We could all use quite a bit of humor this week… given how much drama we have had to put up with in the news. What is the funniest movie you have ever seen? Do you like the Three Stooges… most women do not, but men seem to like them.
One of my favorite movies is Desk Set (Tracy & Hepburn) in which there are some pretty hilarious scenes, on of them on the rooftop of the broadcasting building where Hepburn works. Tracy gives her a personality test there and Hepburn passes it with flying colors. Another favorite scene occurs in her apartment… after they are both caught in the rain. Another reason that I like this film is that Gig Young, whom Hepburn has been dating for at least seven years, constantly criticizes her intelligence, while asking her to project his budget forecasts. Tracy, on the other hand, pays her many compliments on the beauty of her mind.
I also love Housesitter, with Steven Martin and Goldie Hawn. Goldie Hawn is an inveterate liar in this movie, but she only tells good lies and some of them actually come true. There are some loose ends in this film, but they don’t seem to bother me for some reason. Martin’s character, an architect, had built a house for a woman he had loved since ninth grade… he wraps a big bow around the house and proposes to her, but she refuses him, much to her later regret. He has a one-night stand with Goldie Hawn, who decided to look for the house that he has drawn on a napkin… as her tells her that the woman he proposed to thought the house was too big for her finger. Hawn moves into the house, meets Martin’s parents and fits into small town life pretty easily… all hell breaks loose from that point. There is a back story for Hawn, but I won’t spoil that for you.
The Women is also pretty hilarious in some scenes, but heartbreaking in others… Norma Shearer plays the lead role and her husband is outwitted by the crafty Joan Crawford, and a very young Joan Crawford, at that. Shearer’s mother gives her some excellent advice, but she does not follow it, at first. Eventually, she comes to see the wisdom in her mother’s advice. This film was based on a play by Clare Boothe Luce. I’ve seen the play, too, on PBS, right after watching the film. There are some things in the play that are not in the film, but I think I prefer the film. For one thing, there is a fashion show in color. The rest of the film is in black and white.
Another favorite is My Man Godfrey, with William Powell and Carole Lombard. It’s one of those screwball comedies from the 30s. Lombard’s sister in the film tries to engage a “lost man” played by Powell, but she is unsuccessful. Lombard has much better luck recruiting him to be the lost man in a scavenger hunt that is supposed to raise money for charity. Later on, Lombard offers him a job as their family’s butler. What Lombard does not know is that Powell once had a lot of money, but lost it… possibly during the Crash.
And there’s also Bringing up Baby, with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, another screwball comedy from the 30s. Hepburn falls in love with a paleontologist, played by Grant, whom she recruits to help her in delivering a leopard to her aunt. Unknown to them, another leopard has escaped from a circus and there is a case of mistaken identity… among the leopards. I must admit that Katharine Hepburn had some of the very best fashions in film… and she wore them well.
I used to watch some dramas, but these days, with so much going wrong in the world, I can only bear comedies. We all need some relief from the drama going on in the DC beltway and around the rest of the world. What are your favorite and funniest films?