Guilty Pleasures That Hold Up Under Repeated Viewing
Recommended by the Thin Man, a photographer whose work appears on the library's Internet Branch.
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Weekend at Bernie's
Everyone probably has a favorite slapstick comedy or two, and this is one of mine. Two young company employees (Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman) see upward mobility coming their way when they're invited to the boss' weekend retreat on Long Island. The only problem: The boss is dead when they arrive. From one funny scene after another (especially a side-splitting water skiing romp), they keep the guy "alive" through the weekend (and unfortunately for anyone who saw it, through a not-so-funny sequel).
Kevin Kline is Howard Brackett, a high school teacher in Greenleaf, Indiana, who is "outted" as gay during an Oscar awards ceremony before Brackett himself realizes he's about to embark on an alternative lifestyle. There are great lines not only for Kline, but also Joan Cusack as Emily, Brackett's bride-to-be. Others are equally impressive as members of the supporting castTom Selleck, Matt Dillon, Wilford Brimley, Debbie Reynolds and Bob Newhart.
Johnny Depp steals the show as Sam, a character who bears resemblance to Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton and their misfit ways. He's "won" by Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson) in a poker game, much to the dismay of Benny (Aidan Quinn), her brother and keeper. Joon is more than a bit odd in her own right, so it's not surprising that the movie is described as "a delightful, quirky and offbeat romantic comedy," as well as "a funny and heartwarming story full of romance and magic." Benny & Joon was the second major role for Depp (behind only Edward Scissorhands) in a career packed with entertaining and challenging characters.
This 1975 movie starring Jeff Bridges is timelessit's as funny today as when first released. Bridges is Lewis Tater, a Midwestern farmboy who dreams of writing Western novels, then enrolls at a correspondence school only to find when he visits that it's just a whistle stop in the desert. Before long, though, he's taking bit parts in cowboy b-movies, eventually moving up to starring roles in the first talkies. The laughs are spread throughout this fine comedy, with a few sentimental moments here and there. Other stars include Alan Arkin, Andy Griffith and Blythe Danner.
First, all involved with this comedy as well as with the soft drink manufacturer emphasize that the Coca-Cola Company had nothing to do with this movie, a film about which the New York Post wrote, "A screwball comedy...glamorous, funny and wonderful to watch." It stars Eric Roberts, whose high-powered image thanks to roles in many action movies works well as Becker, a Southern hot-shot Coca-Cola marketer sent Down Under to boost sales in Australia. Greta Scacchi, as Becker's love interest, works to "unwire" the "always on" executive. Too bad a soundtrack isn't readily available, if only for the recording session where native Australians with didgeridoos are finishing up a jingle, "Don't wanna live where there's no Coca-Cola."