Daily Archives: November 28, 2014

Flashback Friday- The American President (1995)

A person in power is always attractive, especially in politics. But what happens when the person in power is attracted to someone across the political spectrum?

In The American President (1995) Andrew Shepard (Michael Douglas) is the President Of The United States. He is also a widower with a growing daughter. The voting public likes his work, the next election seems like a piece of cake. Then Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening), a paid political activist for an environmental lobby enters his life. Politics and personal life will soon clash as Sydney’s past comes to the light and Andrew must decide which (and who) is more important.

I like this movie. Douglas and Bening work well together on screen. The what if element of a single president a lobbyist from across the political spectrum makes for an interesting story.

I recommend it.

 

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Flashback Friday- From The Bright Lights Of Broadway To The Silver Screen-Chicago (2002) & Hairspray (2007)

Hollywood has a long tradition of making movies from Broadway musicals.  While movie musicals flourished during the golden age of movie making, the fervor for movie musicals has slowly dissipated over the past thirty years.  Hollywood has tried to resurrect the genre, but only a few of these movies have been successful.

In 2002, a movie was made based on the hit Broadway musical Chicago.

Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) are on death row, accused of murdering their significant others. Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) is the hot shot lawyer whose job it is to keep his clients famous and away from the  gallows.

I saw the musical on Broadway years ago. The movie is very true to the stage show. It is subversive, entertaining and a commentary on how fame and the justice system makes for strange bedfellows.

In 1988, indie filmmaker John Waters introduced the world to the movie Hairspray and a new leading lady: Tracy Turnblad.  Tracy is zaftig teenager in 1960’s Baltimore who just wants to dance on the local teenage dance show. But there are obstacles to her dream. In the early 2000’s, Hairspray was transferred to the Broadway stage and in 2007, it returned to silver screen, but as the musical.

Taking over from Ricki Lake in the original movie and Marissa Jaret Winokur on Broadway was Nikki Blonsky as Tracy. In the traditional John Waters style, John Travolta and Christopher Walken play Tracy’s parents, Edna and Wilbur.

While I did enjoy this movie, it is a very colorful, sort of family friendly version of the original movie. It looses some of the biting satire and subversive quality with the 2007 movie.  But, over all, it’s not bad.

I recommend Chicago, but maybe not Hairspray.

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Flashback Friday-The Object Of My Affection (1998)

Life is a very strange thing. Sometimes, when we think the chips are down, they are actually up.

In The Object Of My Affection (1998), Nina (Jennifer Aniston) and George (Paul Rudd) think that their fate has changed for the worse.  Nina is pregnant by her overbearing boyfriend and their relationship is heading south, fast. George has been dumped by his boyfriend and needs a place to stay.   Nina has an extra room and George needs the emotional attachment that he had with his ex-boyfriend.

They do everything together, until their relationship and Nina’s pregnancy begin to get complicated.

What I like about this movie is not only are the emotions of the characters realistic, but for the time, the plot is quite progressive. Nina and George are the cinematic Will and Grace in a world that was not quite ready for that kind of relationship.

I recommend this film and I would love to live in Nina’s apartment.

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