Thursday, December 6, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks-Meet The Parents

I'm back since last week was a total bust for me:) Do you remember meeting your future in-laws? I do and it took them a while to warm up to me since I  didn't like to cook, have been to Europe, love reading and love Classical music. They were campers who loved country music, thought it best to see the country here and found people who like classical music to be snobs. Mom in law could never understand that I did not like to cook so she just thought I could not cook. Oh well, they warmed up to me and I was enriched to have them in my life. Wandering Through The Shelves decided to have this week about meeting parents. I am avoiding the obvious-Meet the Parents with Ben Stiller and chose 3 I hope you like, heard about or actually have seen.  Here are my 3...


I have to choose a Jimmy Stewart film, this being the Christmas season and all. This film actually won best picture although not sure it should have( I would have gone with Le Grande Illusion) but it is still a lot of fun and part of the screwball comedy club. James Stewart plays a rich man whose dad wants to buy up a row of houses to put a competitor out of business but there is one family who is a hold out. Enter the great Jean Arthur who comes from this poor but happy family who works for the rich family and who is in love with Stewart and vice versa. Mayhem ensues as each meet the other's parents and each must contend with the eccentricities of their respective in-laws. It is a funny, warm comedy that showcases the character actors as much as the stars.


Let me ask you, when did this become a Christmas movie? Aside from the song "These are a Few of my Favourite Things", which only mentioned snowflakes and stockings, this film takes place in summer, has Nazis and a family leaving their home. It is NOT a Christmas movie! OK, now that I ranted, this is a very charming film starring Julie Andrews as a nun in training sent to Baron Von Trapp's home to deal with his 7 unruly kids. The Baron, played by Christopher Plummer, is cold and deals with his kids like a unit. The kids try to send the nun packing but she is on to them and shows them fun, happiness and how to sing through the city of Salzburg (I have been there and it is beautiful). The nun not only charms the kids but, soon, charms the Baron but it is the end of the 1930's and the Nazi's are afoot so you know the parents will need to help the kids and themselves escape. I love the fact that Christopher Plummer called this The Sound of Mucus even though I love this movie. I laughed when the Baron mentioned they must cross those mountains to escape but that would have sent them right into Germany. When Blake Edwards(famous director) saw Julie Andrews in this movie, he mentioned that her Va-jay-jay must be growing violets. Julie Andrews heard about this remark and sent him a bunch of violets. They met and remained married until he died just a few years ago.


The Griswolds are back and this is my favourite of the bunch of films about this nutty family.  Clark decides to have the entire clan come to his home to celebrate Christmas. You have the uptight snotty neighbours one played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the in-laws with Doris Roberts as one mom-in-law and E.G. Marshall as another in law and the hilarious William Hickey as a icky uncle. Speaking of icky, Randy Quaid is back as the cousin who comes in his run down trailer with his wife and kids to just make matters worse for the Griswold clan. Will Clark get his Christmas bonus so he can put in a swimming pool? Will the cat survive? Will his boss ever see the light? One just has to sit back, have fun and enjoy...and play ball!

Which 3 would you choose?


  1. Hi, Birgit!

    Please don't feel badly about not cooking, dear friend. I don't know my way around the kitchen either. I'll never forget my feeble attempt to make ice cubes. I burned them.

    How about that young Jimmy Stewart? When Jean Arthur screamed it reminded me of that scene in When Harry Met Sally - "I'll have what she's having." :) You Can't Take It With You looks like a great screwball comedy and I'm adding it to my list.

    To answer your question, I think The Sound of Music is considered a Christmas movie because it is a family friendly musical and the holidays are for families and togetherness and all that good stuff.

    I saw Vacation but I never got around to watching Christmas Vacation, simply because I don't have much faith in sequels. Maybe I'll give this one a try. I loved E.G. Marshall in the early 60s lawyer TV series The Defenders (with Robert Reed of The Brady Bunch). I also enjoyed Marshall's performance in the 1966 film The Chase starring Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. Randy Quaid cracked me up in the original Vacation movie and did a fine job in other films I've seen including The Last Picture Show, Midnight Express, and LBJ: The Early Years.

    Thanks for the entertainment, dear friend BB, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  2. My present wife's parents seemed very happy about me. They were all from Ecuador and I think my wife's parents were happy that she was going to marry an American. I usually didn't much like meeting parents of girls I was dating or going with.

    I know I've seen plenty of films with this theme of meeting parents and future in-laws, but as usual I'm a bit hard pressed to think of any right off the bat.

    One of my current favorites is The Greatest Showman in which the theme of upper class families looking down on the lower class is prevalent with at least two romantic story lines involve uncomfortable encounters with parents.

    I'll probably think of more later because I know there are a ton of films with this situation.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  3. I saw two of these! Wow, that's a record! I didn't see the first one. I had very nice in-laws. Unfortunately, one time my MIL said something negative about my mom and after that I pretty much didn't have much to do with them. I would see them but minimally interact with them. I am striving to be a better MIL myself :)


  4. I've seen the Sound of Music, but not the other two. Still, that's one more than I normally see. Somehow, I would never have thought of that as an in-law movie OR a Christmas movie, but I did love it. I remember Andrews talking about the helicopter that was flying around above her while she was trying to sing on that mountain top. It was causing updrafts and making it difficult for her to stand.

  5. Your first pick is the only on I haven't seen. I strongly dislike the Sound of Music which is weird, I know. lol

  6. I'm one of the few that prefers Vegas the most.

  7. BIRGIT ~
    'You Can't Take It With You' is a wonderful choice!

    While on this vacation that I just returned from, for the first time I caught part of 'Christmas Vacation' on TV, and it didn't do a thing for me (nor for my Brother, either). We kept waiting for the parts where we were supposed to laugh, but we must have missed them somehow.

    I would also certainly have 'HEAVEN CAN WAIT' on my list. I think that would be my own #1 choice.

    Nuttin' else is coming to my mind right now, but then I'm still on just my first cuppa joe of the morning, so there's very little brainwave activity at this point.

    ~ D-FensDogG @ STMcC Presents 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'

  8. Agreed, The Sound of Music is not a Christmas movie. Nor do I think that song is a Christmas song. I'm all for calling Gremlins and Die Hard Christmas movies, though. Especially Die Hard.

    I love You Can't Take it with You, but I was surprised to learn it had won Best Picture. It doesn't really feel like a Best Picture. I love it all the same, though.

  9. My in-laws loved me but it did take a while for my father to warm up to my wife. (Mom - she loves everyone.)
    I really can't think of too many movies about meeting parents. You did good.

  10. How have I not seen that Jimmy Stewart/Jean Arthur movie? I'm going to do something about that pretty quick. The Sound of Music was the Mama's favorite movie. For awhile she watched it nearly every week. She loved the kids and the fact that Maria got the guy rather than the baroness. But, once Maria and the Captain married, she'd fall asleep and wake up just as they're climbing the mountain. It's not until now that I think she passed over the war stuff because she lived through war.

  11. You're not alone, Birgit! I don't like cooking either. My sister-in-law's day seems to revolve around it, though. Glad you and your in-laws overcame your differences. As for the movies, "You Can't Take it With You" is one of my all-time favourite classics! ☺ "The Sound of Music" never appealed to me (I know - people are shocked by this, but musicals aren't my thing, with a couple of exceptions.) "Christmas Vacation" is part of our holiday movie collection but hubby doesn't like it, so we rarely watch it. It has it's funny moments. Three films come to mind for this category: "The Birdcage", "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and "The In-Laws" (Peter Falk, Alan Arkin). Can anyone join this blogfest? Do you have to commit to it every week? I'd like to participate, once in awhile, but couldn't stick to that schedule. Please let me know. Thanks!

  12. I saw "You Can't Take It With You" as a stage play. It was written by George S. Kaufman, who also wrote all the plays that The Marx Brothers movies are based on. I love the way Grandpa Vanderhof says Grace at mealtimes, starting off with, "Well, sir" and ending with "We've all got our health; as far as anything else is concerned, we still leave that up to you. Thank you." That's a man comfortable in his faith. There was a short-lived TV series with Henry Morgan as Grandpa a few years ago.

    Everybody considers Chevy Chase a comic genius. Personally, I don't think he's that funny. He was good in "Caddyshack," because Rodney Dangerfield was funny enough for the rest of the cast (although Ted Knight was hilarious, as was the kid who playeed his grandson).

  13. Meet the Parents and Guess Who popped in. Christmas Vacation sure is a good one. Sound of Music I've never watched in one sitting. First one sounds like one I'll have to give a go.

  14. I know I should love You Can't Take It With You, I mean beside Stewart & Arthur there's Spring Byington, Edward Arnold, Donald Meek, Samuel S. Hinds and on and on all of whom I do love, but I just don't. It's not that I hate it but the film is just sort of there and its Best Picture win is so wrong.

    I do love The Sound of Music in all its improbability and speaking of nominations how was Eleanor Parker's fabulous Baroness overlooked!

    I don't adore Christmas Vacation as much as many do but it was a fun view....once.

    Lots of choices this week, unlike last, so I went with all comedies.

    Lovers and Other Strangers (1970)-As young couple Mike and Susan (Michael Brandon & Bonnie Bedelia) go through their wedding festivities (rehearsal, ceremony and reception) a cauldron of familial lunacy swirls around them as they meet for the first time. VERY 70’s fashions and interior design is offset by a cast that includes Beatrice Arthur, Cloris Leachman, Gig Young, Anne Meara and in her screen debut Diane Keaton.

    The In-Laws (1979)-Nebbishy dentist Sheldon Kornpett (Alan Arkin) finds himself with major reservations to his daughter's upcoming marriage after meeting her future father-in-law, Vincent Ricardo (Peter Falk). At first thinking Vince is mobbed up he is no less distressed when Vince reveals that he's actually a CIA agent investigating an international counterfeiting plot, and that he will need Sheldon's help. Next thing he knows Sheldon is off on a crazy adventure.

    My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)-Toula (Nia Vardalos) is a sweet, somewhat frumpy 30ish Greek girl who works in her family’s restaurant and is dominated by her parents. Frustrated by being stuck in place she pulls herself together, goes to work in her aunt’s travel agency and meets school teacher Ian Miller (John Corbett) and they quickly get serious. That’s where the trouble starts since Ian isn’t Greek, no problem for Toula but a huge one for her family especially when they decide to marry. Her boisterous clan basically take over the title event while Toula and Ian try to stand up against the onslaught. Low budget good natured comedy with a sunny outlook made a mint on its release.

  15. I only know The Sound of Music which I have seen umpteen times. I was about 8 or 9 when it came out and had a total crush on Julie Andrews for a while.

  16. I love the Christmas Vacation film. I watch it every year and still laugh. The Sound of Music is really a classic. But I don't know that Jimmy Stewart film, but I like him. Thanks for this week's films. :) Hugs-Erika

  17. Hi there, now I have only seen the sound of music, and mainly because it was my mum's favourite film. I love James Stewart, but haven't seen this one, although I have Wonderful Life on a DVD. I wouldn't watch the third one as it's not my cup of tea, not a lover of comedy films at Christmas or at any time.... unless it's Young Frankenstein, Kate x

  18. I haven't seen your first pick. The Sound of Music was fun but I really felt the weight of the length. Christmas Vacation I really enjoyed.

  19. I rewatched Christmas Vacation. What a hoot. No matter how many times I see it, I still laugh.
    Have a great day.

  20. I liked the list. I try to watch as many as I can around this time.

  21. I love The Sound of Music and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I haven't seen the first movie- but it sounds great. :)

  22. When I was a kid I only ever watched the first half of the Sound of Music (I guess I fell asleep or something). I was much older before I saw the whole thing and realized - "Wait, there are NAZIS in this? What the hell is going on?"

    A terrible Christmas movie (that's a guilty pleasure of mine) about a daughter bringing her boyfriend home to meet her parents is CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS. It's super dumb but we watch it every year. Jamie Lee Curtis is always great and Tim Allen, despite being a horrible person in real life, is still pretty funny.

  23. Ha ha...can I pick The Graduate? That's a memorable meeting-the-parent(s) encounter.

    Loved Something's Gotta Give, but I felt so sorry for Keanu Reeves in that movie. Poor guy; he deserved better.

    But my top choice, hand's down: Get Out. Best meeting the parents movie ever. :D