Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Walls of Jericho

E. and I have watched a few movies during our lying in -- which I know once referred to pregnancy but I believe in repurposing vocab.

We do not go to many movies, partly because E. works long hours and then spends an hour or more on the phone talking her sister (the caregiver) and her mother (the care-eater) through the end of their day.

Also, she hates violent movies, and her notion of violence is broad. She screams at spring snakes out of cans.

But sick in bed we have watched a few movies on cable. We saw "Dreamgirls": That was thoroughly enjoyable, although I'm not sure the music was actually good, only that it reminded you of good music. We saw "Night at the Museum," which strived for sophomoric but fell back in freshmanic: no real genius in the slapstick, no real cleverness in the jokes.

Last night we watched "It Happened One Night" on Turner Classic Movies, a classic that neither of us had seen, though we had seen the famous excepts -- the hitchhiking, the absent t-shirt. What a fascinating bit of U.S. history, as Clark Gable bullied and intimidated rich and spoiled Claudette Colbert into her right role as dependent woman and democratic citizen.

It reminded us of our dads' idea of how a man should be treated, though my dad did a better job of accepting that other model from comedies of the time, that man ruled outside the home but woman ruled inside and any husbandly assertion of power in that context was just bluster, and comic.

Where did I read -- maybe in the Sunday NY Times? -- that the new slacker sex comedies are built around men in the 30s who behave like teenagers but who get the love anyhow, the moment the women (who are far more driven, more competent) understand hat an ineffectual sweet-tempered slug is all you can hope for in America in the 21st Century.

We don't know if that characterization of modern chick comedy is true. We don't go to many movies.

I was startled at how wideset Colbert's eyes are. I think I once read that black and white loved broad flat faces that hold the light. All I know is that another centimeter and Colbert would have looked like a flounder.


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