|From Teacups & Buttercups|
As with most things, my taste in movies is rather quirky. I don't watch war movies, and am not that fond of Westerns either, with a few exceptions (specifically, "Silverado" (1985), "The Rare Breed" (1966), and especially "The Big Country" (1958)). I detest epic romance films like "Titanic" (1997), and also any drama with an unhappy ending (what can I say, I really need to see a feel-good ending, or at least a not-too-terrible one). I tend to avoid many Academy Award-winning films for this very reason. Remember "The English Patient" (1996)? I don't, because I won't watch! I have also never seen any of the "Jaws", "Rocky", or "Godfather" movies -- I have tried to watch a few of them, but find myself just not interested. And while I loved the original "Star Wars" trilogy, after watching the disappointing first installment of the second trilogy I have not bothered to watch the other two.
Of course I love a good horror or science fiction movie, especially a ghost story, and also well-made mystery films, as my Mystery Mondays and Terrifying Tuesdays posts reveal (although I have to admit that I have never watched "The Exorcist" (1973)). Certain animated films, both classic and new, make my favorites list -- the original Disney "101 Dalmatians" (1961) and the much more recent "Up" (2009) are on that list. And I am embarrassed to admit that I have an addiction to action movies, especially those starring Sean Connery, Jean-Claude Van Damme, or Wesley Snipes! But I also have a weakness for more character-driven movies such as "Strangers in Good Company" (1990) and "The Big Chill" (1983). Romantic comedies, however, tend to be my preference when it comes to movie favorites. "Parenthood" (1989) and "Housesitter" (1992) are two great ones, as are classics like "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953) and "My Favorite Brunette" (1947) (what is it about hair color in comedies?).
My all-time favorite movie, though, has to be "Enchanted April" (1992). It is both character-driven and a wonderful romantic comedy. The theme of the movie really resonates with me -- four women whose lives have become too predictable, leaving them longing for a change. An intriguing newspaper ad about an Italian castle for rent, the rather impetuous meeting of two of the main characters, and the serendipitous connection of all four women leads to a month-long trip which changes all of their lives for the better.
The ensemble cast is flawless. Joan Plowright as Mrs. Fisher and Miranda Richardson as Rose Arbuthnot are as usual excellent in their roles as lonely older woman and unhappy wife, respectively. The lovely Polly Walker as Lady Caroline Dester is perfectly cast as the rich and spoiled young woman whose frivolous and shallow activities are merely a cover for dissatisfaction with her life and a tragic loss in her past. But it is the lesser-known Josie Lawrence as Lottie Wilkins who truly shines as the rather plain and overlooked spouse of a solicitor. It is Lottie who comes up with the idea for the trip in the first place -- she is truly the original desperate housewife. And let's not forget the men in this film -- Alfred Molina as Lottie's ambitious husband Mellersh Wilkins, who is about to learn the true value of his wife; Jim Broadbent as Frederick Arbuthnot, the rather comical but endearing writer husband of Richardson's character; and Michael Kitchen as George Briggs, the owner of the castle who finds Rose Arbuthnot fascinating and is under the mistaken impression that she is a widow. It also doesn't hurt that the setting of the Italian castle is breathtakingly beautiful!
As far as I am concerned, this movie is the ultimate chick flick. I try to watch it at least once a year, or any time I am in need of a feel-good film. You can see the movie on YouTube for $1.99, and even read the novel here. Wisteria and sunshine, anyone?
|Photo by nyx000|