A good romantic comedy is sometimes hard to find. It shouldn’t be too predictable, but it also has to contain recognizable characters and narratives.
In the 1991 movie, Only The Lonely, Danny Muldoon (the late John Candy) is a single, middle-aged cop living with his widowed mother, Rose (the late Maureen O’Hara), who is the textbook helicopter parent. When he meets Theresa Luna (Ally Sheedy), a shy funeral worker, sparks begin to fly. But Rose’s years of helicopter parenting have become part of Danny’s psyche and he begins to worry more about his mother than his girlfriend.
This movie is one of my all time favorite romantic comedies. Every filmmaker looking to make a romantic comedy should be required to see this film. It is funny, it is charming and while it does contain the standard genre characters and narratives, it is not the typical romantic comedy. One of my favorite aspects of this film was the casting of Anthony Quinn who plays Nick Acropolis, one of Danny’s neighbors who is sweet on his mother. As a classic movie fan, it’s wonderful to see Anthony Quinn and Maureen O’Hara back on-screen together.
I recommend it.
Maureen O’Hara passed away yesterday.
With her red hair, peaches and cream complexion and fiery tongue, she played against some of the most masculine and iconic actors of her day: John Wayne, Tyrone Power and Errol Flynn.
Two of my favorite movies of hers are diametrically opposite.
The first is The Quiet Man (1952). Sean Thornton (John Wayne) is an American boxer returning to his family’s ancestral Irish village. He is attracted to Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O’Hara), and is eager to marry her. But before Mary Kate will agree to marry Sean, he must obtain her dowry from her hard headed brother, who is refusing to part with it.
One of my favorite qualities of her character is in this movie is that Mary Kate is no shrinking violet. She knows what she wants and has no problem speaking her mind to get what she wants.
My other favorite Maureen O’Hara movie is Only The Lonely (1991). Danny Muldoon (the late John Candy) is a single man whose life is dominated by loving, but overbearing mother, Rose (Maureen O’Hara). It is only when he meets Theresa Luna (Ally Sheedy), that Danny could possibly stop his mother from treating him like a child.
It is obvious that Rose loves her son, like a parent should. But like some parents, they forget that their adult children have their own minds and are capable of making their own decisions.
Maureen O’Hara was 95. RIP.
Maureen O’Hara is a movie legend. The list of her leading men include John Wayne, Henry Fonda and Tyrone Power.
Aubrey Malone’s biography, Maureen O’Hara: The Biography follows Ms’ O Hara’s life from her childhood in Dublin through her decades long movie career to her present retired state.
Born in 1920 in the suburbs of Dublin, she made her screen debut in the late 1930’s. The movies she made are all very different: family classics (The Parent Trap, 1961, Miracle on 34th St, 1947), technicolor pirate and sword and sandal adventures (The Black Swan, 1942, Sinbad The Sailor, 1947) and Westerns (The Redhead From Wyoming, 1953, McClintock, 1963).
The book not only sheds light on her career, but on her private life. Unlike many of her colleagues, Ms. O’Hara lived a very quiet life, keeping her personal life out of the headlines. Compiling press clippings, movie reviews and film journals, Mr. Malone presents a complete picture of a performer whom many did not know about outside of her films.
I recommend this book.
On a related note, if there is one movie of her vast career that I would recommend, it would be Only The Lonely .
Made in 1991, Ms. O’Hara took herself out of retirement for this movie. She plays Rose Muldoon, the very overprotective mother to her son Danny (the late John Candy). Danny has sacrificed himself for his mother and brother (Kevin Dunn). When Danny meets Theresa Luna (Ally Sheedy) and starts fall in love with her, he finds himself torn between his mother and his girlfriend. Very sweet movie that just tugs at the heart strings.