Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Scattered thoughts on An American in Paris (1951)

What better film to begin my trip with? As some of you may know, I'll be studying in Europe this summer, starting with four weeks in Paris. Two days ago, I landed at the Charles de Gaulle Airport and it's been...overwhelming. I'll write a post on Paris at the end of my stay here, so for now I'll just say that there are a lot of mixed feelings. It's only day two, after all!

Even though I'm stepping away from writing blog posts during this time to focus on other exciting things, I've written things in advance so I wouldn't deprive my blog for two whole months. Plus, the blogathon addiction is very real. So, for my first film from my hiatus, I'm going to be babbling about An American in Paris. S'wonderful, is it not?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Astaire and Rogers let themselves go in... Follow the Fleet (1936)

Yesterday, we swam around the pool with Esther Williams. Today, we match taps with Fred and Ginger. Follow the Fleet is, to me, pretty underrated. Sometimes it can feel like all you hear about is Top Hat, Swing Time, and The Gay Divorcee, which are all great films, but come on, there's more out there. Like Follow the Fleet. Effervescent, silly, and very easy on the eyes and ears, this film is one of my go-to's whenever I'm having a bad day. I typically give Top Hat as my favorite Astaire-Rogers flick, but honestly, it and Fleet switch back and forth.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Exquisite Esther yearns for vain Van in... Easy to Love (1953)

If you watch Easy to Love just to see this moment depicted on the poster, you'll be sorely disappointed. However, if you are hoping to see a sassy Esther Williams struggle with three men who are in love with her, you've come to the right place. EtL is my second favorite Williams vehicle, coming right behind Dangerous When Wet. This film has so much to adore, I'm probably going to be extra effusive today. I know, what a shock, Michaela can't shut up about a movie. I promise you'll have fun reading this, though not as much fun as actually watching the movie. (Hint, hint). Feel free to hunker down with a snack and a refreshing beverage.

EtL was the fifth and sadly the last pairing of Esther and Van Johnson. In her book, Esther said "By this time, Van and I were as synchronized as any two swimmers in the pool... We were family. Through the years, I swam with Van, married him, fought with him, and made love to him -- all on camera. We knew our lives, our secrets, and our public and private personas, even though off camera we had little or no contact." I've written about two of these cuties' films, Thrill of a Romance and Easy to Wed, and I've always credited Johnson with being one of Esther's best partners. They were both sweet, funny, down-to-Earth people with winsome personas and as Esther herself said, they looked like they belonged together. EtL earns its title by giving its leading lady three romantic interests: Johnson, Tony Martin, and John Bromfield. Whoever will she pick?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Hepburn and Tracy match wits in... Desk Set (1957)

I love everything about this poster... except that man that's supposedly Spencer Tracy. It reminds me of some other actor, but I can't quite put a finger on it. Anyway, despite touting for years that Katharine Hepburn is my everything, including on this blog, I have yet to review one of her films. How is that possible, you ask? I'm not sure. It might be because I try to use my blog to introduce people to lesser-known films, or at least films that don't get reviewed as often as Adam's Rib, The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen, or many other Hepburn vehicles. Kate's 109th birthday yesterday is the perfect occasion to discuss one of her movies, particularly one that co-starred Spencer Tracy. Not only is Desk Set my second favorite Tracy-Hepburn flick, it's also #8 out of the nine films the couple did.