Friday, March 28, 2008

Thursday Night Netflix

Someone ought to have a talk with my sleeping medication. Tell it to work...or something. This is the third-billionth night since on these steroids that my eyes just haven't been able to close. So here I am with you, full of Sara Leah Late Night 'roid Rage" and wondering why I just spent two hours watching Frank Capra's "You Can't Take It With You" on Netflix. Lionel Barrymore and his crutches were superb (they both deserved an academy award) (or I guess all three of them). The live kitten paperweight was hilarious and astounding. The "Madcap" antics of this freewilled family - chosen well, and could have had the kind of mix-chaos moments that would have made Uncle Teddy (Arsenic and Old Lace) seem as docile as my Uncle Michael (seminary professor and composer). All of the right elements were there, live birds, portrait painting, candy-tasting, darts and target, ballet dancing while executing household chores, xylophone and harmonica duets, firecracker production in the basement with frequent explosions...
Why couldn't they pull this beautiful mess into something more? The script by Riskin ("It Happened One Night" and Mr Deeds Goes to Town") taken from the Kaufman and Hart pulizter Prize winning play" You Can't Take it with you" was to have been worthwhile. These young men were writing the snappiest, most forward and fun thinking comedy around. Was it Capra? Don't know. The film itself has so many signature Capra moments, speechs, monologues of isms and America. The delivery of lines, the set up of shots seems to falter, awkward silences and rambling conversations.
I wish I could understand why through all of this snail-like dialoque and sober plot twists, in the end....I wish I knew why I was still crying. Maybe because I'm always happy for Jean Arthur to find love. Maybe because I was glad Barrymorre once more played his harmonica and with that signal...everything would be alright. Maybe I was just crying with happiness that it was finally over and I could start downloading the Peter O'Toole flick "My Favorite Year"(1982) which I've heard so much about. And since becoming completely captivated with him in the cheery Christ/Murder/Musical "The Ruling Class" (1972), I thought, might as well.

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