November 14, 2006

What Cinecultist Would Bring To A Desert Island

maymatthieu.jpgOur friend Matty pointed us to this article from last weekend's New York Times magazine where 22 various funny performers and artists listed their 5 desert island comedy DVDs. As Matty noted, these kinds of lists are fun for comparing the listers with the items (is David Cross being hipster ironic when he calls the musical Rent a comedy?), and for adding to your Netflix queue.

For our Jane blog post today, CC came up with what would be the Cinecultist's Five. They include:
* Annie Hall -- This Woody Allen classic about mismatched love won the Oscar for best picture the year CC was born, but that's not the only reason it's on the list. From the lobsters behind the fridge to the subtitled first flirtatious conversations, Allen and Diane Keaton capture so memorably and hilariously the way couples fall for each other. It's a movie that every time we see it we see something new, a definite prerequisite for any Desert Island-worthy movie.

* All of Me -- It's tough to go wrong with early Steve Martin comedies, but this one from '84 which co-stars Lily Tomlin always leave us in stitches. Martin's prowess with physical comedy shines as he plays a lawyer possessed by a selfish, millionairess. Plus, the tender ending makes us a little teary too.

* A New Leaf -- (pictured above) Our Dad first introduced us to this Walter Matthau and Elaine May movie from 1971, and it never gets old. Matthau plays an aging playboy who's spent all his money so he needs to marry rich. He picks a doddering botanist (May, who also wrote and directed the film) with a penchant for sparkling sweet wine, then plots to kill her. As J. Hoberman points out in this Village Voice essay, May is one of the real comedic greats and worth exploring if you're unfamiliar with her work.

* When Brendan Met Trudy -- Cinecultist has forced whole audiences of people to sit through this Irish comedy from 2000, and we've never heard one complaint. Written by renowned author Roddy Doyle, it tells the love story of a nebbish school teacher who's obsessed with the movies and the irreverent, blonde thief he falls for. This movie can be tough to find but it is available on DVD, maybe request it from your local store that has a good selection of foreign films.

* Coming To America -- A big factor in our decision making process for this list was how many times CC could sit through any given movie, and this one starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, we've probably seen about 30 times. The plot is a little silly (an African prince wants to marry for love and travels to Queens, NY to find his bride), but all of Murphy's ability with characters and crazy makeup jobs are in tip top shape. Also, the scene where Murphy sings drunkenly on the streets of Queens after a great night with his lady love (and the New Yorkers subsequent responses) is just delightful.

Posted by karen at November 14, 2006 2:18 PM