Doan Courant

The semi-whenever newsletter for one of the many Doan Families.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Relationsip movies

(This is the fourth in the series of "My Favorite Films, and Chastity G. may actually like these)

By this time, you have seen all the other films I have recommended. That means it is time for me to recommend some more. I rarely if ever watch "romantic" films. I certainly avoid most of the modern poorly-written, poorly-directed, poorly-acted "romantic comedies." I would rather watch old episodes of "Who's the Boss?" Every so often, though, I do see a movie with relationship elements that I actually like. The following are some of them:

Notorious. This is one of Alfred Hitchcock's best films, and nearly all of Hitch's films are better than the average film. The center of this film is a romance between Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman (two of the finest). It is a complicated relationship, though. It does not always progress as you would expect. Grant's performance in this film is one of his best. I like this movie because the romance is set in an intriguing espionage setting. It is, like most of Hitch's films, very suspenseful. It has at least two very good scenes, one involving a key, and another involving a bottle of wine. This film works as a romance, a psychological thriller, and a spy movie. It is well worth seeing for all those reasons.

His Girl Friday. This is another great film starring Cary Grant. It is directed by the great Howard Hawks. The romance in this film takes place in a newsroom setting, and it takes place over the course of one night. Grant's co-star is Rosalind Russell, who is a perfect match for him. This film has some of the fasted dialog you will ever hear. It is also some of the wittiest. It is a delight to watch how Grant and Russell interact, and to listen to them exchange quips at a tommy-gun pace. By the end of the film, you are almost out of breath. It is a high-paced, high-energy, and high-laughs film that is very entertaining.

Roxanne. This is the purest "romantic comedy" on the list. It is Steve Martin's adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac. It is a funny and touching movie. Martin is great in the lead role. He is a great physical comedian. The dialog is smart and witty. My favorite line is, "I thought you said earn more sessions by sleeving." There are some very funny sight gags in the film, without any of them being too obvious. As romantic comedies go, this is one of the best.
The following is the 20-joke scene. Some of the jokes are bit off-color, but most of them are very funny:

The Age of Innocence. This film is not a comedy, and it is not very romantic. It does deal with relationships. Thus, it is on my list. It is directed by Martin Scorsese. He handles this very subtle material expertly. Daniel Day Lewis is very good (as he always is). He gives a very quiet and powerful performance. This is one of the only films in which I liked Winona Ryder's performance. I don't agree with the eventual outcome of the movie, and Scorsese does what he can to make you sympathize with the protagonist. However, the acting, the cinematography, the directing, the set design, and the writing are all very good. It is worth seeing just for that.
The following is the title sequence from the film, which is very good in its own right:

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