Movies on the Brain: Alex & Emma

WATCHED 12/22

What was the last good movie Rob Reiner made? I liked American President but Story of Us may have given me diabetes. All I really remember is going into some sort of insulin shock about three quarters of the way through that one. But all in all, I think the balance sheet is in his favor due to This is Spinal Tap and Princess Bride. I’m even willing to count When Harry Met Sally on the positive side of the balance sheet. Note the non-mention of North. This is intentional.

00:01 – An actual opening credits sequence? When was the last time I saw one of these? Putting the names up on screen after the movie itself has started is fairly annoying to me. Seems distracting for the audience and insulting to the people being credited. There used to be a craft to an opening credit sequence and that seems to have gone by the wayside.

00:03 – I think Luke Wilson is running around looking for whoever told him appearing in the Charlie’s Angels movies would be a positive career move.

00:04 – Sorry, you can’t hang somebody outside a window by their ankles without bringing to mind A Fish Called Wanda. “I apologize unreservedly.”

00:05 – I think when Luke Wilson is stressed he actually turns into David Arquette. Some sort of genetic-testing done on him by Nick Nolte can only explain this. Anyone else wonder what Courtney Cox saw in Arquette? Man must have a schlong the size of a Louisville Slugger.

00:07 – Ahh. Kate Hudson.

00:09 – Hudson definitely has her mother’s comedic timing. Make this movie 20 years ago and put Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase in as the stars and I bet you would have the exact same movie.

00:11 – Luke Wilson’s apartment looks like Joe Pesci should be the landlord.

00:13 – When Harry Met Sally Redux Part 1 – Kate Hudson likes to read the end of a book before the beginning.

00:15 – When Harry Met Sally Redux Part 2 – Luke Wilson has just developed a psychosomatic brain tumor. Hopefully it’s just the 24-hour kind.

00:18 – OK, Luke Wilson’s apartment looks like it should be in a condemned building somewhere in a part of New York that Mayor Bloomberg wouldn’t even acknowledge exists. The exterior, however, is a lovely three-story walk-up on the kind of pleasant street where you expect teenagers to be seen helping little old ladies with their groceries. I’m just going to close my eyes for the remainder of the outdoor shots in order to refrain from screaming. I feel this is for the best.
00:19 – This scene must take place sometime in the past because there’s Doughy Guy!

00:21 – I now have to admit I have never seen Great Gatsby with Robert Redford. How is it I’m even allowed to continue watching movies?

00:22 – They keep talking about the Muse striking and I can’t stop thinking about Salma Hayek dancing around with her hair in pigtails and those horn-rimmed glasses on. Actually most days I can’t stop thinking about this no matter what I’m doing, but that’s a different subject.

00:23 – Every time I see those little sailor outfits that children wore in the 1920’s I keep waiting for Spalding Smails to walk by. “Ahoy palloi!”

00:26 – Am I the only person who even remembers the Tom Selleck movie High Road to China? This was on HBO about five times a day when I was a kid. Sometimes you would have the Bess Armstrong double feature of High Road and Jaws 3-D. These were fantastic times.

00:28 – I recently watched Seventh Seal for the first time. The entire emotional impact of the movie never really hit me since I kept thinking of the Swedish-language scene from Top Secret.

00:30 – I’d try and argue with the whole “if you want a character to have edge, make them German” thing going on right now, but I really can’t. It’s not like we hear stories about Goebbels polishing his stand-up routine during the weekly lunches in Hitler’s private study. Not that this isn’t a fun image, but let’s face reality.

00:34 – Is there anything you can say in German that doesn’t sound threatening? You could be reciting Emily Dickinson and it will sound like you’re announcing plans to drive the Jews out of Poland.

00:35 – Destiny, destiny! No escaping that’s for me! Destiny! Destiny!

00:37 – Apparently there is an exotic French casino where everyone is just dripping with Frenchness off the coast of Maine. Where’s James Bond? Shouldn’t he be using some pretty young thing as a distraction while he tries to slip into the owner’s private office on the third floor?

00:43 – And here’s the scene of Kate Hudson crying. These moments in romantic comedies are almost like the distance markers on a running path. We now know we are about halfway done with this movie. This is where your legs start to feel like they will fall off and your lungs scream for oxygen. Yes, this is how I feel about both the movie and running in general.

00:45 – When Harry Met Sally Redux Part 3 – Kate Hudson is a picky eater. I’m one faked orgasm away from audibly sighing in disgust.
00:46 – Mile Marker – Kate Hudson already has a boyfriend. At least I know the end is in sight.

00:49 – Do people in movies actually use condoms? There’s never the seen of fumbling for the prophylactic while both parties try desperately to stay in the mood like what happens to me. I think I may be sharing too much.

00:51 – Luke Wilson sure does eat in some nice restaurants for someone with no money. Suspension of disbelief is a finicky thing that can turn on you like a cat that is so tired of chasing the damn string that it turns on you, slicing your Achilles heel like a wet tissue. Have fun with that visual.

00:52 – Mile Marker – Montage of fun day together capped off by the almost sharing of feelings and a kiss. Must re-watch Albert Brooks’ Real Life. One of my favorite movies that dissected “reality” programming almost 20 years before it really started.

00:54 – Frau Blucher! (cue horses snorting in terror)

00:56 – I think the French residents of this island just surrendered. To whom, I’m not sure, but I don’t think they were either.

1:00 – Does anyone else think Mr. Saturday Night is a great movie? No? Let’s just move on.

1:01 – It’s hard for me to accept that Sophie Marceu is no longer the teenager she was in Braveheart.

1:04 – I think Luke Wilson is flamenco dancing in Joe Mantegna’s office from Three Amigos. “Do you know what nada means?” “Isn’t that a light chicken gravy?”

1:05 – Is it OK to admit I used to be a huge Kenny Rogers fan? I grew up in a house where Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers were pretty much the mainstays. The psychological scars run deep.

1:07 – OK, one of the Cuban thugs just said “Bye lady” in exactly the same way Andre the Giant did in Princess Bride. Was Rob Reiner thinking he would just sneak these things past us? We’re watching your movie because we liked those other ones not because we want to see a patchwork of the greatest hits from those movies.

1:11 – And the “Art Greco” gag which has been building up for the last sixty-five minutes finally pays off. This happens around the same time I’m conjuring up my most painful high school memories just to have a pleasant diversion from this movie.

1:12 – One smile from Kate Hudson and all is forgiven. Damn.

1:17 – Do you think Owen Wilson makes fun of Luke Wilson when he does these kinds of movies? Then again, Owen was in Behind Enemy Lines AND Armageddon so I think both are guilty of cinematic crimes.

1:22 – Kate Hudson has some real acting chops. Unfortunately they have gone all but unused in this movie. She should go on a three-year hiatus from romantic comedies and rediscover them.

1:24 – Rob Reiner could be a pretty good actor but he needs a better director than the one for this movie.

1:25 – When Harry Met Sally Redux Part 4 – Unreturned phone calls. “When you’re feeling sad and lonely, call the one who digs you only…”

1:28 – All right the whole gag about the law firm where everyone has the name of a U.S. president is mildly amusing.

1:30 – Should the cue card guy on Saturday Night Live get top billing on the show? Seems like they have done the hard work for the last few years. Where’s their union when they need it.

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