A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 14 – L.A. Story

L.A. Story – March 14, 2010

A few things: I know this is one of Andy’s favorite movies. I’ve seen it before because he wanted me to. I don’t remember a whole lot about it aside from that I enjoyed it.

I do have a bizarre fondness for Steve Martin. I know he’s got a reputation for being a dick, but I like him. Maybe it’s that my introduction to him was through the Muppet Show, where he was hilarious. I don’t know. Whatever it is, I enjoy watching him. Now, on the other hand, I know my husband had a youthful thing for Sarah Jessica Parker. He also lived in CA for a few years and has family out there, so he’s got much more experience with California in general than I do. Maybe that’s part of what gives my husband such a fondness for it that I just can’t share. I’ll enjoy it, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot to me.

As satire, it’s a wee bit over the top, but then, it’s satire of L.A. so that’s probably part of it. It’s also magical realism, which I’m of mixed feelings about. It’s not my favorite genre. There are exceptions, but not many. This is sort of an exception. Largely because it’s satire, which I enjoy, and the cast is fantastic. I mean, for fuck’s sake, it’s got Patrick Stewart in a cameo as a pretentious restaurant owner who requires a full review of prospective customers’ finances before he’ll book a reservation.

Nominally, L.A. Story is a romantic comedy. It’s also about being unhappy and doing the things because they’re right for you to do, not because they’re what everyone else expects or wants. It’s a magical realism satire too, but those are the tools it uses. The satire for the unhappiness and the magical realism to kick Martin’s character out of it. So I can deal with the magic. I don’t think it will ever affect me deeply, but I’ll watch it and smile and laugh and be glad of the happy ending and what the movie used to get there.

This is also the two week mark for our project. We’re 14 movies in and already planning some more purchases because we want to do certain things. Gaming movies during the week leading up to PAX East, for example. I think we’re thinking more about what we have and why we have it. And I’m having a lot of fun.

Tomorrow night we’re moving away from romantic comedies and into something more modern with 300.

March 14, 2010 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , | 3 Comments

L.A. Story

March 14, 2010

L.A. Story

Long ago I used to live with my sister in an apartment in Somerville.  I didn’t own very many movies back then.  Between the two of us I think we had four VHS tapes: The Mask, Play it Again Sam, Moonlighting, and L.A. Story.  So I’ve watched this movie a whole lot in the past.

Man, I love, love, LOVE this movie.  I haven’t watched it in a long time, and I was worried that it wouldn’t hold up after all these years.  But for the most part it does.  The hairstyles have changed since the early nineties, but the surreal humor of the movie is just as funny and true today as ever.

Despite not having watched this movie probably any time in the last decade there are a lot of moments that have stayed with me.  Rollerskating through the museum.  The signpost.  The fantastic soundtrack!  (I fell in love with Enya because of this movie.)

What has changed in the intervening years is me.  When I used to watch this movie I had a total crush on Sarah Jessica Parker’s character theyyouthful and hyper-kinetic SanDeE.  (With a little star at the end.)  Watching it now I see just how blatantly wrong she is for Steve Martin’s Harris.  Actually, I can’t figure out why I had such a crush on her in the first place.  Sure she’s this free spirit, but she’s totally preying on this older guy for no reason I can figure out.  Ahh.. I must be getting old.

I know that this movie was actually part of Steve Martin’s whirlwind romance with Victoria Tennant.  They met of the set of All of Me, and then this movie was his love note to her.  And a love note to L.A.  For all that the movie makes fun of the pretentious and insular nature of L.A. it also treats it with a kind of romance andreverence.  Everything in this movie is silly, ludicrous, and romantic and magical.  It was Steve Martin’s last really oddball comedy before he started making more “important” movies like Parenthood.. and I miss movies like this.

He never recites the pointy bird poem any more.

March 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment