Monday, January 11, 2010

Romance and Leopards

Paper Heart - 2009 - Dir: Nicholas Jasenovec
Location: Comfort of My House - Blu-Ray

Two days in a row I watch a movie with Michael Cera. Both movies have an awkward loves story and cute animation or puppets. Both are good in different ways. Here Charlyne Yi sets out to find out how people view love, why it's so important and why she cannot feel the emotion. Part of the film is a real documentary with interviews of married couples, kids, professors, Vegas Wedding Chapel Elvis and others with their views on love. The other part of the film is the story of Yi meeting and dating Michael Cera. This part, though shown as real, is fictionalized. Cera and Yi were involved before the making of this movie and continued to be through the making until their much publicized break-up right before the film's release. Knowing about this kind of makes watching a budding relationship between them onscreen quite bittersweet.

The film has some real laughs and great songs by Yi. When the interviewees tell their love stories a puppet show is put on to show the tale where the sets are made of cardboard and people are pulled by wires and stuck to sticks. Very cute. One of the best parts of the film are the extra features on the disc. A 26 minute collection of Yi interviewing a collection of comedian friends (among them Bill Hader, Paul Scheer and Demetri Martin) about love to hilarious ends. Another featurette are bloopers from Yi's lack of interviewing skills. The compilations of clips of her saying "uhh" and "umm" are a riot.

Give this one a shot. It's a fun awkward romantic comedy with a documentary twist. Buy it on Blu-Ray here, or on DVD here.

Bringing Up Baby - 1938 - Dir: Howard Hawks
Location: The Comfort of My House

This is the next item on the AFI Top 100 Films list I'm working through. When I read the description I thought it sounded kind of familiar, but was unsure. Then the film started and I realized I had seen it before. Well, only the first half. I don't remember the second part of the flick at all, so I'm counting this as a first watch.

Cary Grant stars as a zoologist (though he would be called a paleontologist today) named David who is waiting on an important brontosaurus bone and trying to get a million dollar gift for the museum from a rich woman. The day before his wedding he meets Susan (played by Katherine Hepburn) who is trouble waiting to happen and instantly falls in love with him. She receives a pet leopard named Baby from her brother intended for her aunt (the one with the money) and has to get it out to the farm in Connecticut. David is coerced into going along and the hilarity does most definitely ensue.

This is one of the wonderful old screwball comedies where everyone is a little zany and there are prat falls aplenty. The good new is - they are all funny. Hepburn does a wonderful job being the annoying girl with no shame and tons of confidence. While the leopard serves as a major plot device and creator of some laughs, most everything is funny because of the way Grant and Hepburn interact. Watching her wreck his car and ripping his tux coat are hilarious, but Grant in a woman's robe calling himself gay insights laughter as well. Even the supporting cast of the aunt and her companion, a big game hunter, are great. You pretty much cannot go wrong here.

See this one, it's a riot. Buy the DVD here.


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