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?