Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chick Flicks that I Liked

I'm a lout. I admit it. I like most of my movies to be loud and packed with action and explosions and hopefully some monsters. Give me a movie with some folk doing battle with aliens from outer space and I'm generally happy. And of course I like a good war film, or mob picture. PATTON, ALIENS, THE GODFATHER, BLADE RUNNER. These are my kind of movie.

But of course my wife absolutely loathes those movies and anything like them. You can imagine, we don't watch many films together, especially after our son grew up and we stopped going to see Disney flicks and associated kid movies.

But every once in a while Carole will twist my arm and talk me into either going to see a chick flick with her, or sitting down with her to watch one on the tube. And a few times I've been pleasantly surprised.

Here, then, are the chick flicks that I saw with Carole that I quite enjoyed:

INVENTING THE ABBOTTS. Now, this was just an interesting premise. Two brothers from the wrong side of the tracks courting and wooing daughters of one of the richest men in town. One brother (Joaquin Phoenix) because he is genuinely in love with one of the daughters (Liv Tyler), and the other brother (Billy Crudup) who just wants to nail all three of them because he wants revenge on their dad, who he blames for his own father's death and their own family's working class status.

I thought immediately that this was a really cool plot and the story is executed well by all involved. The actors were each and every one perfect. One guy that doesn't get a lot of credit because he's always playing asshole heavies in movies was Will Patton. In this film he gets to show his acting ability and creates a really intriguing character. He's one reason the movie was so much fun. Also, it didn't hurt that you get to see Jennifer Connelly naked. Gawd, wot a woman!

(Nope. No silicone there, boys.)

Also, it has one of the most unique lines I've ever seen in a movie, when Will Patton (the father of the trio of gorgeous daughters) says to Billy Crudup:

"Keep your dick out of my daughters."

Even if you're like me and into the action, adventure, war, scifi/horror genres in film, you should like this movie. If you don't...well, what can I say, other than kiss my ass.

The next one that surprised me was AS GOOD AS IT GETS. This one has Jack Nicholson in it being really good instead of doing a bad imitation of himself. He doesn't ham it up and turns in a great performance. Helen Hunt was also effective in this one and you get to see what an awful time women have with men. And without being crushed over the head with a frozen ham. You really feel sorry for her crazy, pathetic ass.

(Mildly silicon-enhanced, I reckon.)

Also good in this was Greg Kinnear playing Nicholson's gay neighbor. Another winning performance.

This is a movie that I feared going in (you never know if you're going to get the great Jack Nicholson or the I-showed-up-give-me-my-$20million Jack Nicholson). But it's truly a very good film. It's not one of my all-time favorite movies or anything, but it's certainly one of my all-time favorite chick flicks.

The next one you guys can give me a hard time about, but I liked it anyway. It's THE WEDDING SINGER. Yeah, I know. Generally I hate Adam Sandler and would like nothing more than to put my foot up his ass. But now and again he delivers a decent film. This was one of them.

One thing I enjoy about this movie is Drew Barrymore's turn as the romantic lead. Despite her beauty, she excels in portraying women who are gorgeous but at the same time vulnerable and unassuming. When she makes these movies I don't have any problem imagining that she's a woman who doesn't know that she's beautiful. That's got to be hard to do, and there's a great deal of appeal in a woman like that.

And this is one of those instances where Sandler skates that fine line where he's able to deliver a performance that's of a likable guy and not allow his inner douchebag to come to the fore. He's made so many shitty films that I don't want to even get into it. But now and again he creates a very neat character that you like. WATERBOY was one of them, of course, but so is THE WEDDING SINGER. With two such emotionally attractive leads, it makes for a movie that's fun to watch. Well...for me, anyway. I'll tip my hat to those of you who can't quite go with me on this choice, but there it is.

(Also, this is one of the first movies that I ever saw that had Steve Buscemi in it, so that's a plus right there.)

Little girl lost. How could you fail to feel for her?

My wife got me somehow to join her to see ROMY AND MICHELLE'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION when it first hit the screens. This is another movie that surprised me because it was funny and had a silly plot that was also logical if you knew to keep your sense of fantasy front and center.

This one features a pair of ditzy blondes in their 30s, pals since school days, who have been reintroduced to the "in" crowd from high school. Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow play the pals who must now face being forced to endure the winners of their high school days. They are still single, still poor, and still witless. But the movie becomes a kind of funny Horatio Alger rags-to-riches tale that's fun to watch.

If I have any problem at all with the movie, it's that I can't imagine either Mira Sorvino or Lisa Kudrow ever having problems landing a decent man, or having ever not been the most popular girls in any high school on Earth. But recall what I said about checking reality at the entrance. If you do that, this movie is just a tremendously fun couple of hours.

A hard time finding dates. Right. Whatever.
(Yep. Janine Garafalo was in it, too.)


Lawrence Roy Aiken said...

I detest Adam Sandler on general principle but I agree with you that *The Wedding Singer* was good. I loved the little touches like how much a CD player cost when it first came out ($800!) and how that had made it a must-have status symbol (oh, those sorry-assed materialistic Reagan 80s), and also how Sandler's character was surprised at how nice flying first class was ("The drinks are FREE?").

HemlockMan said...

For sure on all accounts. Sandler is--mainly--truly awful. But every once in a great while some clever director draws a neat performance out of him. I guess I don't have to mention PUNCH DRUNK LOVE in which he was just flat-out brilliant. Of course that was Paul Thomas Anderson at the helm, so I reckon it takes a genuinely gifted director to get that out of him.

dogboy443 said...

Love Jennifer Connelly during this time period. Dark City? Worth it just to see her all glamm'd up. Not crazy about the weight loss in recent years from her. Makes her look to heard edged.

HemlockMan said...

I don't understand why the top guys in Hollywood make all of those gorgeously constructed actresses lose weight to the point of making them look like either boys or concentration camp victims. What the hell is up with that?!

I agree with you that her weight loss has ended up making her lose her looks.

I saw DARK CITY once. Despite her overwhelming beauty, I can't see myself ever watching it again, because I could not stomach Keifer Sutherland's performance again. Great humping Jove! What the hell was he thinking, and what was the director thinking to allow that ridiculous performance??!!