joy writes things

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55 Movies to Get You to Christmas – #29

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
“I can’t remember anything without you.”


    Okay, it’s safe.  You can come out of hiding, we are done with all of the old movies for a while.  If you enjoy weird movies with bright hair colors and Jim Carrey, you are totally in luck today.  I have a love-hate relationship with this movie in that at first I completely hated it and now I almost love it.  I’m getting there.  Give me time.
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a strange movie.  It stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, with a supporting cast of Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood and Kirsten Dunst.  Don’t worry, Dunst doesn’t ruin it like you might think.  If recreational drug use, and awkward, mildly stressful situations are deal breakers for you, do not see this film.  Otherwise, there’s some swearing, probably.  That’s it, I think.
    This movie is beautiful if dreariness doesn’t faze you.  The first time I watched it, I think I expected it to be something completely different.  Now I fully appreciate and relate to Clementine’s character, and the relationship she has with Joel.  The plot is complex and the writing is good.  A lot of people will tell you that this movie is a must-see, but it isn’t.  It’s a good movie, but don’t let people pressure you into seeing it, because then you’ll hate it, just like 18 year old Joy hated it.  If you end up seeing this movie, sit back and take it for what it is.  I also recommend watching it by yourself.  For some reason it impacted me more that way.


(Sidenote: One time I was lucky enough to be in a sort of photo recreation from this film.  See below.)


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55 Movies to Get You to Christmas – #28

It’s A Wonderful Life

Image“What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.”

Today is Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is my Christmas; it is the Disney World of Holidays (the happiest day of the year) THEREFORE, I get the day off from writing anything important (except my novel, which I need to finish).  Watch this movie.  You already know why.

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55 Movies to Get You to Christmas – #27

The Philadelphia Story
“Young man, remove yourself!”


    In high school, I had to watch The Philadelphia Story for a class.  I completely fell in love with the characters – and the actors who play them – and how they all worked with and played off of each other.  With an all-star cast, it is definitely in my top 100 must-see movies of all time.  It’s hilarious and dramatic.  The word-vomit that spews from the lips of these characters is brilliant and refreshing.  
    From what I’ve read about this week’s movies, Hepburn was not a joy to work with, especially for directors.  However, she did have quite a few scripts written for her, it seems, including this one.  Grant, on the other hand, seemed to have been very easy to work with, for everyone, and donated his salary from this film to the British War Relief Society.  Stewart won Best Actor at the academy awards, and the film also won Best Adapted Screenplay.

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55 Movies to Get You to Christmas – #26

“Nobody ever brings anything small into a bar.”


   A púca is a mythical being said to bring good and/or bad fortune.  Púcas were said to be able to change shapes and would appear in the shape of a horse, goat or rabbit.  Quite possibly a giant rabbit, standing beside a light post.  
    Last year, my mother got me an amazing birthday present and took me to go ese Harvey, starring Jim Parsons, in New York City.  It was an amazing experience, and she was so great to go with me.  Parsons did an amazing job in that role, as he always does.  He’s a fantastic actor.  You could tell that he was patterning his performance after Jimmy Stewart’s performance, which was not his best idea.  Stewart was absolutely flawless in that role; every line sounded like it originated in his own head, and every movement and reaction seemed effortless.
    This is one of the most quotable movies I’ve seen; the writing is deep and brilliant.  Elwood P. Dowd proves to be one of the gentlest and sweetest characters in cinematic history.  If you have not yet seen this movie, you should.  There’s a chance it will change your outlook on life, or at least open your mind a bit. 

Now more than ever, watch Harvey.

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55 Movies to Get You to Christmas – #25

My Favorite Wife
“Impulsive!? He’s full of…carrots.”


    Whenever I’m having a really horrible life and I need a movie that makes me laugh and feel better about everything, I go find the nearest VHS player and pop in My Favorite Wife.  This movie features one of my favorite actresses from that time, Irene Dunne, who was also in The Awful Truth.  This is my favorite character that I’ve seen her play.
    The film follows Dunne’s character, Ellen, who just returned from being shipwrecked on an island.  Her family thinks she’s dead, and her husband has just remarried.  As you can imagine, craziness ensues.  It was nominated for three academy awards: Best Story, Best Score and Best Art Direction. 

Most underrated character: Judge Walter Bryson who delivers some of the best lines of the film in the most hilarious way.  For having a very minor role, he is very memorable.

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55 Movies to Get You to Christmas – #24

Bringing Up Baby
“No, I just went GAY all of a sudden!”

Like I mentioned yesterday, Cary Grant is also in today’s film: Bringing Up Baby.  This time he is teamed up with the acting phenomenon Katharine Hepburn.  Grant filmed Bringing Up Baby right after he finished shooting The Awful Truth.  This script was actually tailored to Hepburn.
One of the best aspects of this film is the ad-libbing that was done between Hepburn and Grant.  They bantered excellently, and reacted really naturally to each other.  The chemistry between the two actors/characters, and the ease with which Hepburn sinks into her character are what makes this film such fun to watch.  This film also features a leopard, which Grant was extremely afraid of, much to the enjoyment of his fellow cast members.

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55 Movies to Get You to Christmas – #23

The Awful Truth


“In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to what he’s been thinking about all winter.”


    Today’s film is The Awful Truth, starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne.  Dunne is one of my favorite classic actresses when it comes to comedies.  She has very unique delivery and is completely hilarious.  She’ll come up again later this week, as will Grant, who I just realized is in almost every film this week (actually, I think it’s every film except one.  Oops).  
    This movie focuses on the not-so-happy couple who decide they want a divorce essentially because they no longer truth each other.  They have quite a custody battle over the dog, and the visits that Grant’s character is allowed are one of the main sources of contact the couple has post-separation.  Because of these interactions, they’re able to absurdly interact and screw up each other’s romantic pursuits.  
    In these sorts of movies, every character is too mad or prideful or full of themselves that they can’t focus on how sad they would actually be in the situation.  The emotions are completely ignored – except anger – and it manages to keep the film upbeat, light, and unrealistic.  The Awful Truth is one of those films that makes me feel better after I’ve watched it.  A lot of classic movies have that affect on me, but ones with Dunne and Grant paired up like this are extra delightful.