Mrs. Helen Givings: April, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.
John Givings: Alright! Sorry. Sorry! Sorry! Oh, oh, oh ma, have I said sorry enough times? Damn! I am sorry too, I’m just about the sorriest bastard I know, but you get right down to it, I don’t have a hell of a lot to be glad about, do I? Oh but hey, know what? I am glad about one thing. Wanna know what I’m glad about? I’m glad I’m not gonna be that kid.
I first watched this movie last summer because it was on Netflix and I was in the mood for a rom-com. This film looked cute, but it was widely panned by critics. But, it was written and directed by women and since I was trying to watch more film (especially rom-coms) written by women, I watched it anyways. What I discovered was a perfectly fine rom-com that is nowhere near as terrible (actually it’s quite good!) than you would think from the reviews. I’ve been meaning to write about it for almost a year now, so I had to rewatch it to get all my points fresh. I’m not going to write about everything in the film that I find fascinating, just the highlights. It’s still streaming on Netflix, so you can watch it real quick before you read this or you can watch it after; either way I urge you to check it out, especially if you like rom-coms.
I had never heard of this movie until I started working at Warner Archive Collection last year and when I saw that they had a movie with Marcello Mastroianni in it, I just had to watch it. I finally got around to watching it earlier this week and discovered that it was in fact directed by a woman (Kidron also directed To Wong Foo among other things). I’m glad I waited so long to watch it because I’ve learned a lot in the last few months from things I’ve read and conversations I’ve had with women and I think I wouldn’t have appreciated this movie as much if I had watched it earlier.
Pearl Berman: You want me to say that everything is my fault. I’m not gonna do it. You think I was mean to you when you were a kid? You think I didn’t do enough for you? Well, I’m sorry, but I had a couple of other things on my mind, you know? Like a Depression, a war, and your father – God bless him – sleepwalking through your whole childhood. God forbid I should know myself the way you know yourself, that I should ask myself those questions. Like what happened to my life? Did I deserve more? Did I ever for one second get as much as I gave? God forbid I should ask those questions, because if I looked inside myself and I really saw what I shut out my whole life, what I really missed, there’d come from out of me such a rage it would blow this building apart, and it would blow you into a million little pieces and it would blow Queens off of the face of the goddamned map!
I’ve written a lot about Woody Allen over the last few years and I’m sure I’ll be writing about him for many more years to come. He doesn’t always hit the mark, but when he does, he hits it better than just about anyone. Case in point: 2011’s smash hit Midnight In Paris. It may well be in my top five favorite of Woody Allen’s many films. Part of this has to do with my love of Paris in twenties (and the fact that pretty much everything mentioned in the film was something I studied in college) and partly because of the experience I had when I first saw it. I had just moved back to San Francisco (like, literally THAT DAY) and I went to see it with my roommate and one of my good friends (who was visiting from Florida!) and it had been raining and the showtime we wanted to go to was sold out so we had to wait an hour in the lobby and it was the most perfect experience I could have asked for. There’s a lot of things to write about with this film, but I’ve decided just to focus on a few facets of it that I really love. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning one: Best Art Direction, Best Original Screenplay (won), Best Director and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture in 2011 were: The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse and winner The Artist.
Marcia Sindell: Paul, since you brought her up,. . .I have to ask you this or I’ll be drummed out of the agents’ union. How would you feel about a non-fiction book, about what went on in that house?
Paul Sheldon: Gee, Marcia, if I didn’t know you better, I’d think you were suggesting I dredge up the worst horror of my life just so we can make a few bucks.
Marcia Sindell: I thought you were over it.
Paul Sheldon: I don’t know if anyone could totally get over something like that. It’s weird. Even though I know she’s dead, I still think about her once in a while.
Waitress: Excuse me. I don’t mean to bother you, but are you Paul Sheldon?
Paul Sheldon: Yes.
Waitress: I just wanna tell you, I’m your number one fan.
Paul Sheldon: That’s very sweet of you.