Tuesday, December 25, 2018

favorite movie #120 - holiday edition: when harry met sally ...

Favorite movies that have had an impact on me - #120 - When Harry Met Sally ... (1989) - This movie is so much more than the famous Katz's Deli scene. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are perfectly matched as two people who wonder if men and women can ever really just be friends. Helping them find the answer are Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby. Ryan's "high-maintenance" Sally may always ask for everything "on the side," but don't we all want things the way we want them? The movie culminates in a great New York New Year's Eve scene.

Harry Burns (Billy Crystal): There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally Albright (Meg Ryan): Which one am I? 
Harry: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance. 
Sally: I don't see that. 
Harry: You don't see that? Waiter, I'll begin with a house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. "On the side" is a very big thing for you. 
Sally: Well, I just want it the way I want it. 
Harry: I know; high maintenance.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2018

favorite movie #119 - holiday edition: follow the fleet

Favorite movies that have had an impact on me - #119 - Follow the Fleet (1936) - The New Year's holiday was always synonymous with Astaire/Rogers films on television when I was growing up in the New Jersey/New York area. All of their films are good, but this film is my favorite, because it includes the uber-romantic and melancholy dance number, "Let's Face the Music and Dance."

Fun fact: "Let's Face the Music and Dance" is filmed in one continuous take, lasting two minutes and fifty seconds.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

favorite movie #118 - holiday edition: christmas in connecticut

Favorite movies that have had an impact on me - #118 - Christmas in Connecticut (1945) - Barbara Stanwyck makes this cornball romance about a single food writer who falls in love with one of her biggest fans a joy to watch. Nobody could mix corny and sassy like Stanwyck. Along for the ride are Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet, S.Z. Sakall, and Una O'Connor.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

favorite movie #117 - holiday edition: peter’s friends

Favorite movies that have had an impact on me - #117 - Peter’s Friends (1992) - This film, about the getting together around the New Year's holiday by a bunch of old college friends, feels mostly improvisational, and probably for good reason — most of the cast are old college friends or frequent collaborators. Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson, Tony Slattery, and screenwriter Martin Bergman attended Cambridge University together and were members of the Cambridge Footlights. Director Kenneth Branagh was married to Emma Thompson at the time of filming, and Bregman is married to co-writer Rita Rudner. Hugh Laurie was a former comedy partner of Stephen Fry, and Imelda Staunton has appeared in numerous projects with all of the cast. Called a British Big Chill, the film is less about a generation as it is about the nature of friendship. Some of the plotting and situations seem familiar, but the fun comes from watching this talented cast interact with one another. And I am happy for any chance to see one of my favorite British comedians, Tony Slattery, apply his zany energy to anything.

Stephen Fry
Tony Slattery