It is impossible to live through an event like the Holocaust without experiencing an emotional backlash afterwards.
In Sophie’s Choice (1982), Sophie is a Polish Catholic woman who lived through the Nazi concentration camps. After the war, she is living in Brooklyn with Nathan (Kevin Kline), an American Jewish man who is obsessed with the Holocaust. Entering their world is Stingo (Peter MacNicol), a writer who has just moved to New York City. Stingo is the audience’s eyes and ears to this very tumultuous and rocky relationship.
This movie is one of those movies that still holds up after thirty plus years. The acting is stellar, the story telling is nothing short of breath taking and heartbreaking and it is nothing but timeless.
I absolutely recommend it.
In our celebrity drenched culture, the celebrities become the princes and princesses that once ruled our imaginations. The fantasy of living happily every after with a celebrity is surprisingly on the minds of many.
In Win a Date With Tad Hamilton (2004), Rosalee is a young lady from small town America. Like many fans, she is hopelessly in love with the latest Hollywood hottie, Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel). Rosalee is the lucky winner of the Win A Date With Tad Hamilton. Her win is to the chagrin of her best friend, Pete (Topher Grace), who is secretly in love with Rosalee. The contest was dreamed by Tad’s management to clean up his reputation. When Tad begins to like real world and Rosalee, his management team and Pete begin to question if the contest was a good idea in the first place.
This movie is a good example of “be careful for what you wish for”. While it has certain predictable elements of character and story, there are elements that make it stand out from the standard rom-com.
A predecessor of Win A Date With Tad Hamilton is Bye Bye Birdie. Premiering on Broadway in 1958, it was made into a movie in 1963 and brought to TV audiences in the form of a TV movie in 1995.
Conrad Birdie (Marc Kurdisch) is an Elvis Presley like singer who is about to be shipped off to the army. In an effort to boost his popularity, his manager Albert J. Peterson (Jason Alexander) comes up the idea of choosing a young lady to accompany him at this final concert. The lucky young lady is Kim McAfee (Chynna Phillips). But her boyfriend and her parents are not thrilled with the idea.
Bye Bye Birdie is a classic among musicals. But unfortunately, it is one of those musicals, that despite certain timeless themes, feels very dated.
Do I recommend them? Maybe, depending on your taste.
Opposites attract have been a basic component of story telling since the beginning of story telling. Normally, the opposites attract story line centers around a potential romantic couple. What happens when this idea centers about twin brothers?
In Twins (1988), Julius Benedict (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Vincent (Danny DeVito) are twins and the subject of a very interesting science experiment. Julius was raised to be perfect in every way, but being raised isolated from the rest of the world, he is innocent of the darker sides of life. Vincent was raised in an orphanage and spends his days an adult doing petty crimes. What happens when these two men meet and try to put together the pieces of the puzzle that is their mother and their childhoods?
For a late 80’s bromance (literally a bromance), this film is not bad. DeVito, as he sometimes does, plays a smarmy, not quite likable character with questionable tastes. Schwarzengger, in stepping out of the action genre and into the bromance buddy comedy genre is actually quite funny.
Do I recommend it? Why not?