Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks-Romance


Ok...so this theme is huge because we could go epic to small to sappy and crappy. I am not one for typical Romance films because I find them kind of boring or irritating because I want to slap one or the other for not just communicating what they feel or mean. Sorry, but I find the Notebook both, except when James Garner and Gena Rowlands are on... Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams bored me to tears and I wanted to slap them. Head over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the others have chosen....here are my 3....

1.  BRIEF ENCOUNTER-1945


Sublime! I love this film and consider it brilliant and a realistic portrayal of an affair. No one is evil, no one is wrong even if one should not have an affair, you understand how it comes to be and how guilt comes into power as it usually does. The people are not the beautiful types of Hollywood but a bit more normal. You want someone to be a villain but there are none just a woman who is lonely and a bit bored, a husband who loves her but is absent and the man who enters her life who is also a good man. The 2 would be lovers meet on a train station when she has something in her eye and the doctor helps her out. They start to talk and over time, they keep meeting at the train station until they realize they would like something more. Well written and acted, it is an intelligent film that stands the test of time.

2. SUMMERTIME-1955


This is pure romance with the stunning locale of Venice, David Lean as the director, Katherine Hepburn as a, you guessed it, spinster and Rossano Brazzi(who??) in his typical pursed romantic lips as the man who woos Kate. She comes to Venice on a once in a life time vacation to experience Venice in all its romantic splendour never mind the people who throw out their garbage (my mom went there, after the war,  and hated the smell, the garbage and the rats in the canals.....it is not like that now). She meets Rosanno who sweeps her off her feet for a once in a life time romantic experience. There is one scene where she does the stunt-she falls back into a canal, this gave her an eye infection that she suffered with for the rest of her life so...never swim or dip your toe in Venice. Oh and I love it when she gets her hair done...and it looks the same as before...hahahaaa

3. RETURN TO ME-2000


I can’t remember if I chose this before but I don’t care as I really like this small movie that was a dud at the box office. David Duchovney, of X-Files fame, plays a happily married man to a zoologist and Minnie Driver plays a young woman in need of a heart. David’s beloved wife is killed in a car accident which sends David into a deep abyss and his dog waiting by the door for his mom. Minnie can now do things and live again much to her dad’s happiness. Her dad(Carroll O’Connor) owns a restaurant where his daughter helps out and, a year later, David and his friend go to this restaurant for a bite to eat. David meets Minnie and is smitten but, of course, neither know the true connection even when his dog loves her and the zoo animals take to her as well. It is a sweet movie that I think is well written with a fun supporting cast.

Bonus...

LA-LA LAND-2016


I love musicals and heard this was great so I saw it last summer and....I was not enamoured with it. Maybe I was wanting more like the great musicals of the 1930s to the 50s but it didn’t work for me. I liked the costumes and the cinematography as well as some of the songs but I found something missing. The leads were not dramatic enough for me which might be the wrong word to use. Emma Stone was good although her voice was thin but ok, but Ryan Gosling can’t sing worth beans. He hits the notes but big deal. He is excellent with playing the piano but he can’t dance and can’t sing and he might be balding a Little:) I hope you got my little Fred Astaire reference. I wanted to like it more but I can’t.

What would you choose?

62 comments:

  1. Return to Me is a good choice. I thought it was a sweet little movie.
    I'd have to go for Doc Hollywood, When Harry Met Sally, and The Princess Bride. (Because it is a romance at its heart.)

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    1. Haven’t seen your first pick but love the last 2. Glad you saw Return To Me

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  2. I could only sit through about 15 minutes of La La Land - ugh. My first pick would be Back Street with Susan hayward and (sigh) John Gavin. As I have gotten older I find that romance movies are not a genre I enjoy, but I remember watching lots of them as a teen - like A Summer Place - sappy?

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    1. Back Street is great and how sad that John Gavin just died. I like the song a Summer Place

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  3. La La Land! I haven't seen any of your picks besides that one, which I love.

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    1. Hahaa. I had a feeling and I know you loved that movie but I just couldn’t get into it

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  4. Brigit,

    I've gotten more fond of romance movies over the years and even DH tolerates them better. "Kate & Leopold" with Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman is a great romantic flix. Have you seen it? If not, I highly recommend it!

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    1. Oh yes, I have seen a couple of times and I like it especially Hugh Jackman❤️

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  5. I'm not much of a romantic movie kind of guy, but "Return to Me" is one of my favorites. It might be the Chicago connection or the cast (Robert Loggia and Carroll O'Connor were wonderful, and I like Minnie Driver in just about everything) or the scenes from Lincoln Park Zoo, or maybe it's Dean Martin singing the theme song, but I thought it was a sweet little movie.

    Two other movies with romance and Chicago in common are "While You Were Sleeping" with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman and, while not strictly a romance, "High Fidelity" with John Cusack and Jack Black. The latter includes John's younger sister Joan and one of the funniest scenes I've seen in the movies... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIzAttbgdy8

    Another that might fit the romance category is "Grosse Pointe Blank." No Chicago connection, but it stars John Cusack and Minnie Driver (and Joan is in it, too).

    I definitely recommend those movies. One I can't, but you might like, is "The Lake House" with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. It has a Chicago connection and is kind of a nice story, but I was very confused by it.

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    1. I’m glad you like Return to Me..so sweet. While you were Sleeping is also nice and I like Sandra Bullock. I haven’t seen High Fidelity but I have seen Gross Pointe which is ok. I have tried watching The Lake House but I find it to sappy and if these people are at different times, then why doesn’t the one in the future..or past just decide to meet sooner....it’s one I find irritating despite the sci-if aspect

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  6. I haven't seen Return to Me, although I know it has its fans, but I just love your other three picks. Brief Encounter is so goddamn beautiful - Celia Johnson gives an all-time great performance and who wouldn't fall for Trevor Howard('s jawline)? We match on Summertime, and again, who wouldn't fall for Rossano Brazzi('s accent)?

    I hear the criticism of La La Land that the leads aren't great singers, but for me that added to its charm. And frankly, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, and Ginger Rogers weren't the greatest singers either, so that didn't bother me so much - especially since they could sing well enough and they didn't sound heavily auto-tuned like some musicals these days do. I could watch that epilogue on a loop for the rest of my life and never need to watch anything else.

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    1. Glad we match with the one. I would want to have been kissed by Trevor:) Regarding the voices of the 3 you mentioned, they had much better voices than those 2 who sang. If I want to listen to a regular guy or girl to sing on key, I’ll just wait for some waiters and waitresses sing Happy Birthday to some patron. Fred Astaire had a very thin voice and not a great range but everyone from Berlin to Cole Porter. They loved the way he actually sang the song. Ginger Rogers had a much stronger voice and was well liked by music composers. Gene Kelly was also not great but very much could sing well and also liked by composers because they knew music so well...I think that is key

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  7. I LOVE Brief Encounter and it's a perfect fit for this week. Talk about your yearning and romantic anguish! Beautiful music, performances and direction.

    Summertime is a gorgeous film with one of Hepburn's better performances, love the ending and Rossano Brazzi.

    Love when something a bit more obscure is chosen and Return to Me fits that bill. It's one of those small gems its so nice to discover.

    I feel the same way about La La Land. I just didn't get what all the shoutin' was about.

    This week is the opposite of last with so many choices that I went with three favorites where the course of true love does not run smooth.

    Blue is the Warmest Color has been on my watchlist for a long time but I've just haven't gotten to it yet. Maybe with it being the appropriate time of the year I'll finally correct that.

    The other two though, so sad but terrific films. I haven't watched either in a while but I have seen both multiple times. Brokeback has such beautiful performances, even Anne Hathaway who I usually find rather risible. Atonement has all those amazing performances as well, even Vanessa Redgrave's tiny cameo at the end is a knockout, plus that incredible imagery.

    I went with films where love's course does not run smoothly either but all three are among my favorite films.

    Waterloo Bridge (1940)-A distinguished officer walks slowly across London’s Waterloo Bridge one evening during WWII pulling a talisman out of his pocket he falls into a reverie of his great lost love. On that same bridge in WWI then young soldier Roy Cronin (Robert Taylor) meets ballerina Myra Lester (Vivien Leigh-fresh off GWTW) when they are forced into a shelter during a bombing raid. Falling almost immediately in love they plan to marry but Roy is called to duty before they can and Myra pledges to wait for him. Having stayed out with him beyond curfew she is dismissed from the ballet and when Roy is reported killed in action full of hopelessness she falls into a life of degradation. On the stroll a year later in Waterloo Station Myra meets Roy, recently released as a prisoner of war and he whisks her off to his family estate in Scotland but is it too late for the pair? Beautifully directed by George Cukor, tragic and heart wrenching romance was the personal favorite of both Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor of their respective filmographies.

    The President’s Lady (1953)-In 1789 newly appointed Tennessee Attorney General Andrew Jackson (Charlton Heston) seeking living quarters at the farm of the Widow Donelson (Fay Bainter) meets her daughter Rachel Robards (Susan Hayward) recently separated from her abusive husband Lewis. They strike up a friendship and after an abortive attempt by Rachel to repair her marriage fall in love. Word soon arrives that Lewis has divorced her and the pair marry. Two years hence they discover that Lewis never finalized the papers and their union is bigamist, he is now suing on the grounds of adultery however. Truly free they remarry but scandal plagues them for the rest of their days as Andrew rises higher and higher in politics towards the presidency but their love remains strong. Tender romance with a very strong central performance by Susan Hayward looks at the mores of an earlier time and shows that mudslinging and the damage it causes are nothing new.

    Love with the Proper Stranger (1963)-Young naïve Angie Rossini (Natalie Wood) finds herself in quite a predicament after letting her guard down once and having a one night stand with feckless musician Rocky Papasano (Steve McQueen)….she’s pregnant. Seeking Rocky out she finds he at first doesn’t remember her but he steps up to help with the situation and despite interference from her very Italian family, his former showgirl squeeze and Rocky’s fears an attraction slowly blooms but there are bumps ahead before romance triumphs. Two movie stars at their peaks make this both gritty and swoony at the same time.

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    1. I was wondering what you thought of La-La Land and am glad we are on the same wavelength. I love Waterloo Bridge and could kick myself for not th8nking of that myself! I now think of that other great Leigh film, That Hamilton Woman, no one could wear such over the top costumes with plumes of feathers like Vivien Leigh. I haven’t seen your second choice b7t would love to and the last one is also good but not one of my favourites

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  8. I've only seen La La Land of these and I'm so in love with that film! I've been meaning to watch Brief Encounter.

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    1. La-La Land is one most do love but not me. I hope you see that great film

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  9. Hi Birgit....hope you are having a good Thursday...love brief encounter...haven’t seen any of the others so I have put them on my list....I have spent the last week watching films and doing catch up tv ...a virus has had me pinned to the sofa...never mind my list is going down...take care xxxx

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    1. I hope you will feel better soon. Brief Encounter is so good and glad you know it. I think you would like my other 2 I chose. Feel better soon

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    1. I don’t hate it but meh is for me

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  11. La La Land is the not so much a romance as a romantic breakup story. Heart breaker. Love it.

    Really like your other picks - unconventional, and deserve to be seen.

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    1. Glad you like my other picks. Oh, yes, I get that but...meh..lol

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  12. I've never heard of any of these except La La Land, which of course, I didn't see. I love your always fun and colorful synopses, though. They always make me smile and wish I saw more movies.

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed my writing and one day, you might see one of these films

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  13. I'm glad to know I haven't missed anything by not seeing The Notebook. I love a good romance movie, but that one sounded too much. Yet I wonder if I did see it and get caught up in the story, would I start crying. It doesn't take much for me to gush.

    Summertime is one of my all-time favorite romances. I love how Lean captured Venice so evocatively. I was happy that Bunny had her affair and still went home. It would be interesting to see how she took hold of her life after that experience.

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    1. I loved the scenes with James Garner and Gena Rowlands and wished they just did a film mainly with them as the younger versions of their characters were kind of blah and annoying. Summertime is so rich in so many ways and I always thought that Bunny came back and would no longer be the mouse that she was or, she returned, realized her life was not fulfilled and went back to Venice

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  14. Hokey-Smoke, BIRGIT, I can't believe you guys haven't done "Romance" before. WTPhuq?! :^O

    I wasn't head-over-heels in love with 'LA LA LAND', but I did like it. How could I not, when a friend who knows that I'm James Dean reincarnated bought it for me as a birthday gift?

    Hot damn, there are so many Romance movies I dig which I could name, but I'll just go off the top of my head here with a few...

    'A LITTLE ROMANCE' -- I love EVERYTHING about it! Now THAT was a real romance!

    'MURPHY'S ROMANCE' -- A simple but totally charming little movie starring Sally Field and the always charismatic James Garner.

    Most people don't really think of it as a Romance, but first and foremost, the original 'ROCKY' (1976) was a romance. Two misfits find each other and complete each other. And she stands by her man through the challenge of his lifetime. Wow! It's a great Romance, and I don't care what anyone might say to the contrary!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends

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    1. Rocky: My ol' man, he was never too smart. He says to me, 'You weren't born with much of a brain, ya know, so uh, ya better start using your body, right?' So I become a fighter. Ya know what I mean?

      [Adrian chuckles softly]

      Rocky: Why are ya laughing?

      Adrian: My mother, she said the opposite thing.

      Rocky: What did she say? What did she say the opposite?

      Adrian: She said, 'You weren't born with much of a body, so ya better develop your brain.'

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends

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    2. I love your choices because they are not the norm especially Rocky. I love your play by play between Rocky and Adrian. Murphy’s Romance is an excellent movie with one of my favs, James Garner. I have A Little Romance marked down

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  15. Hi Birgit--waving madly;)
    The only one of these films I saw was Return to Me and truly enjoyed it.
    I hope things are going much, much better for you.
    Hugs
    Oh yeah, I'm officially back tomorrow:)

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    1. Glad you saw this film. I am slowly trying to repair myself..sort of speak:)

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  16. Hi Birgit - I hope you're adjusting with things ... the only one of those I've seen is La La Land - and I wasn't impressed, nor interestingly was my goddaughter and her boyfriend (early 20s) ... actually I have seen Brief Encounter recently ... and I'd add in Pretty Woman ... and plenty of others of similar ilk - take care and all the best - Hilary

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    1. Yeah, La La was not impressive. Pretty Woman, Many Meg Ryan films and Tom Hanks...

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  17. Summertime sounds familiar, but I don't think I've seen it all the way through. Same for Brief Encounter. I have seen Return to Me. It's cute. I have La La Land on my DVR, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. One of these days. After the Olympics. (I barely keep up with the Olympics, let alone the rest of my TV viewing.)

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    1. I’ll be interested to see what you think of that film

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  18. I haven't seen any of those, though I almost saw La La Land.

    Annie Hall
    When a Man Loves a Woman
    Bonnie and Clyde

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    1. I still have to see your first 2 but love your picks!!

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  19. La La Land was soo meh. Return to me I have yet to see. Doc Hollywood is a good one. Secret of My Success is too.

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    1. Haven’t seen Doc Hollywood but enjoyed Secret of My Success

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  20. Return to me has lots of surprise when Duchovney isn't a complete dullard and drops the FBI voice. Frank Sinatra goofing off in the background well he's pure class.

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    1. I don’t think Frank is in this movie. I agree about Duchovney

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  21. I heard Katharine Hepburn talking about how she got the eye infection on The Dick Cavett Show years ago.

    I like Emma Stone, and I've never seen anything that I can recall with Ryan Gosling in it.

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    1. Yup, she got it from that scene. You probably have seen something with Gosling but, to me, he is not that memorable

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  22. Recently caught La La Land. I think the trick is that it's not really a musical so much as a movie that has music. It's much more similar to (500) Days of Summer (including the plot) than it is to a Fred Astaire experience.

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    1. Maybe you are right about that because it didn’t feel like. True musical

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  23. I've only seen La La Land. Solid movie, but not my favorite. I guess I need to see Summertime since it's shown up on a few lists this week.

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    1. Summertime is bette than you think it is and I love that her hairstyle doesn’t change one bit after she get her hair done

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  24. Brief Encounter is such a classic, but I’ve only seen it once and I don’t think i’d watch it again. Those cut-glass RP accents really put me off (shallow, but true). There are so many romantic films I don’t know how anyone could choose 3. I so agree with you on the communication thing - usually if they just talked to each other all the misunderstandings would melt away. But then, there wouldn’t be a film.

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    1. I know what you mean about the English accents like what is in Brief Encounter. You are so right about romance films...way too many to choose from and I wish they would communicate better

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  25. The only one I have seen is Return to me. I saw it in the theater and really enjoyed it. A romantic movie I have always loved is Say Anything.
    ~Jess

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    1. I still have to see Say Anything but glad you saw Return To Me.

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  26. Aw. La La Land still gives me this tug in the heart when I remember how it ended.

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    1. Yes..I actually like the ending but it’s still a meh film for me

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  27. Brief Encounter (now) is an underrated film. Its so brilliantly subtle, heartwarming and breaking. One of the greats. It is literally a perfect example of 'they don't make them how they used to'.

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  28. Oh I had to chuckle at the 'slapping' comment, as I feel pretty much the same about some of these movies (and I also thought Garner and Gena were the best part of the movie too!) I did better with your movies this time, as I've seen all but the last one. Good choices, and I enjoyed your assessment of each one, as I pretty much agreed with your thoughts. Take care, and give yourself some TLC while getting through this sad time in your family. Big hugs & TFS.

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    1. Thank you Mary for your kind words. It will take time. Glad you saw the films I chose and that you like them

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  29. I have NO desire to see The Notebook. Nope. None:)
    Hope you are well and having a pleasant day, dear Birgit.

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    1. I would just watch the James Garner/Gena Rowland parts...hahahaa

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  30. Brief Encounter looks like it is REALLY good.
    Hope today was a good day.

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    1. My day is doing well:) You need to see Brief Encounter..you will love it

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  31. I have seen Return To Me and I remember liking it.
    Brief Encounter sounds good.
    I'm planning to see La La Land soon, I hope I find it as good as everyone says it is.

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