Friday, January 20, 2012


Directed by Delmer Daves. I've considered blogging live while watching a movie but never really bothered to. I kind of did with "Mixed Company" but that was less about logging my thoughts as I watched the movie and more about getting the post done as quickly as possible before I fell asleep.

Anyway, if you know me (and why would you be reading this if you didn't) you may know that I often watch movies while I exercise in order to make the horrifying task of exercise less horrifying. As opposed to making the unproductive act of movie-watching feel productive.

Taking in the 130 minutes of "A Summer Place" in approximately four workouts on my aging NordicTrack Sequoia is proving to be the best ever example of synergy between both the need to make exercise bearable and make seeing bad movies seem not like a waste of time. Because while "A Summer Place" is not in a category completely of its own as abysmal movies go, I would have no excuse seeing it by myself. The only reason someone should see this without exercising at the same time is with a group of friends, and good luck convincing them to come by and see it with you.

In fact, here's a marketing idea: a DVD-reissue of this movie that comes packaged with an aerobics step or a yoga mat or something like that, and with the DVD encoded with a track that you can turn on so that in the corner of the screen a fitness instructor takes you through a workout using the piece of equipment that came with the DVD.

If you don't know this movie, here's the deal -- and I can't tell you everything, not because I don't want to spoil it, but because I'm not done seeing it yet (for crying out loud, I've only had two workouts with it and it's more than two hours long) -- but this completely dysfunctional couple (Richard Egan and Constance Ford) shows up at a resort and Egan immediately starts playing around with the woman who runs the place (Dorothy McGuire) while his wife schemes to get their daughter (Sandra Dee) married off to the owner's son (Troy Donahue) without them ever holding hands or kissing. The kids do have a date, but it doesn't go very well if you consider a shipwreck not going well. When the Coast Guard returns the kids the next day -- so they've been gone all night here, you understand -- Dorothy McGuire is freaked.

That's when I yelled out, "Check her hymen!" And do you know what?

She does.

So you can see how, for a horrible freaking movie, now I'm sort of interested to see how this works out.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Directed by Glenn Ficarra, John Requa. In general, I don't trust movies co-directed by more than one person and this one is not an exception. I went in skeptically for a number of reasons, and my suspicion was rewarded. "Crazy, Stupid, Love." attempts to present a character-driven comic drama about the ironies of contemporary relationships. Unfortunately by the third act it has become so carried away with itself and has long forgotten the strengths of its characters or even its ensemble cast, which includes Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon and naturally, Ryan Gosling, though at this point it's probably easier to tell you which films he is not in.

So the first half of the film can be recommended on its strengths and the second half can be recommended depending on your curiosity to see a movie in which nobody at the high school graduation thinks it seems weird that the father of the salutatorian takes over his son's graduation speech and makes it all about him. Which by the way, is eventually received by a applause that begins with a single slow clap. Really. Crazy, stupid, ending.

Larry Crowne (2011)

Directed by Tom Hanks.
  • "Wait, that's not what would happen in that situ...."
  • "And that's not how college, even community college actually..."
  • "I don't think she'd really say..."
  • "Oh whatever."