Thursday, September 9, 2010

Films # 71 & 72: Nora Ephron Double Feature (Sep 8)

Sleepless in Seattle
1993, 104 min.
Directed by Nora Ephron

When Harry Met Sally
1989, 95 min.
Directed by Rob Reiner

Hmmm. Am I an old man because I think it's too soon to be nostalgic about the 1990s? Case in point: I recently heard someone complaining about the quality of romantic comedies lately (in truth, I believe it was just a rant against the likes of Katherine Heigl).

After some pressing, I discovered that what they were missing were (as they called it) "those Meg Ryan type" of movies. Ohhhh.
Those movies. Oddly, I knew what they were referring to. I'm no romantic comedy connoisseur, but there was definitely a certain style to these movies popular in the 90s. Starting with When Harry Met Sally in 1989 and pretty much ending in 1998's You've Got Mail, it seemed there was a genre of romantic comedies that had a distinct flavor. They weren't echoes of Annie Hall and didn't feature Julia Roberts as their lead. Nora Ephron broke ground with her screenplay for When Harry..., and then every one of the major players involved in its success tried to catch that lightning in a bottle again.

These were really the only ones that worked to some degree. By the time 2000 came around, all we got were half-hearted efforts like America's Sweethearts, Alex & Emma, Kate & Leopold, and Bewitched. Yuck. From the ashes of these romantic comedies came the new breeds, written by Richard Curtis and later by Judd Apatow. Whether that's progress is in the eye of the beholder.

Tonight's viewing at The Paramount would've made the Heigl-hater proud. It was a twin-bill of two Nora Ephron scripted rom-coms. I had seen them many years ago, and both had made very different impressions on me. The night's screenings only served to reinforce my initial opinions.

Full writeup of the films is a work in progress...
Check back soon for the complete blog entry!

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