Friday, August 31, 2007

The answers to: Substitute teacher, Richard Clark's easy-ass,

movie related pop quiz... Part 1

1. What is your favourite romantic comedy, and why?

Really great romantic comedies are few and far between. We seem to average one per decade these days: When Harry Met Sally in the 80's, French Kiss in the 90's, and Love, Actually in the oughts. Notting Hill (1999) also ranks amongst the highlights, but films that I enjoyed the first time around like Pretty Woman and Sleepless in Seattle have failed to impress me upon repeat viewings.

Most everything else-- and there are a lot of romantic comedies churned out every year-- falls into one of two categories: mediocrity or dreck.
When properly executed, the romantic comedy is my favourite kind of genre picture, and it's a shame to see so many half-assed productions (and I do see them all).

For complete satisfaction, I find myself going back to the screwball comedies of the 30's and 40's. There are so many great films to mention, but my absolute favourites ('cause it's a tie) are It Happened One Night and The Philadelphia Story. The dialogue junky in me appreciates the rapid fire exchanges between Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in the first picture. Their lines are charged with sexual undertones, embedded with subtext in order to skirt the rules of censorship governed by early production codes. It Happened One Night is very much a movie of its time, but its charm and wit is sure to appeal to contemporary audiences, too.

Equally appealing is the powerhouse trio of Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and James Stewart, as cast in The Philadelphia Story. I can't claim to be Hepburn's biggest fan, but her performance in this film is pitch perfect. The two leading men are equally adept, Grant with his mastery of both verbal and physical comedy, and Stewart bringing his trademark charm and sensitivity to the table. Plotwise, the movie delivers a number of surprises, and with each viewing I am reminded how fresh and funny this 1940 production is, and just how many of our modern day comedies are not.

amy said: Bridget Jones's Diary. Because when I saw the movie for the first time and Mister Darcy told Bridget that he likes her, just as she is, all of my romantic ideals were created. And now my expectations are through the roof...Stupid movie.

jaclyn said: When Harry Met Sally because I love how determined they are to remain good friends and nothing more just to prove a point and also because I learned a lot about how men and women think! Plus Meg Ryan is so stubborn and silly and lovable!

athena said: Say Anything because Lloyd Dobler has ruined me forever. (Which after a lot of therapy and time I’m ok with.) But I also loved the part where Diane grows up and learns that her dad is fallible. So yeah, true love, parental fallibility and John Cusack make me a happy girl.

2. Name a movie that you watch over and over again without getting tired of, a film that you could put on at any time and enjoy. Reason(s)?

I have to mine the past to answer this question, too. There are many rich films out there that deserve repeat viewings, but the only one I can put on anytime, night or day, whether I want to watch it or not-- and get completely sucked in-- is Casablanca. Simply put, I don't think a more compelling story has been written for the screen. I wouldn't go so far as to claim that it's the best movie ever, or even my favourite, but every element of the screenplay functions to maintain intrigue. Once it's on, it's on... I can't press stop before the end.

amanda said: Shawshank Redemption - I've seen this movie more times than I can count and each and every time I watch it I love it even more. I always cry a little, laugh a little and when it's over I'm impressed that it gets me every time.

athena said: I feel like Star Wars (original trilogy only!!) is self-explanatory but I’ll do my best-

a) It’s full of mythology and spaceships. I like that…

b) It’s full of evil guys in cloaks and Han Solo. Them too….

c) R2-D2 and C3-P0. It has true love too!!

d) It’s full of redemption and friendship- my 2 favourite things in movies, with mythology and spaceships running a close second.

e) “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for … He can go about his business … Move along.”. Yes sir…
(athena rocks)

joanne said: (and this kills me!!) Troop Beverly Hills. I don't think I even need to explain why.

3. What is the first film you remember seeing in the theatre?

Like most of you who commented, my first cinematic memory is of a Disney film: The Fox and the Hound. I would've been four or five years old. Every so often my mom reminds me how much I loved it. If I've seen it since, though, I can't remember. Mayhaps it's time to rent it for the sake of nostalgia... and perhaps a review?

4. Woody Allen: yes or no?

Love him or hate him-- there doesn't seem to be any middle ground (save for a few people I know who say that they hate him but really dug Match Point). For me, it's a "yes." The first Woody Allen movie I saw was the first he directed: Take the Money and Run. I was hooked by this neurotic, witty nebbish... I related to him (for better or worse), and proceeded to watch the rest of his films in near consecutive order. Yes, there have been a few missteps, but surprisingly few considering that he's made (at least) one film a year for nearly forty.

amy said: Meh. I haven't seen any of his 'greats' only that detective sleuthy one with Scarlett and Wolverine. And it was meh.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

this is brilliant.

the end.