Penguins & Dogs & Plastics

Carol & I went to see two more movies recently.

Must Love Dogs stars the luminescent Diane Lane and the wonderful John Cusack. I REALLY wanted to love this movie. But you know that a romantic comedy isn’t working when 1) you don’t laugh and 2) you don’t get a sense of chemistry between the two who are “destined to be together, even if they don’t know it yet.” In fact, the only time I really believed them as a potential couple was during the end credits, when in fact, they WERE a couple reflecting back on their courtship. Part of the problem with the laughs was that old story- the best ones show up in the previews.
Other fine actors, including as Christopher Plummer, who plays Lane’s father (and blind date! – this is revealed in the trailer) also appear, but I didn’t much care about any of the characters EXCEPT the Stockard Channing character, who plays one of the Plummer character’s girlfriends. It’s not an AWFUL film, but it is lacklustre.
And the title is SO wrong, since NEITHER character actually owns a dog.

March of the Penguins is a very right title for a very right film. These noble birds that don’t fly go through a tortured year-long process in an attempt to bring their young into the world. I lost count how many 70-mile treks the animals had to make. I couldn’t help but think about two things, though:
1) If humans had to go through so much in order to create babies, we’d have zero population in no time – no, make that negative population growth.
2) How the heck did the filmmaker get such compeling footage under such adverse conditions? We’re talking Antarctic winter, -80 F. And the summer is not a day at the beach, either.

We also rented a video of The Graduate, an iconic movie I admitted to never seeing here. One of the things someone told me is that I might find it dated.
Lessee: Young man has relationship with female friend of his parents, but prefers the company of HER daughter. Gets chewed out by the cuckolded husband. Sounds like the plot of last week’s Jerry Springer show.
Truth is that I LOVED this movie, from Dustin Hoffman’s “what the heck do I do now?” college grad (been there), to the late Anne Bancroft’s sultry seduction (I’ve almost been there) to the Simon & Garfunkel score (I live there) to doing the absolutely irrational for love (boy, have I been THERE). It also features one of my favorite actors, William Daniels from the TV show St. Elsewhere. This was my first viewing, but definitely not my last.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. i hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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