The natural evolution of a narrative may seem simple to write. But the truth is that it is not. The next step in the story has to hold onto the characters and narrative while ensuring that it is not forced or outlandish. It becomes more complicated when the original work is respected and appreciated by both fans and critics.
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003) is the sequel to Legally Blonde (2001). Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) has a new passion: animal rights. It is so important to her, that she prioritizes the issue over her wedding to Emmett Richmond (Luke Wilson). Arriving in Washington D.C., she turns to Congresswoman Rudd (Sally Field) to help her bring attention to the issue. She also gets help from Sid Post (Bob Newhart), her building’s doorman who provides guidance in how to navigate the figurative power corridors of the city. As in the previous film, Elle is an outsider who is initially judged a pretty blonde with nothing between the ears.
As sequels go, it’s pretty good. The screenplay does not feel like it was being stretched to fit within the world that was created in its predecessor. The film is funny, charming, and Witherspoon again makes us root for an unlikely heroine. The message of not judging a book by its cover is potent, but does not hit the audience over the head. It is a lesson that is forever universal and important.
Standing up for yourself and what you believe in is never easy. Especially when standing up for yourself means that you might not be able to put food on the table.
In Norma Rae (1979), the title character, played by Sally Field works in a factory. As a single mother, her job is the only income that allows her to take care of her kids. But the working conditions are intolerable. A union would provide the workers with the job and the protections that other employees take for granted. But forming a union is dangerous. Does Norma have the courage to form the union or will she meekly go on with her work?
I saw this movie years ago, but it has stayed with me since then. Sometimes in life, we have to take a risk, even if we know what the end result will be if we fail. After 36 years, this movie continues to be an inspiration for anyone who dares to stand up against injustice.
Tom Hanks is one of those actors. He has a Jimmy Stewart/Henry Fonda aww shucks all American image and has played a variety of characters over the years. One of his most famous and award winning roles was in the 1994 movie, Forrest Gump.
Intellectually, Forrest Gump is not the brightest bulb in the box. But, he has a good heart and good intentions. Always following the advice of his mother (Sally Field), Forrest lives through and experiences some of the most tumultuous events of the second half of the 2oth century. But in the end, he can only think of Jenny (Robin Wright), his childhood sweetheart, who goes through her own tumultuous journey.
This movie deserved any and all praise that it received. It is a story of hope over adversity, believing in yourself and being positive, even in the worst circumstances.
And can forget a movie that not only has two unforgettable lines (run, Forrest, run and life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get), but also was the inspiration for a seafood restaurant?
I was going to write about another movie on this Throwback Thursday post, but in light of loosing Robin Williams earlier this week, I decided to write about another one of my favorite childhood movies of mine, Mrs. Doubtfire.
Daniel Hillard (the late and very beloved Robin Williams) loves his kids. His wife, Miranda (Sally Field) becomes fed up with her husband’s lack of discipline and believes him to be a poor role model for their children. She asks for a divorce. Miranda has primary custody while Daniel can only see his kids once a week. Discovering that Miranda is looking for a housekeeper, Daniel becomes Mrs. Iphegenia Doubtfire, an older Scottish woman who becomes both housekeeper and nanny to the Hillard children.
I adored this movie when I was younger and I still do. Williams is at his best in this movie. The big heart, the father who loves his kids and will do anything for them (including dressing in drag and pretending to be their Scottish nanny) and the man who recognizes his mistakes and learns from them.
This movie is 21 years old, but it still feels new and fresh to me. I recommend this movie.
RIP Robin, thanks for making this incredible movie that will always stay with me.