IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)

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Christopher

Man, what a great film. It’s pretty crazy watching old movies like this because it’s so sexist but it kind of doesn’t matter because it’s so good?! It kind of reminds me of my love for rap. It’s so awful in so many ways but I really enjoy listening to it. Clark Gable is so badass as the down-on-his-luck-but-also-great newspaper reporter. I can’t really say that I’ve seen too many Clark Gable movies or really any at all maybe? I really need to change that.

I need to try to dress more like they do in this movie. WATCH THIS!!

Elizabeth

I hate to say it, but it’s sort of rare that a movie made before about 1955 makes me legitimately laugh. Humor after 50+ years just tends to get outdated and a lot of the physical comedy hasn’t really made me laugh a lot since I was a kid. However, the two biggest exceptions I can think of off the top of my head would be The Philadelphia Story and It Happened One Night.

This wasn’t my first time seeing It Happened One Night, but it’s been a while and I really wanted Chris to see it. It just kind of amazes me that after almost 80 years, it’s still funny and sort of sexy (it probably helps that Clark Gable is pretty super sexy here). The way they play around with sex and innuendo isn’t as childish as a lot of older movies seem to come across, especially the infamous “Walls of Jericho” concept, Peter’s (Clark Gable) phrase for the curtain he hangs between his bed and Ellie’s (Claudette Colbert) bed while they travel . . . until they finally get together (meaning they get married, it is still 1934 . . .) and “The Walls of Jericho come down.” It’s pretty great. And, yes, I still wince at some of the sexist/borderline scary humor, like when Peter is telling Ellie’s father that she’s the kind of woman who needs to be socked daily, but I’m still able to look past it and just go with it. It’s great.

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LOL (2012)

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Elizabeth

I kind of didn’t know what I was supposed to be feeling while we watched LOL; was I supposed to identify with anyone (I didn’t)? Was I supposed to laugh or cry (I didn’t)? Was I supposed to think anyone was cool, smart, or daring (I didn’t)? LOL is supposed to be about a single mom, Anne (Demi Moore) raising her ambiguously-teenaged daughter, played by Miley Cyrus, who tells us in the opening that her name is Lola but everyone calls her . . . LOL! Except no one ever calls her Lol for the rest of the movie. Lola and her friends are filthy rich Chicago teenagers, who have sex, smoke weed, have huge parties, and don’t give a shit about school. They also apparently go to a school with no teachers or administrators, save for one sad French teacher. They end up going to France on a school trip as exchange students, and upon arriving, The Blond (I guess her name is credited as Emily) says, “Where’s the Eiffel Tower?” even though they aren’t in Paris, and all of the students are horrified at the herd of sheep crossing the road.  Lola and The Blond stay with a family inexplicably obsessed with Joan of Arc, while Lola’s boyfriend, Twilight (his name is credited as Kyle) and some other dude are paired with a family that has a daughter with Down’s Syndrome, whom they make fun of the whole time they’re there. Cute! When Lola gets home, Anne asks her what they did in France and she says they “saw the Eiffel Tower” and “French.” Soooo . . . okay!

The two most important things to take away from LOL: this movie should have been all about Thomas Jane, who plays Lola’s father, and Anne is a horrible mother. She treats Lola like a sister, she looks like Lola’s sister, and never gives Lola consequences for anything, including drugging Anne’s mother so Lola and her friends can have a party. LOL TEENS!

Christopher

This movie is pretty forgettable for obvious reasons but it also brings up some interesting conversation topics.

1) Demi Moore meets this guy. For some reason she decides to ride his motorcycle with him to somewhere, I wasn’t really paying attention, but she finds out that he’s a police officer when a cop walks by and says, “Morning detective!” So this guy is known around the office by all but not at all by first name? But that’s not the point. The point is is that he gives her his helmet, leaving him without one. So just because he’s a “detective” he’s allowed to break the law by not wearing a helmet? This scenario reminds me a lot of Savannah, GA where we went to college. On multiple occasions I saw police cars put on their lights just to run a red light? I’ve never seen that anywhere else but it always made me feel pretty uneasy about the police force in Savannah.

2) I don’t remember the other big life problems I had with this movie because I forgot. Because this movie is awful/boring . . .but kind of a lot of fun to watch.

THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES (2012)

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Christopher

This movie has been something we’ve been meaning to watch for a while and even though it’s been on Netflix it’s been difficult to sit down and watch for some reason. I’m glad we finally did. I thought it was great and completely insane how some people are completely unaware of how life is for others. Also how sad some people’s marriages are. The King and Queen were more like roommates than lovers. I really don’t know how someone could live like that! As much as I would love for someone to be able to take me out to sushi every night (that’s not in the movie just my own fantasy) it would get pretty old if you didn’t enjoy the company.

Elizabeth

There are a lot of really interesting things going on in The Queen of Versailles, but I think one of the most interesting things is how the nature of the documentary itself changed as time passed. In the beginning, it was a documentary about Jackie and David Siegel, billionaires building what was to be the largest house in the US (sort of modeled after Versailles, and they called it Versailles . . . though the real estate agent pronounced it “Ver-says,”). As director Lauren Greenfield filmed, however, the housing crisis happened and the US economy started to crumble, along with the Siegels’ fortunes.

The story then goes from a LIfestyles of the Rich and Famous-esque documentary to a portrait of a family falling apart. It’s hard to feel a ton of sympathy for the Siegels, as they are obviously still incredibly wealthy, just not billionaires. But David Siegel is clearly an asshole, not just because he essentially abandoned his first set of children and told his wife that when she turned 40 he would trade her in for two 20 year olds, but because he took advantage of the system that eventually led to his downfall. And he also apparently helped George W. Bush get elected, in ways that, apparently, weren’t entirely legal. So he sucks. But Jackie was an engineer before she married her first husband (David is her second), so she’s not unintelligent; her stupidity comes from not having to do anything for herself for 20 years. She sends $5,000 to an old high school friend, hoping it would save her friend’s house from foreclosure (it doesn’t), so she has some thoughts of others. But when talking of her children (she has 7, plus her niece that she’s raising), she talks about how she wanted one, maybe two children, until she discovered nannies and then just couldn’t stop having kids. They also have a million little yappy dogs that are not housebroken, and as their fortune starts to dwindle, their house gets shittier and shittier (literally, with those dogs around), as stuff piles up and housekeepers get laid off. Naturally, this means their dream of building Versailles (which was to include a grand ballroom, bowling alley, and a full-size baseball field), comes to a halt, which they must put on the market for $100 million.

Watching The Queen of Versailles made me feel weird, because I was feeling disgusted and jealous while pitying the family. The documentary also takes some time with the housekeepers and nannies, all of whom seem to be non-US natives with poor families back home. How they can stand to be around people like the Siegels is beyond me.

A benefit of watching The Queen of Versailles is that although it made me feel poor, it also made me feel pretty responsible, as I’m not insane and have a basic understanding of what money’s worth. This is definitely worth seeing.