This post is devoted to the recent films I've seen, both in class and for fun.
Remember that movie about the bumbling, yet sweet guy (or innocent and naive girl) just doing his/her job when he/she gets mixed up in politics at work/finds obstacles on her course to pursue her dreams and suddenly has to choose between his/her job/dream or the woman/man he/she loves? Of course you do, it's a familiar Hollywood plot. Think The Proposal, The Devil Wears Prada, etc ad nauseum. There was once a time when this was fairly original, though, and that time was 1960, the film The Apartment directed by Billy Wilder.
I especially thought of The Proposal as I watched, but maybe because Ryan Reynolds must take his acting cues from Jack Lemmon. Either way, The Apartment was a classic romantic comedy--and the last entirely black and white film to win an Academy Award.
The film Dr. Risden paired with Aurora Leigh for Film & Lit today was Cold Comfort Farm, based on the novel by Stella Gibbons. It's always funny how Dr. Risden doesn't just make us read books that have been made into novels--he selects a book and a movie that he finds more comparable than the actual pairing.
Another romantic comedy, this movie felt similar to the movies based off Jane Austen novels, yet it was much more funny and less stiff than any BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. Either way, the guys got the girls or vice versa.
Finally, this afternoon I watched a film I've been wanting to see for some time now, Il Postino (The Postman). It's in Italian with English subtitles and I loved hearing la bella lingua again. Il Postino is marketed as a romantic comedy, but I found it more of a dramatic film with lots of political and poetic undertones. I can't say I'm surprised--Italians are a dramatic people.
Other dramatic people: Keira Knightly & Co. Don't get me wrong, I think she's great--beautiful, talented, smart even--I just sometimes think she's pigeon-holed herself. Atonement is one of those films that makes me think that, though I did enjoy the film overall. Again, it's one of those movies based on a novel (there aren't many original films out there), but it was visually stunning and great thought was put into the lighting, music, and cinematography.
I'd recommend all of these films, but now that it's finally getting warmer maybe we won't have to stay inside all the time!