Hookers and bridesmaids, a living planet and Woody Allen: Movies viewed (#SFWApro)

TRUCK STOP WOMEN (1974) is a serious sociological study of the lives of women who work at truck stops — okay, no, it’s about the owner of a combination truck stop/brothel/hijacking ring (Lieux Dressler) who find herself at war with the syndicate when a couple of mobsters come out to New Mexico to take over her operation. And will her restless daughter (Claudia Jennings) side with Mom, or with the mob? Like a lot of 1970s drive-in fare, this was nowhere near as interesting as it looked. “These days every waitress along the highway has hinges on her heels.”

BRIDESMAIDS (2011) is the rowdy comedy in which Kirsten Wiig’s personal crises threaten to ruin her best friend’s wedding when Wiig overcompensates for apparently losing her buddy to a newer, cooler bestie. Very, very funny; with Melissa McCarthy as a raunchy bridesmaid (“I’m going to climb that tree.”), Jill Clayburgh as Annie’s mother and Chris O’Dowd as a nice cop (“Missing girl found safe at home — that’s the kind of adrenalin pusher cops live for.”). “At first I didn’t realize it was your journal, I thought it was a sad, handwritten book.”

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 2 (2017) has a botched mission for an alien race scattering the team, then Star Lord discovering his dad is Ego the Living Planet in his mortal avatar of Kurt Russell). Not as tight as the first film but still a lot of fun. However I don’t really buy that a pre-teen kid abducted from Earth in the late 1980s would be such a big cheers fan (Knight Rider, sure). With Sylvester Stallone in a brief cameo as Starhawk. “Yondu and David Hasselhoff both had crazy kickass adventures and hooked up with hot women.”

TO ROME WITH LOVE (2012)isn’t up to Midnight in Paris but it’s the best of Woody Allen’s other European fantasies. In many ways it harks back to his early sketch-comedy style with a mix of multiple unrelated plot threads some of which — Roberto Benigni becoming the most fascinating man in the world — are cheerfully absurdist (and The Singer Who Can Only Perform In The Shower was a comic shtick back when I was a kid). The only weak story is Alec Baldwin revisiting his youthful romance and his flirtation with intellectual seductress and the character is no more convincing here than the femme fatale in Melinda and Melinda.  “We shall report on his shave from the first to the last stroke.”

Switching to TV, BLANDINGS (2013) adapts PG Wodehouse’s best known series next to Jeeves and Wooster, the stories of Blandings Castle where Lord Emsworth (Timothy Spall) fusses endlessly over his prizewinning pig, his nitwit son keeps getting into trouble (think Bertie with no Jeeves to save him) and Aunt Connie (Jennifer Saunders) scowls on everything. Funny as hell, and with a great cast (better overall than the version Peter O’Toole did for the BBC). “His mustache looks like a maggot crawled onto his upper lip and died.”

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One response to “Hookers and bridesmaids, a living planet and Woody Allen: Movies viewed (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: The English gentry and irrational people, or did I just repeat myself? TV and movies (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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