Flashback Friday- Twelfth Night Or What You Will (1996)

As a writer and a reader, the most interesting stories are often where the lead character is a situation that he or she has never been in and must figure out a way to survive.

Adding the element of the lead character dressing as the opposite sex to the stranger in a strange land story and we have William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night or What You Will.

In 1996, a film adaptation of the play was released.

Viola (Imogen Stubbs) and Sebastian (Steven Mackintosh) are twins. They are traveling on a ship that is torn apart during a storm. Believing that her brother is dead, Viola dresses in her brother’s clothes and takes on the identity of Cesario. Viola/Cesario becomes the adviser and confidant to Orsino (Toby Stephens). Orsino is head over heels in love with Olivia (Helena Bonham Carter), but Olivia is in mourning for her brother and is using the mourning period to keep Orsino at arms length.  Viola/Cesario is sent in Orsino’s stead as a messenger. Olivia falls in love with Viola/Cesario, not knowing that he is actually a she and she is in love with Orsino.

The best romantic comedies come from misunderstandings. This play and this movie is full of misunderstandings. Especially when there is cross dressing involved.

I recommend it.


Flashback Friday-Robin Hood (2010)

Hollywood likes reinvention. So much so, that every few years, an old story is recycled into a new adaptation that the film makers will be successful at the box office.

Hollywood’s most recent reinvention of Robin Hood occurred in 2010. Stepping into the shoes of the legendary outlaw was Russell Crowe.  In this movie, Robin Hood starts with the name of Robin Longstride. Maid Marian, Robin’s love interest, played by Cate Blanchett was reinvented as the widow of an aristocrat.  Marion’s father in law, Sir Walter Loxley (Max Von Sydow) convinces Robin to impersonate his son, at least long enough to prevent the crown from confiscating his land. While Robin and Marian are pretending to live in wedded bliss, Godfrey (Mark Strong), a member of court who secretly helping the French plan an invasion of England.  Robin is soon drawn into the dangerous mix of politics, secret aspirations and the threat of war.

Robin Hood has been done to death by Hollywood. Every generation has had it’s own Robin Hood.

But what I liked about this adaptation is that the filmmakers attempted to ground the story into history of the period, instead of relying purely on the myth.  Another factor that appealed to me is that Marian was rewritten from the standard aristocratic damsel in distress to a strong, capable woman who stands up for what she believes in.

I recommend it.

Flashback Friday- Liar Liar (1997)

Lying, as our parents reminded us when we were children, was not a wise choice.

What happens when the ones we love the most make a wish so we cannot lie?

That the premise of the Jim Carrey 1997 movie Liar Liar. Fletcher Reede (Jim Carrey) is a lawyer with a penchant for fudging the truth. While lying has helped his career grow, it killed his marriage to Audrey (Maura Tierney).  Audrey is so fed up with Fletcher that she is on the verge of taking their son Max (Justin Cooper) and moving out town with her boyfriend, Jerry (Cary Elwes). When Fletcher misses his son’s birthday, Max makes a wish that his father cannot lie for 24 hours. With an important case in his hands and his career on the line, Fletcher must find a way to salvage his relationship with his son while winning his case. All this must be done without lying.

This movie was an interesting one for Jim Carrey. While he still partially relied on the same zany acting that made him a star, this movie is a transition to the more serious acting that he would attempt in the next few years.

I recommend it.

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