Tag Archive: cary grant

Make’ em laugh

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

When life gets hectic, all I really want to do is laugh.

I want to laugh until my sides hurt.

Lately, I have found myself angry and tired of seeing people with guns going into schools and shoot up whoever they can find. I am tired of there being no answers, no solutions, and nonsensical arguments being bandied about.

So I look for comedies to distract and make fun of the world.

Arsenic and Old Lace posterI grabbed a few comedies the other week with Arsenic and Old Lace (1941) being at the top of the pile. This classic stars Cary Grant as a theater critic who loudly stated in the past he has no intention of marrying – ever. That is until he falls in love with the girl next door, Priscilla Lane. They wed at city hall but before going on their honeymoon, Grant wants to tell his two aunts. They are the sweetest ladies who do much charitable work in Brooklyn.

And he will, right after they discuss the dead man in the window seat AND his homicidal brother’s return to town AND the bodies in the basement AND elderberry wine. All of this happens on Halloween night.

It is silly and goofy and completely over the top. Cary Grant thought this was one of his worst performances. Pearl Harbor occurred during the shooting of the movie, and Director Frank Capra meant to make more edits before he left to join the armed services. But he never did tone it down.

They story is fun, the action is quick, and the fight scene between the brother and the police is enough to make one laugh a few belly laughs.

But in case you want something a bit more modern, there is always Date Night starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey. These two crazy kids are a couple who fear they have fallen into a rut, especially after close friends tell them the friends are getting divorced.

Date Night posterSo on their usual date night, Tina and Steve push their boundaries. They dress up a little more, go into NYC to a hot new restaurant for a meal, and take someone else’s reservation. But of course there is a problem, these things always lead to problems. It appears that the couple who did not show for the reservation is holding on to something belonging to a criminal figure.

And as the night goes on this couple has to figure out how to stay one step ahead of bad police guys, find the couple, get the flash drive, get help from super security guy Mark Wahlberg, and get home in time to pay the babysitter. Oh, and stay alive.

This is not a movie for those people who do not like swearing. It can get raunchy at times and definitely not for kids. That’s ok because sometimes couples need a break from the routine and watch something meant for adults. I always liked this movie for being both preposterous in the action and deeply honest in the interaction between this couple.

It might be one of the few romantic comedies that features car chases and shoot outs before the ending resolves into happy-ever-after.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


Mr. Irresistable?

Family Movie Night


by Karyn Bowman


The other day I saw the sign about the “Mr. Irresistible” pageant that is coming up this Friday.


I almost asked my husband if he was taking part but then realized I did not want to share him with others.


Still, it looks to be a good time and it helps the high school volleyball team. What more do you need for an evening?


It did make me think of some stars that are, quite frankly, irresistible.


Image from IMDb.com

While the Girl Scouts were at the North Lake Villa this past weekend, one lady and I got into a discussion of movies. She had recently seen The Lucky One starring Zac Efron.  This former Disney performer has slowly built up a nice career filled with comedies and dramas.


His latest movie is about a soldier stationed overseas who finds a picture of a girl and it saves his life. Once he comes back home, he finds the girl and they fall in love. But there is more to it and it is based on a Nicholas Sparks book. However, as the lady said, Zac Efron is easy on the eyes.


Another actor who is easy on the eyes and good at what he does is Ryan Gosling. This past year the Canadian actor was in a slew of movies including Drive and Crazy Stupid Love. He might be best known for his role in The Notebook, another Nicholas Sparks movie that tells the ultimate love story.


His first big movie I remember was Murder by Numbers with Sandra Bullock, a murder mystery in which the detective gets too involved with the suspect. He played one of the suspects with such intensity that I really did not like him for a while. However, I am looking forward to seeing his latest round of movies, especially The Ides of March as I am a political junkie.


While Gosling carried the movie, his co-star was George Clooney. Clooney has been irresistible for a long time and a part of me wonders if his time has passed. But there will always be his vast collection of movies. It is hard for me to pick a favorite. I love the Ocean series he did with Brad Pitt and director Steven Soderbergh. These heist movies make it cool to be bad, smooth to be involved with all of the people who have their own specialty.



Image from IMDb.com

I also love his fluffy movies such as One Fine Day with Michelle Pfeiffer and Batman and Robin or Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. You cannot take these movies seriously as you do with Good Night and Good Luck or Up in The Air. A great black comedy is Intolerable Cruelty with Catherine Zeta-Jones in which Clooney is attracted to Zeta-Jones, a serial divorcee.  


If my mother was writing this column about irresistible actors, she might include Cary Grant or Errol Flynn. But that is a column for another day.

Who would you pick to be the ‘Mr. Irresistible’ of your life?


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

The other night, I had a bunch of kids in the car and we started talking about silly stuff.

 For whatever reasons, I brought up running around with a leopard on a leash. (Can that be anymore dangerous than running around with my dog on a leash when he sees a cat?)

Bringing Up Baby, French movie poster, Picture from IMDb.com

The girls said “What?!?”

 That is when I said Bringing Up Baby with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. Classic movie, have you ever seen it? The girls look at me as if I am insane.

 So I go into a mini lecture about how it is one of the greatest screwball comedies ever. When you look up “Screwball Comedy” there will be a picture from that movie accompanying the story. The best part is the movie stars Cary Grant when he was young and hot.

First of all, I cannot resist that accent. Then there is his usual character — a generally decent guy. That is an attraction as well. Plus, Grant was a spot-on comedian. All you have to do is watch some of his other comedies and know that when it comes to screwball comedies, he is the king.

His Girl Friday, Picture from IMDb.com

Want a few other examples of the king? How about Arsenic and Old Lace? Or His Girl Friday with Rosalind Russell set in a news room. He is the editor and she is the top reporter. The dialogue is fast and furious and witty. 

Another great movie in the screwball genre with Grant and Hepburn is The Philadelphia Story. I could go on and on. But then I would forget about the other classic screwball comedy from that era which is My Man Godfrey starring Carole Lombard and William Powell. The story is about a new butler who completely changes the life of a very rich family during the Depression.

My Man Godfrey, Picture frm IMDb.com

It is silly and goofy. Plus the print did not age well. But for those wanting to build your knowledge of film, it is a must see. Carole Lombard really has incredible comedic chops and she looks great in those thin satin dresses. William Powell may be playing it dry in this movie but he would up the ante when he worked on the Thin Man series with Myrna Loy.

 I know you are thinking this is a detective series but listen to the dialogue and watch the action. This is sophisticated screwball comedy at its best with two of the greatest practitioners.

William Powell, Maureen O'Sullivan (sitting) and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man, picture from IMDb.com

Comedies should make you laugh and smile and feel great at the end. All of these do just that. In a few weeks, I will talk about some modern screwball comedies. If you send me a suggestion, I will be sure to mention it.

 Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

 Let the world, or at least St. Anne, know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note to P.O. Box 306, St. Anne, IL 60964 or become my friend on Facebook.