Sunday, November 28, 2010

What about this steak? It tastes like prison ass.

#47. Home For the Holidays (1995).

A little bit on the darker side, but absolutely full of charm, Home for the Holidays. (And in retrospect, I probably could have picked a different subject line for the Robert Downey, Jr. movie...)

So Robert Downey, Jr. admits to having used heroin during this making of this film, and I'm also pretty sure he said there are whole scenes he doesn't even remember doing. Honestly, I can't say it shows, he turns in yet another great performance.

Great supporting cast, too, Steve Guttenberg does a really good douchebag, and Cynthia Stevenson is also perfect as her...uh, sister. I mean this in a good way, but what an unlikeable bitch!

But it's full of really great lines, cute moments (not cutesy moments) and that touch of genuine reality I'm glad I cannot relate to very well, since I am lucky enough to have a family that is not severely dysfunctional. Even Claire Danes doesn't annoy me in this; (though to be fair her screen time clocks in at probably 5 whole minutes).

The story refrains from being saccharine or wrapping things up neatly. With the exception of the final Dylon McDermott scene...puh-leeeze. I know it's pre-9/11, but I just don't buy the airplane scene or how empty the plane is, I don't care WHERE it's coming from or heading toward. So regardless, it's a little gooey at the end, but I can live with it.

#46. The Shop Around the Corner (1940).

So this is the movie that You've Got Mail was based on. I hated that movie, but I'd been wanting to check this out since last year. I couldn't get my hands on it since it was monumentally on "long wait" with Netfux. So I got it a little earlier this year.

I usually dislike Jimmy Stewart, but either he's grown on me over the years or I've just mellowed out or both. I still loath Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with every ounce of my being, but occasionally I guess as an actor, Jimmy Stewart himself's not so bad.

This movie is certainly innocent; based on the pen-pal relationship he strikes up with an anonymous woman, it's more like an ode to Craig's List these days...I also love the obscenely naive idea that these people are thinking about getting engaged before even meeting. Awesome.

Now I don't recall You've Got Mail very well (aside from trying not to vomit in the theater), but I think it's more than different enough. On the other hand, I think the female lead here is pretty unlikeable...she's kind of a snippy bitch, and not in a good way! I feel like a bunch of character development got left on the editing room floor and now she just comes off like an uppity shit. I don't think it's Margaret Sullavan's fault, but not having seen her in anything else, I can't really say...!

But overall it was still a perfectly enjoyable Christmas movie. Glad I saw it.

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