Saturday, April 17, 2010
Hepburn & Grant &... Me?
Speaking as the Jodie half of Lydia Dare - I am not a big fan of chick-flicks, or tear-jerkers, or anything too serious or sad. My mantra has always been – “If I’m paying for entertainment, I want to laugh. I can sit at home and cry for free.” I’ve said it so much, I don’t even need to say it anymore. Friends will talk about some dramatic movie and they’ll look at me and say, “Yeah, yeah, you just want to sit at home and cry for free.” Well, it is cheaper.
Anyway, with that in mind, one of my most favorite things in the world is to watch old movies. And not just any old movies – but the Screwball Comedies of the 30s and 40s. All right – I do love some of the old classics too – Casablanca, Double Indemnity, Citizen Kane, 12 Angry Men – but one can’t really call those movies comedies, and I already own them so watching them is free if I want to cry or feel particularly serious.
I think I’ve somehow gotten off point. Where was I? Oh, yes, those classic comedies. How could I forget?
I could watch It Happened One Night on a weekly basis. I don’t because my son would kill me, but I could. And Bringing Up Baby is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. The same goes for The Lady Eve, The Philadelphia Story, or Arsenic and Old Lace. There was something magical about these films, something that if you watch them, you can feel a bit of the comic genius touch your soul. Or maybe just my soul. Or maybe I just had one too many glasses of wine.
I grew up watching these films with my grandparents. For them it was nostalgic. For me it was a glimpse into another world where people always looked fabulous, they were always witty, they were always good-hearted. It was a fantasy that fit pretty well with the Regency world I created when I started writing. No, the 1930-40’s are not Regency England. But they are similar in feel to me.
Recently I read a review of A Certain Wolfish Charm. Actually, in all honesty, I’ve read them all – but there was one in particular that mentioned the dialogue and how it felt like a Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant film. You can’t even imagine what that did for my ego. Hepburn and Grant! Seriously! I can’t think of a nicer compliment. (Well, a RITA nomination next year would be nice.) But for the time being, I’ll take being compared to one of the most genius parings in celluloid history.
What would be the nicest compliment you could get?