This weekend my wife and I watched two movies with merit. The first one was His Girl Friday. It honestly surprised me. It captures the time (the late 1930s) when newspapers took off, when they were wedded with rapid (for the era) communication, like the telephone and telegraph. Everything rested on getting “the scoop,” as papers competed with one another. Cary Grant plays the editor, and Rosalind Russell plays his crack reporter. The problem? They started dating, got married, and she grew tired of his focus on the paper instead of their marriage. The movie starts with her returning from a vacation to announce that she is getting married and leaving the paper. Grant, a conniver, throws a wrench in it by luring her back into it, slowly but surely. It becomes obvious that reporting is her calling, but what about her fiancé? It all makes for a good screwball comedy from that era. But what was particularly interesting to watch is how the media, even back then, was portrayed as a bit jaded and self-serving (just as it is today). The dialogue is as rapid as West Wing, and the wit is strong. It’s good food for thought (and it’s free on http://www.Hulu.com).
We also watched the much more contemporary Ghost Town (which was not at all as it was presented in the previews). It was hyped as a kind of goofy Sixth Sense with the lead, played by Ricky Gervais (of the UK Office fame) being able to see dead people after dying on the operating table but being brought back. Soon, he is seeing dead New Yorkers, who all begin to follow him. But, the story quickly focuses on just one ghost (Greg Kinnear), who’s trying to make things right for his widow played by Téa Leoni. The lead, though, falls in love with her, and while he thinks his goal is to break up an engagement, the real problem ends up being himself. It had me laughing at many points, but I also appreciated an important message it relayed. His colleague at one point asks him, “How is being an #%@$%^$ working for you?” (It obviously isn’t.) The colleague shows him a quote from Einstein: “A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.” (I think that’s what it said.) Once he realizes this, everything begins to change. Sometimes movies can say something better than any sermon can. Dreamworks made this, one and you can find it on iTunes and Amazon Unbox for their typical rental fees.
Two comedies with good messages.
Until next time and all the best,