Flashback Friday-Actor Spotlight- Marilyn Monroe- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) & How To Marry A Millionaire (1953)

Marilyn Monroe is without a doubt an icon. She is also the subject of this actor spotlight and this Flashback Friday Post.

Two of her movies were released in 1953.

The first movie is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) and Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) are showgirls. Lorelei is engaged to Gus Edmond Jr. (Tommy Noonan). Gus’s father does not approve of his son’s choice of a wife.  On a boat sailing to Paris, Dorothy’s task is to keep Lorelei clean so her future father in law will bless his son’s future marriage. Ernie Malone (Elliott Reid) is a private detective who is trying to prove that Lorelei is a gold digger. Dorothy will be distracted by the swim team and Lorelei will be distracted by a wealthy older man. Can they get to Paris without causing trouble?

Russell and Monroe are the perfect ying and yang. The smart, sassy brunette and the dumb but beautiful blonde are archetypes, but in a good way. It’s not all bad, but one must consider the era that the movie was made in.

The second movie is How To Marry A Millionaire.

Loco (Betty Grable), Pola (Marilyn Monroe) and Schatze (Lauren Bacall) are models living and working in New York City. Tired of meeting poor schlubs, they rent a fancy apartment in hopes of attracting wealthy men. But love and life are complicated. It’s not easy to tell the millionaire from the working class man. Will the ladies stick to their plan or will life direct them elsewhere?

This movie is very much a movie of it’s era. As much as I enjoy it, I find it a little disturbing. While there are many movies where the female character’s motive is men and marriage, this movie is just a little strong on that subject for me.

Do I recommend these films? As a fan of classic cinema, yes. As a feminist who cringes at the stereotypes and the antiquated ideas about what a woman’s future should be, I’m not sure that I enjoy them.


Flashback Friday- Late 90’s Television Edition- Felicity (1998-2002), Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003) & Gilmore Girls (2000-2007

If you are of a certain age, then this post is for you.

In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, a new generation of television shows were on the air.  They spoke to the then young generation and set the standard for future teenage programs.

The first show I am going to discuss is Felicity (1998-2002).

Upon the eve of her high school graduation, Felicity Porter (Keri Russell), has one goal. To catch the eye of her crush, Ben (Scott Speedman). Feeling listless and unsure of her future, Felicity knows only one thing: Ben. Following him to the University of New York, she hopes that being in close quarters with Ben will force him to finally see her. But she does not know that a rash, youthful decision to follow a cute boy across the country will open her world to new opportunities.

I remember when this show premiered. It was different than many of the shows that were around at the time. Felicity was young and hopeful, but also smart and determined. She represented many women of my generation who were daring to strike out on their own for the first time, even if her initial reasons were Ben.

The second show I am going to discuss is Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003).

Adolescence is hard. But if you have friends, it’s just a little easier.

Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek) is a 15 year wannabe filmmaker. Joey Potter (Katie Holmes) is the girl next door and Dawson’s best friend. Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson) is the bad boy. Jen Lindley (Michelle Williams) is the new girl in town.

This show was the voice of a generation and at the time, was must see TV.  Wednesday night at 8, everything stopped when Dawson’s Creek was on.  Dawson was the every-man, going through the average teenage tsuris and dreaming of a career in Hollywood. Even now, the theme song brings on fond memories.

The third show I am going to talk about is Gilmore Girls (2000-2007).

In fictional Stars Hollow, Connecticut, single mother Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) had her daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel) when she was a teenager. Now that Rory is growing up, their relationship is changing. They are a quirky mother and daughter duo who are both trying to get by the best way they can. Add in a semi rocky relationship with Lorelai’s traditional, wealthy parents, Richard and Emily (Edward Hermann and Kelly Bishop) and this show was again must see TV.

What drew audiences in was the quirky, yet somehow normal relationship between Lorelai and Rory.  What kept them coming back was how they were able to relate to the characters.

I recommend all three and by the way, writing this post makes me feel old.



Flashback Friday- Out Of Sight (1998)

A bank robbery, despite the fact that it is a crime, has been the topic of several movies over the years.

In 1998, George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez starred in Out Of Sight.

Jack Foley (George Clooney) has made a career of robbing banks. With the help of his longtime cohort, Buddy Bragg (Ving Rhames), Jack has not only escaped jail, but has taken US Marshall Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) with them. Buddy and Jack and working to complete the biggest scam they can in Detroit. Karen is hot on their trail and more than ready to catch them  in the act, but her attraction to one of her targets is creating second thoughts.

Out Of Sight is an interesting film. Part action film and part dry comedy, this movie easily lingers between both genres.

One of my problems with the film is that once more,  despite the fact that Karen is in law enforcement, she is still forced into the romantic lead category. I understand that Karen feeling attracted to her target ups the dramatic ante, but I wish  it was not the center of the story.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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