Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
What a Waste of a Golden Opportunity True GWTW fans avoid.
I read the novel by Alexandra Ripley and found it cowardly and ham handed. Ripley missed a golden opportunity to show us the South after the War with all its horrors and triumphs. Even had Ripley glossed over the beginnings of Jim Crow with a straight romance, Scarlett would never, never, never, give up Tara. To imagine her doing so is to belittle her love of the land inherited from her father and the bond between father and daughter. Worse, it turns our fierce independent heroine into a lovesick nitwit who would throw away her birthright for a mess of Irish pottage. By making up out of whole cloth some faux Irish near royalty, the movie guts the strength of the O'Hara immigrant experience and betrays both the original novel and the movie.
The movie from such a weak brew could only be weak, cowardly and ham handed. Although Whalley is certainly a delicate looking creature as Leigh was and Dalton is a decent stand-in for Gable, they have nothing to work with but a tortured and convoluted avoidance of the South, its heritage, its tragedies and its strengths.
Quality Street (1937)
Sometimes an old fashioned meringue is just what you want
Someone said they liked this more than the overrated Philadelphia Story, now that might be a tiny bit over the top but I do adore this movie. I first saw it as child. The print was grainy and I could not get over the fact that one of the Miss Willoughby's looked like Marty Feldman in a dress. But it was pretty, pretty language, pretty clothes, pretty harmless people. As I learned more about the Napoleonic wars (and WWII that was just beginning a full boil as this movie was made) I gained a respect for the need for a palate cleanser such as this. It's acted in high style, a lite version of a French farce or Shakespeare at his most lighthearted.
Regardless of the fluff there are sinews in this piece that make the fluff more satisfying. Dr. Brown leaves his love, not a potential starving widow but a pretty thing more likely to marry if he's killed. The Throssels, rather than starve, take students and do fairly well although the smell of old maid schoolteacher is beginning to tire them. Dr. Brown is gently teased that he has aged himself as he has to compete for "Livvy's" attentions and he is lightly chastised for his inability to realize that 10 years must age his sweetheart. The herd of widows and old maids are not the cruel destructive soured bitter things they might have been but rather just a little catty and too nosy. They are the gatekeepers of morality in fantasy land. The way Dr. Brown rips down the school sign and gentle accepts responsibility for Susan displays a knowledge of the peril in which unmarried poor women stood in the early part of the 19th Century. And finally, love makes even an old maid lovely.
This is a perfect movie when you're feeling bruised by life and the extremes of overly produced films.
Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)
Irritating and Insulting
Jessica is bored and unable to chose a man who is worthy of her opinion of herself. She answers an ad placed by a woman who uses a quote she likes?!? Boom she's gay?
Her putative lover Helen makes a series of trashy choices to let us know she's open to having a girlfriend as we meet her having a turn with her trans-racial (male) lover while her nebbishy married (male) lover stews a few steps away and the entire gallery full of people where this is taking place KNOW exactly what is going on. And no one seems to question her antics at her place of employment. Not only is this unsavory (although her boss and friend a gay man is obviously supposed to accept and condone this behavior) but unlikely post-Aids. Not to mention this is supposed to be a woman who would wait a month for Jessica to decide to sleep with her?
(Spoiler) In the end Helen catches "gay" like she catches her cold. Jessica and Helen do no work on this "relationship" after moving in together and Jessica it turns out was just waiting for her perfect man to be "artsy" enough for her and return to writing. (End Spoiler)
The always note perfect Tovah Feldshuh is wasted as Jessica's loving mother. Re-watch Desert Hearts if you want to see a romantic Lesbian movie and forget this dreck.
Big Eden (2000)
Romantic Fantasy knows no bounds
The movie is a darling and charming bit of fluff. My Girlfriend and I sat yelling at the screen when Henry was being obtuse and I realized that while this might be just a romance novel, it is quite like some of my obtuse friends who miss opportunities out of fear. I was reminded of Desert Hearts (and that's a good thing). And as far as being gay-friendly, while sure the town was a bit overloaded with Gay men (although it was made clear that some had driven over so that Widow Thayer could play Dolly Levy in one of the funniest scenes in the movie) it's no more unrealistic than the rest of the movie. It's a comfort to know that no matter how open a society gets, we'll always need a Yenta! And the sound track was cool as could be!
Casablanca, ahh Romance, Bravery, Loyalty, Decency!
Some have commented that movies like "American Beauty" or "Fight Club" should be listed above this on the AFI list of movies. I loved both those films but there is no way you can compare a modern Babbitt (sad and pitiful as he is) or some post-modern fantasizing about how to get out of your credit-card bill with someone giving up Ingrid Bergman (!) and the coolest job in the world to go fight Nazis in the desert.
I think loving this film is a matter of wanting to see a universality on film that speaks to the better angels of our nature, not just the pretty decent ones, but qualities of honor that are hard to find in modern film.
Also Bogie Kicks *ss. And the Love Story is de-voon.
I remember when I made my best friend watch it (we were 15 and I'd already seen it a dozen times). As Louis and Rick walk away and the music comes up she smacked me and yelled "He lets her leave?? HOW could you let me watch this and he let's her LEAVE?!"
The movie is poetry. Plain and simple.
and remember: there are vultures, vultures everywhere.
The Raven (1963)
Fascinating to watch three classic actors ham it up as a future star appears.
Great special effects? No. Great plot? Not really (though it hangs together better than some -- not surprising with E.A. Poe and Richard Matheison as authors). Scary? Not unless you think about these folks getting paid to be so corny. But it is a hoot nonetheless to see a classic Roger Corman cheese fest that doesn't take itself too seriously and you get to see micro-flashes of Jack Nicholson's raw talent. Peter Lorre, far from the effete evil of The Maltese Falcon is actually turned into a bird here. Vincent Price and Boris Karloff, two greats of the old school scary movies are light and silly here (and you can tell they know it). It is my guilty pleasure that I never miss when I spot it on TV.