Some of my children and grandchildren are fans of the TV drama “24”. They watch it, tivo it, quote it, and analyze it on their blogs. I knew the premise of this show but had never watched it. I had to see what all the excitement was about. So I used my Netflix arrangement to rent the first season of “24.” Each week for the past month, I have received a dvd with four episodes. Sixteen times during the past 28 days I have watched Jack Bauer struggle to save his wife and daughter from abductors while trying to head off the assassination of a presidential candidate; fighting terrorists – all the time unsure of who he can really trust… I needed a break from the tension.
Thus it happened that “Lars and the Real Girl” appeared in my mailbox. This movie, made in 2007, stars Ryan Gosling. The blurb on the dvd sleeve says the movie is a comedy about a delusional young man who orders a life-size doll off the internet and when he falls in love with her his family becomes concerned.
Sounds like a plot that might go way over the top, doesn’t it? With an actor like Jim Carey or Will Ferrell, it could become a gross slapstick about sex dolls. But Ryan Gosling portrays the now-normal-now-skewed Lars with believability. This is not so much a story of a young man in love with a doll as it is about what happens when people treat another person’s fantasy with acceptance and understanding, allowing Lars to have his delusion because he needs it.
Ryan Gosling was nominated for the Critics Choice Award for his fine work in this film.
For Christmas I received an Audrey Hepburn collection that included Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I hadn’t seen this movie all the way through since the first time on the big screen and all I remembered about it was that in 1961 I thought George Peppard was about the cutest thing I had ever seen.
It’s a fairy tale about Holly Golightly, a free spirit determined to marry a millionaire and Paul, a struggling writer. There’s a happily ever after ending, which is necessary for make believe, though the telling of the story is dated in many ways. Paul declares his love for the flighty Holly, saying, “You belong to me.” To which she responds, “No one belongs to anyone.” They were a couple of decades apart in their thinking.
Mickey Rooney’s comedic protrayal as Holly’s Asian neighbor is way too politically incorrect for today’s climate. In fact, the movie’s director, Blake Edwards, apologizes for this inappropriate casting during the special features interviews.
This is a movie to just sit back and enjoy … the beautiful scenery in Manhattan and beautiful Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Don’t analyze the story too much. That’s the best way to enjoy a fairy tale.
At the end of a rainy Memorial Day weekend with cable channels showing every World War II movie ever made, Fox Movie Channel finally showed my favorite, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison. Made in 1957, this film stars Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr as a marine corporal and a nun stranded on a desert island.
This is one of those movies that must never be re-made. I can think of no two actors today who could capture the feelings and, okay, sexual tension, without going overboard. Because the great thing about this movie is that they did not “do it”. She did not break her vows, he did not see her naked and, overcome with passion, take her right there on the beach, oblivious to Japanese bombs dropping all around.
Because, for them, something was more important than sex. (There, I said it.) Something like, maybe, a promise to God.