Sunday, January 11, 2009

They just don't make 'em like they used to

A frequent topic of conversation in our house is culture.

Or in my case, the lack thereof.

Yes, my very dear Speak tells me on a daily basis (sometimes hourly depending on who we're talking to J/K!) that I lack culture because I haven't seen the laundry list of old movies she thinks I should have. * Sigh * It's not my fault we didn't watch a ton of old movies growing up. I've seen most of the Doris Day ones, a few Carey Grants, several Audrey Hepburns and even "White Christmas." I know that selection is limited, but I can't help it. Speak has made it her personal mission to rectify this situation and expose me to as many classics as she possibly can! Okay, that was embellishing for dramatic effect, but it created an effective picture, didn't it?!

After this weekend, I am officially more cultured because I have now seen two of Speak's favorite flicks: "The Court Jester" starring Danny Kaye and a surprisingly young Angela Lansbury and "Hello Dolly" starring Barbara Streisand and a shockingly young Walter Mattau. Yes, I liked both of them. In fact, Speak thought I was going to fall off the couch when we watched "The Court Jester" because I was laughing so hard. It has all the elements of a good movie: a solid plot, talented actors, a whole lot of wit and, most importantly, snappy dialogue. Of course, it also has a few cheesy songs (it is a musical after all), but in this movie's case the songs only make it better. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it!

"Hello Dolly" is along much the same lines. It has more singing than "The Court Jester" but it's so well done that it works for the movie. It's also full of wit and snappy dialogue, and also, a strong female lead. Speak tends to like books and movies with strong female leads, but I can't imagine why. . . ;)

The point of this whole post (yes, Kathryn, I'm sure you're tired of my prattle already so I'll get to the point) is that Speak and I both agree that they just don't make good movies like they used to. Don't get me wrong--I have seen more than one movie that dazzles me, such as August Rush, but movies just don't have the same quality they used to. They rely too heavily on big name actors, toilet humor, sex and innuendos than a solid plot, good acting and quality dialogue. Hollywood also fails to come up with original plot lines--most often they either a) remake older classics, which are often abominably horrible; b) translate foreign films; or c) make movies based on books. It's sad to see the lack of creativity in Hollywood and sadder still (yup, pretty sure sadder isn't a word, but it worked for me, so I used it anyway --insert diabolical laugh here) that the American public still goes to movies as often as we do. I am as guilty of it as anyone else, I must admit. And I like a good portion of the movies I see, with the exception of a few horrible ones. However, I suppose that makes watching a classic all the more enjoyable.

What do you think blog readers? Do you think the glory days of Hollywood have passed (even if movie stars get paid more than ever before) and movies just aren't as good as they used to be? What are some of your favorite classic movies?


Sarah Beu said...

I completely agree (especially with the word "sadder") that Hollywood fell in the toilet and has remained there. It excuses itself by explaining that it's what we the people want. I think that is absurd. I believe that we would tend to gravitate more towards better stuff if they gave it to us. Yet we tend to just accept whatever they give us.

Some of my favorites are "What's up Doc?", "An Affair to Remember", "Arsenic and Old Lace" and others which of course aren't comming to mind right now. Tammy, I'm glad that you are becoming more cultured. You never know how much that will help your future children!

Confuzzled said...

Oh my. I wasn't even thinking about What's up, Doc? . . . but that definitely MUST go on the list of things for you to watch. Along with the rest of the laundry list . . . mwahaha.

But I'm glad I've converted you to Hello, Dolly! and The Court Jester. My life is slowly becoming complete ;)