ghost movie Topper, had an unfinished novel that some lovely people turned into this movie...

I am giving this four stars, and I would definitely watch it again. It was hilarious.

Basically Veronica Lake's character Jennifer is a bad witch (because witches are bad) who gets burned at the stake in "Puritan times." Before she is burned, she curses the man who deounced her so that he and all his male descendents will marry the wrong woman and be miserable in love. Did I mention that in Puritan times we get to see people wearing pilgrim hats? While they say "thou?" Jennifer's soul, along with her crafty and somewhat drunken warlock father's, is trapped in a tree planted over the burning spot. When the tree is struck by lightning in the present day, she and her father are released. Here begins the similarities with Topper... Jennifer and her father appear as witch smoke until they are able to find new bodies for themselves. It is pretty entertaining to watch the little puffs of smoke float around talking to each other, especially when they keep using words like "thou" and "thy." One of the best moments is when the smoke puffs ride a broomstick together. The special effects continue throughout the movie. As soon as Jennifer has a body, she immediately sets out to torture the soon-to-be-married and soon-to-be-elected-governor Wallace Wooley, male descendent of her denouncer. She decides that of course the best way to torture him is to get him to fall in love with her. "True suffereing cometh."

Jennifer gets Wally Wooley to rescue her naked from the depths of the burning "Pilgrim Hotel," and the plot begins to twist and turn. There are so many fun moments. I won't ruin them. Watch this movie!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Help! (1965)

Hey Bee-attle.

I would like to give it fewer than four stars, but it is hard to give the Beatles fewer than four stars. Hmmm. The music deserves more than four stars... "Help," "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," "I Need You," "You're Going to Lose That Girl"...

I watched Help! with my dad, because he's been waiting anxiously for the DVD to be released. I hope he doesn't mind that I didn't love it. Maybe loving this movie is dependent on mood. I know I liked it a lot more the first time I saw it, sometime during high school, when Amy and I decided to have a movie day. I remember sitting on the floor of my parents' room eating popcorn, watching too many movies, and laughing a lot at this one. I didn't laugh as much this time.

Bascially Ringo has ended up wearing an important ring that marks him as the next sacrifice victim of an "Eastern" cult. The cult chases him. Mad scientists hungry for the power of the ring chase him. The London police try to help. The Beatles come up with crafty plans. Hilarity ensues.

I did learn a bit about my dad's catch phrases. A woman from the cult decides that she likes the Beatles and wants to help protect Ringo. When she first reveals herself to the Beatles, after the cult members have used the hand dryers in the bathroom to try to vacuum the ring off of Ringo's finger, along with random items of clothing and such, she announces, "I am not what I seem!" Apparently my dad uses this phrase during meetings at work. And he tells me that "I can say no more" is a good way to end a meeting. Another line from the female cult member.

Watching Help! was a little like watching a Monty Python/Austin Powers movie with great music. It is fun to watch the Beatles act really silly. I will probably see it again someday hoping to laugh more.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Spellbound (1945)

Four stars for the movie and 13 stars for Gregory Peck's face in this movie

I think that this is a great mystery, and I do not want to give away anything that would ruin the suspense, so I'm not going to give very much of a plot summary. When the movie begins, Dr. Constance Petersen (Ingrid Bergman) is a psychoanalyst at Green Manor. We first meet her while she's working with a patient who declares, "I hate men! I loathe them! If one of them so much as touches me, I want to sink my teeth into his hand and bite him!" Be ready for more quotes, because I loved the dialogue in this movie!

Dr. Petersen is a calm and brilliant thinker, but her smarmy colleague tells her that her "lack of human and emotional experience" is bad for her as a doctor. Touching her is "rather like embracing a textbook...[although she's] a sweet, adorable, and pulsing woman underneath." This all changes, though, when Gregory Peck's character arrives to take over as the new head of the facility, and of course Dr. Petersen falls in love...

I loved the movie, but it definitely had some interesting things to say about women (even beyond the above quotes!):
"The poor girl's withering away for science."
"Do not complete the sentence with the usual female contradictions."
"woman doublespeak"...
"We both know that a woman in love is operating on the lowest level of intellect."

I can forgive the above for the exciting plot and Gregory Peck's face. Also for...
Tips and Lessons learned:
*Next time an unwanted guy gets too close: "Would you mind not sitting in my lap?"
*Next time a friend is catastrophizing or I need to talk myself out of catastrophizing: "That's a delusion you've acquired out of illness."
*Next time I am trying to figure anything out: Remember every detail of my dreams, even if they are not Salvador Dali dream sequences like the one in the movie.
*Next time I am trying to hide from someone: Put on my glasses! Dr. Petersen is able to hide just like Clark Kent!
*Next time I am tempted to fall in love with my psychoanalyst: Do not! It gets messy!

And I must mention that 1945 Gregory Peck and I would be perfect for each other. When Dr. Petersen tells him where she's hoping to put a pool on the Green Manor grounds, he very seriously tells her, "I'm a great believer in swimming pools." I love swimming pools.

And because I love quotes, just a few more:

"There's nothing nicer than a new marriage. No psychosis yet... I wish you to have babies and not phobias."

"Will you love me just as much when I'm normal?"
"Oh, I'll be insane about you!"

Monday, November 12, 2007

Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)

Three stars...will have to watch again to figure out what was going on!

I have definitely learned my lesson that it is not a good idea to do other things while watching a Thin Man movie. Everyone talks too much and too quickly, and there are just too many characters to keep track of. So, unfortunately, I got a little confused until I finally gave up on the birthday present I was making for my friend's son.

Things I did notice:

Nora's hats! Despite the fact that everyone at the wrestling match Nick and Nora attended laughed and told Nora her hat was screwy, I love her hats. She wears so many great ones in this movie.

Fast motion effects! Was fast motion used in all the movies to try to make Asta's movements funnier? The culmination of the fast motion use was when poor Asta got stuck in a revolving door and kept going around and around really really quickly.

Toddler leashes! It is apparently not a new thing to parade your toddler around on a leash. The movie begins with Nick leading Nick Jr. leading Asta through the park.

A very young Donna Reed!

I did answer some of my questions from the previous Thin Man, too. Nick Jr. has not started to drink yet. In fact, he may be a good influence on his dad. "Drink milk!" he declares. Even though Nick protests, "But I can't drink milk now. I'm a big boy. I wear long pants and go out with girls," Nora makes him obey his son so that they can drink milk together. And yes, Nick does always seem to work by gathering up all the suspects and waiting for someone to slip up.

I must not do other things while watching Thin Man movies.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Lover Come Back (1961)

Doris Day and Rock Hudson? Sign me up! Advertising agencies again...almost as much fun as the newspaper business.
I'm about 40 minutes in when I know for certain this was the inspiration for Down with Love - which was awesome. I just hope Doris doesn't get duped.
Three stars - one whole star for the hats!

Oh the hats! I wish I could show you a picture of each and every one! But is there ONE good picture of the hats on the internet? No there is not!

Tony Randall is awesome as Rock's bumbling boss and Ann B. Davis (Alice from the Brady Bunch) as Doris' secretary.

Renee Zellweger did an admirable imitation of Doris Day in Down with Love.
In Down with Love the two main characters are engaged in a public fight over women's liberation while at the same time the guy ends up wooing the girl under an assumed identity to get back at her.

In Lover Come Back they are basically just fighting over clients although there is a loud subtext about women who don't want to put out and men who sleep around.
I can't give this four stars because the ending is just too weird and unsatisfying. I won't give it away because you already KNOW it's a "happy" ending so the only fun part is how do they get together in the end and I can't deprive you of the enjoyment of discovering that, however limited that enjoyment might be.

Only if you've seen the weird Sandra Dee movie "Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding" will you feel that the ending is vaguely familiar. Maybe they hired the same screenwriter to finish both scripts. Or maybe they just lost the last five pages and didn't feel like bothering with a re-write.

Regardless, enjoy the hats, enjoy the bizarre insight into product development, but don't hold your breath for the ending.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Place in the Sun (1951)

We flipped to this after Heroes didn't was already about halfway through. Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor - famous for being young, beautiful, famous and...just friends.

Rose McGowen was guest programming with Robert Osbourne (and looking great doing so). Robert talked about how there is chemistry between Taylor and Clift here but not in their later films together - he thought because later they were too close as friends to have chemistry.

Hmm, Robert, I don't know, do you think that could be because Clift was showing the unabashed admiration, flattery and tender attention that only a gay man (not risking any real rejection) can lavish on a woman? And, not knowing he was gay (yet), Taylor was very naturally responding warmly to this attention and showing him that sensual and openly affectionate side that unreserved adoration from a beautiful man can bring out in a woman? Making beautiful screen chemistry. And they do have chemistry but - it's all in Taylor's eyes! She does have beautiful eyes.

And legs.

That must have been hard for Liz - being best buddies with the most beautiful young gay man in the world. I guess River Phoenix was my generation's Montgomery Clift. Why is it that famous young lesbians run around Hollywood racking up DUIs and indulging in dangerous fashion combinations while famous young gay boys run around Hollywood racking up scandals and indulging in dangerous drug combinations?

I guess it's still harder to be a macho gay man that it is to be a come-hither lesbian. Or you could be a macho-lesbian a la Jodie Foster...but I digress.

The movie's about a young man from the wrong side of the tracks who falls in love with a girl from the right side of the tracks but - oops - he's knocked up his old girlfriend already. So he 'finds a way to get rid of her' as Tivo euphemistically puts it.

This movie has a doomed, guilty mood to it - a real melancholy, dark feel.

You can see how Montgomery Clift fed this role deeply from his own life - his passion and his guilt all mixed up to make a kind of exquisite private torture for him. I wonder if having a tragic life counts as acting? Anyhow. Like James Dean and Brando I'm sure he's really good and everything, but I just can't pretend I enjoy watching his performance. He's tortured, we get it, can we cut to the chase?

Coming in halfway through, we weren't sure if he was really guilty or just guilty of wanting her dead.

Do you think she thinks he's innocent? I asked Kim.
Yeah, she said.
Do you think he is innocent, I asked.
I don't know, Kim said, I'm kind of iffy.
We decided we thought he was guilty.

Two stars, for Elizabeth Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor's legs. Will not watch again.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

I read that Katherine Hepburn was meant to have been considered for the part of Scarlett O'Hara. But the studio picked Vivian Leigh instead. And a good thing, too. Katherine's inherent Yankee-ness isn't the only reason that she wasn't right for that part...Hepburn was never petulant. You could see in Bringing Up Baby that some of the lines might have been meant for that...and in Pat and Mike she's supposed to be nervous and rattled by her fiance. Katherine just never seems really helpless, and as much as Scarlett is helpless at times - and petulant - Blanche Dubois is even more so.

I first saw this movie in high school when I was reading Tennessee Williams plays for acting class, and I fell in love. I walked around talking in a soft little southern accent for months afterwards - albeit under my breath so no-one could hear me. There is just something about her character that is captivating. She is useless, vain, selfish, frail and, of course, increasingly crazy as the movie progresses. But you do get the sense that some great wrong was done to her. Some wrong that she couldn't help and that she doesn't know how to incorporate into her view of the world.

She's like a girl who was raised to think the world was all puppies and lollipops and then had a puppy die in her hands, choking on a lollipop. (hm, not my best metaphor, maybe).

Anyhow, you just want her to be happy and get out of Stella's hair, really. Because as much as you hate Stanley, you kind of feel for Stella - it's kind of like Stella and Stanley are Rocky and Adrian, if Rocky hadn't won the fight with Apollo Creed.

Stanley's not a bad guy, or so you think. Then he goes and forcefully messes up Blanche's chance at happiness - or at least a version of happiness.

That is one thing about TW's plays (and the movies made from them): they are beautifully sad portraits of beautifully tragic characters, but there is the sense that no-one is really happy or ever will be. Which I guess makes sense because if you were a gay kid growing up in the south there really was no chance that you were going to be very happy, was there? (I mean, apparently he had a partner and they were pretty happy but at the same time, he died choking to death on a bottle cap, drunk, so that's not a very happy picture, is it?).

So when Blanche loses her shot at semi-happiness, and Stella begins to descend into the third circle of hell that is a fight between your sister and your really start to hate Stanley. And of course that only makes the fragile Blanche more sympathetic, by comparison.

Like all TW plays, too, in this one there is a veiled sexual encounter that colors the whole play darkly.

There is no other movie that I would describe as "disturbing" "tragic" and yet "wonderful".

Four stars. Nevertheless, won't watch again for a while. It is disturbing and not something that you shake for a few days after watching it.

PS - I have not praised Marlon Brando here because I've simply never found his character that fascinating. He plays Stanley well, but Stanley is like lust and fate and resentment all rolled into one. Sure, Brando is great, but his character existed for me before I ever saw his portrayal.
Blanche was the character that haunted me, the character who was unique: she was a manipulative victim. Everything bad you could say about her was true: snobbish, self-absorbed, deluded, vain, over-sensitive - but she was still somehow precious and beautiful and innocent.
In that way she was something like Scarlett O'Hara if she hadn't been so resilient. It made an interesting character, and one that you can't shake after the movie ends. I'm quite sure Brando is an absurdly good actor and someday if I ever watch another movie with him in it I'll tell you all about it. But I think it's silly to put him on the cover of the DVD. It's not his movie.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Gone with the Wind (1939)

I used to think that I hated Scarlett O'Hara. And if I watch the movie the whole way through, I always do. It is really hard not to hate someone who is selfish and who keeps making the sames mistakes over and over again. From an adorable spoiled brat, we watch her grow into a woman without losing her selfish, vain, stubborn and manipulative traits. In some ways, it's like watching a 19th-century Paris Hilton for four long hours.

But the truth is that I don't hate Scarlett. You can't completely hate her. I love the bit where they escape the fires of Atlanta - you know...

...the part where she is left by her protector and beau, Rhett, to bring her sick cousin and her cousin's newborn baby back home...only to arrive home and discover that her mother has died, her father has gone crazy, there is no food and no money and the Yankees have incinerated their barn? I love that part. Especially where she gags on the dirty radish, that's great stuff - that's the Simple Life to the power of one hundred.

So this time we started the movie there (no matter how you slice it, the damn movie is too long! I see nothing wrong with skipping the beginning once in a while.) - I can really almost like Scarlett from there until she marries Frank Kennedy. Then you see by the look on Mammy's face that even she is horrified at the depths of Scarlett's selfishness.

When she said "if I have to steal, cheat, lie, etc I'll never go hungry again" you didn't think she meant she'd be lying in order to steal her sister's fiance...that's low!

But it's after she gets Frank killed and marries Rhett and the baby is born (and named >gag< Bonnie Blue Butler *shudder*) - that's when I switch it off. Because that's when it's clear that even motherhood won't bring out one unselfish feeling in her. While Rhett dotes on his daughter, Scarlett stops brushing her hair long enough to scold him: "Great balls of fire! I had the baby, didn't I?"

Maybe if she'd ended up with Ashley in an alternate universe that would have brought out unselfishness in her? As I was typing this, Rhett himself answered me.

Rhett: I feel sorry for you.
Scarlett: Sorry for me?
Rhett: Yes, sorry for you, because you're throwing away happiness with both hands and reaching out for something with both hands that'll never make you happy.
If you were free and Miss Mellie were dead and you had your precious honorable Ashley you think you'd be happy with him? You'd never know him, never even understand his mind, any more than you understand anything, except money.

Oh, angry Rhett Butler, you are so fine! Rhett's really like a romance novel hero come to life and walking around - he totally takes Scarlett into his arms and does the "you've never really been kissed before now" kiss. You know, this one:

And that is why, I suppose, this movie beats out every other movie, to be the people's choice for best movie ever. When you consider all the movies of all time that it has to beat out, that's pretty impressive. The best movie of all time is a mushy maudlin one...well maybe that's why Titanic is so popular. Schmaltz, Schmaltz, Schmaltz. We admit to loving it!

I do prefer Casablanca, though, because the characters are noble and the sad ending is made good by the fact that the characters find redemption in their love for each other. Rick gets to know that Ilsa loves him enough to leave Victor, to whom she is unfailingly loyal, Ilsa gets to make a sacrifice again that now feels great enough to make her feel almost worthy of her noble husband, and we get to see Rick and Ilsa have their hungry, stolen kisses on the way. Oh, and the Nazis get it in the end.

I guess that's another reason that it's easier for me to love Casablanca than GWTW...I'm a Yankee and those sentimental moments of slavery always tick me off. I know the Yankees were not princes, so the vilification of Yankees doesn't bug me too much - but the portrayal of the beautiful old South as nothing but bucolic happiness is a little hard to swallow. Sure, sure, Ashley would have freed the slaves as soon as his old man died...but what about the rest of them? What about slaves that weren't as happy as Mammy and Prissy (Prissy!) and Pork (Pork!). It's just hard to watch.

Almost equally unsavory is Scarlett's disdain for "white trash" and the noble prostitute, Belle, who saves Ashley's life later on, in spite of Scarlett. It is just easy to hate her, and I almost believed I did...but despite it all I do like her. She's just so spunky - I mean: she shoots a marauding Yankee in the face point blank, she forces her younger sisters into hard labor, she says things like "I can shoot straight, as long as I don't have to shoot very far"! In 1868, that would have been downright radical.

Yes, she is a paradox, Scarlett O'Hara - a heroine we love to hate. Carry on, Paris Hilton of the old south, carry on.

After all, tomorrow is another day.

Three stars for the whole movie. Four stars for the first three hours and two minutes of it. I think I would end the movie with Mammy showing off her red petticoat and Mellie telling Rhett he can go in and see the baby...the END.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)

Okay, this is not really a "classic" movie - but it fits so nicely with the other comic messes from the sixties, I just have to add it.

What a mess!

It's got all the funny moments and the songs are great (although apparently they cut a lot of songs) but the editing makes me want to shake the editors, one by one, until they cry.

Montage, montage, montage - acceleration, slow motion, montage set to music! Please, please please - spare us the latest trick you have just learned! If the costumes don't bowl you over with loud awfulness, the montage at the end of the movie will leave your eyes falling out of your head - just to get away from the never-ending scene.

Based on a funny play, some pretty funny performances, some awesomely awful costumes, adds up to two stars. Spare yourself that last scene, just fast-forward to the end credits.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Miracle Woman (1931)

Here is a movie that is so simple but so good that it will make you regret the invention of color film processing.

Tivo said it was about "a faith-healer who is redeemed by her love for a blind pilot." Redeemed by love? Say no more!

Yes, it's a melodrama, but I couldn't hold that against it. There are moments so simple and sweet that it makes you forget the dramatic moments altogether.

Once again, there is that "and you thought this was modern" element. If you thought big, showy religious figures taking money from people and then being brought down in a scandal was new when Jim and Tammy Bakker were around, boy were you wrong.

I knew I would like this movie when they introduced the sweet young leading man. He's not a swashbuckler or a gangster, not a typical leading man at all, but I was taken in by him completely.

The shyster character is perfectly awful, too - calling the Miracle Woman "sister" and convincing her to use her abilities to get back at the hypocritical parishioners who didn't appreciate her preacher father.

Four stars, am watching again right now.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another Thin Man (1939)

Asta does tricks! I had to rewind a few times to watch. He gets so excited that he does a full backflip. The backflip alone earns this movie at least four stars. Plus, one of my little first graders had just written a story about her dog Canada who she claims can do a flip, so I got to tell my student I watched a movie that made me think of her story. So Asta's backflip made a first grader very happy, too. And now, as the owner of a Thin Man box set, I can watch this movie as many times as I want. Will I ever review a movie I don't like?

Anyways, this Thin Man movie finds Nick and Nora with a baby, Nick Jr. So of course baby humor becomes an important part of the plot, mixed in with the new murders. Imagine all the cute and zany things one can do with a movie baby, especially when the baby's father knows a lot of crooks. Some of Nick's crook friends even throw a baby party for the Charles family...hilarity ensues (am I allowed to use that phrase, too?)

Mostly, ignoring the plots of the different movies, I just continue to love Nick and Nora and their witty dialogue.

I'm left wondering a few things, though, after this movie: As the series goes on, will the movies really remain good? (Although, Amy, you seem to have seen the later ones and liked maybe I shouldn't be worried.) Will Nick Jr. help solve any crimes? Will Nick Jr. and Asta have to take up drinking? And, do all the Thin Man movies need a scene in which all of the characters are forced to get together so that Nick can work his brilliance in front of them all? I need to keep watching and find out.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

No More Ladies (1935)

There is another movie like the Women!!

More Joan Crawford!
More Witty lines!
Another wise older relative! (Grandmother instead of mother).
And now with - large shaggy dog! (instead of the oddly precocious child, I suppose).

This seems to have been the prequel to the Women - in it one woman is determined to keep her playboy husband at home. At least in this version of the story the other woman is not an inhuman bitch and the man takes most of the blame for his own behavior.

Also, you have to love the grandmother - clearly she was the inspiration behind several Carol Burnett characters. It makes me very sad that I could not find a picture of her to share with you.

What is it with the 30s and divorce movies? I guess the 30s were pretty hard times for the family values crowd. These movies put the controversy at the center of the story, but the main characters end up not divorcing.

But then again, what movie has a happy divorce? It just doesn't make a good movie. Nope, the prerequisite of a romantic comedy is that it must end in marriage.

Philadelphia Story, The Awful Truth, The Women, His Girl Friday - all of these almost-divorce movies end with happy marriages - and three end with a recently divorced couple getting back together again and, presumably getting re-married to each other.

Joan Crawford's wardrobe could have won a best supporting actor award - except for the one that looks like the dog's post-surgery collar got stuck to her head by accident. They had some pretty out-there ideas in the thirties.

Cousin Edgar and Granny Fanny alone are worth the price of admission. Someday I will go back and transcribe some of the better lines for you.

Four Stars. Will definitely watch again - probably as a double-feature with the women.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Four stars...I have lost track of how many times I've seen it.

This movie is the reason I love Cary Grant. The faces he makes, his comedic timing, the ways he flips over chairs and over himself... I watch every Cary Grant movie I can get my hands on hoping for more of this.

There is also just something wonderful about a dark comedy in which two sweet little spinster aunts poison lonely bachelors with elderberry wine and bury them in the basement just to be nice and helpful. The men are their "charity cases." Mortimer Brewster (Grant) arrives home with his new bride and steps right into the middle of his aunts' latest charity case. At first he thinks his nutty brother Teddy has killed the dead man he discovers in the window seat, but his aunts soon set him straight:

Mortimer: Men don't just get into window seats and die!
Abby: Of course not, dear. He died first.
Mortimer: But how?
Abby: The gentleman died because he drank some wine with poison in it. Now, I don't know why you're making such a big deal over this, Mortimer. Don't you worry about a thing!

Mortimer's brother Teddy believes that he is actually Teddy Roosevelt and spends part of the the movie digging locks in the basement for the Panama Canal... holes that really end up as graves for the lonely bachelors. By the time Mortimer's convict brother Jonathan appears in the house to hide the body of his own murder victim (although the aunts object, because a crook should not be buried next to their nice gentlemen) there is almost too much insanity to keep track of. Poor Mortimer has to try to cover for his aunts and Teddy, try to protect everyone and himself from Jonathan, and worry that he will go insane like the rest of his family. "Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops," says Mortimer. Such a fun movie.

I'm not a cab driver, I'm a coffee pot.

Brigadoon (1954)

This is an interesting entry for me. Regrettably, probably boring for you, dear reader. Let me apologize in advance.

I came home this evening and settled down to relax for a while. I flipped on the TV and my Tivo was recording Brigadoon (or trying to, it's having problems communicating with the digital cable box). In it, two hunters stumble on a quaint Scottish village seemingly undisturbed by modernity.

About 40 minutes into the movie we come to this scene:
Gene Kelly (reading from a large book, apparently the family bible of the lass he's smitten with):
"listen to this! Married - Elizabeth Lange to Andrew Campbell July 2nd, 1719"

He goes on to read that the birth date of his new girlfriend is October 10th, 1732 (a libra!). This was odd for Gene Kelly, but, since I've seen this movie once or twice before, this didn't get me wondering what was up in Brigadoon, it got me thinking about my genealogy project.

For the past month I've been looking up family genealogy online and bothering my relatives and Kimberly's with questions about their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

So, as Gene Kelly and his buddy went racing around the countryside tap-dancing with men in argyle tights and shirts with gigantic balloon sleeves, I went and found a little pamphlet that I received in the mail from my grandmother earlier this week.

The pamphlet was printed in 1901, updated in 1907 (my neighbor didn't think that was possible because it has staples but who knew staples had been invented in the 17th century? God bless Wikipedia). It contains information relating to the genealogy of the Cunningham Family, my maternal grandmother's family.

As Gene Kelly comtemplated life without his beloved Fiona and his buddy got drunker and drunker off a flask of what is presumably some vintage 1764 scotch, I settled down to try to decipher the tiny lines of print full of dates and abbreviations in that hundred-year-old pamphlet that read, in part "Edward, b. 1823; d. 1889; one of the most eminent of the American merchants in China; m. 1858, Fanny Helen, dau. of George B. Cary of Boston" - that, without a doubt, is my great-great-great grandfather and great-great-great grandmother - Ned and Fanny!

Now this little book just goes back from there - so as Gene Kelly, torn between the bucolic life in the Scotch highlands and the life he knows in New York City, decides to make his sacrifice for his wee lass Fiona (played by Cyd Charisse) I started to plot my family tree John Adams Cunningham, Andrew C, James C, William C - back to the original Andrew who, it turns out, is Scottish. Back to kilts and Brigadoon!

In fact, evidence suggests that Andrew must have been born in Scotland sometime around 1654, well before Brigadoon was enchanted by the prayers of a lunatic priest to only appear (spoiler alert) once every hundred years.

What does this mean? It means:
a. I am not descended from Gene Kelly
b. Cyd Charisse could be some kind of distant relative
c. I can wear a "kiss me, I'm Scottish" shirt now, if I want to.
d. all of the above.

Now if only my ancestors had handed down Cyd Charisse's dresses to me...that would be really awesome!

Four stars. Will watch again right now.

Correct answer is D.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding! (1967)

Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee - lousy with viginity!

When I was eight years old and learned every word to that song (from the musical Grease if you didn't know - you might also want to come out from under that rock - looks uncomfortable under there) I had no idea who Sandra Dee was. The thing is, now that I have discovered her, I don't find her to be lousy with virginity. In almost every role she plays, she ends up sending off the unmistakable allure of innocent desire. Sure, she's virginal, but her eyes say "take me" - maybe that's the point. That innocence was the one thing Rizzo, dancing around in her underwear, knew she didn't have.

Nevertheless, I think Sandra Dee is MUCH sexier than Olivia Newton-John's Sandy. And in this movie she actually loses it. Then, at the end of the movie, when a man says to her "you ARE a vestal virgin" she gets to utter the sinful line "well, not QUITE" - followed by a camera pan down to her pregnant belly. Touche, Rizzo!

I liked this movie despite the "oh those crazy crazy kids" theme that it had going (same as the other sixties movies) - also, did they discover voice over in the sixties? Or just fail to restrain themselves in the use of voice over?

Sandra Dee plays an unwed mother with three men vying for her hand.
FLASHBACK! How did this come to be?
The young virgin had a stage mother and Sandra was her victim - I mean, star. In her quest for the dream of a famous daughter, her mother (who also is mysteriously single - maybe a war widow?) mortgages the house and overlooks the antics of her daughter's amorous beaus.

Sandra's character fights the young men off like a true virgin but can't help giving it up for one man...landing her in the predicament she's in at the beginning of the movie.

In addition to the flashback with awful voice over, there are two dream sequences, an awful montage, and a round of "special effects" where things pop on and off the screen. It's the kind of movie that "Down with Love" mocks so perfectly. And yet it's not a bad evening after all.

After all, Sandra Dee, like I said, just oozes sex without seeming dirty and who is George Hamilton? He's kinda dreamy:

Ew. Or he was in yourself a favor, don't google George Hamilton'll just ruin it for yourself.

Also, there are the costumes! One outfit of a minor player - a secretary, had me mesmerized. And there is a scene where SD dances in a club in high-waisted capri pants and a cropped sweater some little flats and a long bohemian necklace that just made me want to run out and recreate the whole ensemble. (Me to myself: "This is how pants can be so great: they are sexy, sophisticated, relaxed, feminine, modern, and liberated all at once. Also, they make her ass look great.")

Will watch again...just remember to fast forward through the montage of facial expressions that takes the place of an argument in the cab.

Four Stars. Will watch again.