Francis Goodrich

Father of the Bride (1991)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Father of the Bride (1991)

Director:

Charles Shyer

Writers:

Francis Goodrich

Albert Hackett

Nancy Myers

Charles Shyer

Starring:

Steve Martin

Diane Keaton

Kimberly Williams-Paisley

Blurb:

With his oldest daughter’s wedding approaching, a father finds himself reluctant to let go.

Thoughts:

I believe Father of the Bride is the first movie I’ve watched that was purchased for background watching. It’s a movie I like well enough, but it’s nothing remarkable. The best part, in my opinion, is the house. Everything else is rich people’s problems. Like seriously, spending $150k on a wedding in 1991 is stupid. This is coming from someone who had a super small wedding at a chapel in the mountains for $100 plus the cost of a license. Weddings are not my thing, but the house is that gorgeous.

As a parent of young children, I also don’t understand the whole not wanting to give his kid away. He doesn’t own his daughter, and yet that’s how he acts the entire movie. She’s his, and now he’s giving her to someone else. It’s an odd school view of things that I’ve never shared and found un-relatable. Not that I’m looking to give my kids away or anything, lol

Easter Parade (1948)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Easter Parade (1948)

Director:

Charles Walters

Writers:

Sidney Sheldon

Francis Goodrich

Albert Hackett

Starring:

Judy Garland

Fred Astaire

Peter Lawford

Ann Miller

Blurb:

A nightclub performer hires a naive chorus girl to become his new dance partner to make his former partner jealous and to prove he can make any partner a star.

Thoughts:

Easter Parade suffered from following Meet Me in St. Louis, and It’s a Wonderful Life. On its own, Easter Parade is an enjoyable movie, with lots of good songs and dancing. However, it isn’t on the same tier as those two. There were a couple of dance routines that ended up slowing the movie down. This is only going to get worse in the coming musicals. For whatever reason, musical numbers that do nothing other than showing off dance skills are shoved into many musicals. It’s pretty to look at it, but a lot of times, they drag on too long for my taste.

All that being said, I love Judy Garland. Fred Astaire is nice too, though I didn’t believe he was in love with Judy’s character. His character was too slick and full of himself to believe he loved anyone but himself.

Unlike the previous movies, there isn’t much history or anything interesting about the making of this movie. A scene was cut because it was felt to be too risqué, but cutting scenes for various reasons is pretty standard. What gives this movie staying power is the quality of the songs and performances.

Here’s a link to my review of the movie from five years ago.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Director:

Frank Capra

Writer:

Francis Goodrich

Albert Hackett

Frank Capra

Jo Swerling

Starring:

James Stewart

Donna Reed

Lionel Barrymore

Thomas Mitchell

Henry Travers

Blurb:

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Thoughts:

It’s a Wonderful Life is in my top ten favorite movies. Probably in my top five, actually. I’ve already written a blog post about it, so I will try not to gush about it too much.

When It’s a Wonderful Life was first released, it was a flop. It didn’t make back what was spent, and people started to doubt Frank Capra’s abilities. It ended up falling partially out of copyright because it was forgotten. It wasn’t until TV broadcasts were looking for something to air that it became the Christmas classic it is today. It bombed and is now considered to be one of the greatest films of all time. Amazing.

George wants to leave Bedford Falls so bad. Everyone knows it too. His friends, even old man Potter, his arch-enemy, know he wants to go, but he can’t. These people, people he knows and loves, could not take care of themselves as well as he could take care of them. So he stays. He gives up everything he wants in his life. College, travel, being an architect or engineer, everything. He gives it up because he knows that it’s best for everyone else

 If anyone ever complains about goody-two-shoes characters being boring to watch because their decisions are easy to make, point them to this movie.

You see George’s struggle. You see him break when it finally pushes him too far. For the first time in the movie, he’s not thinking clearly, and he’s about to make a stupid decision that would end up not benefitting his family at all. The movie gets dark, but ultimately he learns how to be happy with his life and stop yearning for the life he doesn’t have. He’s not settling. He’s still ambitious and has hopes and desires. He’s no longer thinking about the life he could have had if he hadn’t cared about anyone else, though. Now that is a fantastic Christmas gift.

Another thing I love about It’s a Wonderful Life is the socialist undertones. Mr. Potter is the perfect embodiment of capitalism, and the Building and Loan is socialism. The speech that George gives is beautiful.

You, you said that they — What’d you say just a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even thought of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what?! Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they’re so old and broken-down that — You know how long it takes a workin’ man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?”

You can’t get better than that.

Bonus: The Lost Ending of It’s a Wonderful Life from SNL