24 August 2006

Random Movie Madness

This was the cause of my latest tangential trip across the internet. One Mae Whitman is the young siren who lured me onto the rocks tonight.

You may remember her as the little daughter in Hope Floats, which I am ashamed to admit I like. Hell, it's got Harry Conick, Jr. in it and he's about the smoothest man since Archibald Leach. Mae played Beatrice, the heavily bespectacled little girl who blames her mother for her parents' divorce. What a stellar performance from a little kid! The mother is played by Sandra Bullock, whose best two movies (only two good movies?) were Speed and The Net, though I really enjoyed her in a small, probably indie film called Love Potion No. 9...so campy, so outrageously funny!

Mae also played in One Fine Day as Michelle Pfieffer's precocious daughter, sparring with the son of her mother's love interest, George Clooney, who may just be the sexiest man since Frank James Cooper. I loved that one, too, sad to say. I got positively misty when they fell asleep on the couch together. Just adorable.

Prior to that, Miss Whitman portrayed the grieving daughter of the leader of the free world, Bill Pullman, who is whisked away as her mother dies. ::dabs at eyes with clean corner of hankie:: LOVED that one! Loved it almost as much as I did, Mars Attacks!, which did not feature Miss Whitman. God, I miss 50's B-movies! Independence Day also featured a role for Harry Connick, Jr.

If you, too, have the hots for Harry, rent Copycat, definitely in my top 100 list...stunning performances, debauchery, depravity and suspense. What could be missing? Stars Sigourney Weaver...about the only woman I might prefer in the role would be Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, who happens to also be in the above pic with Michelle Pfieffer. I loved Mary E. in The Abyss and Class Action, which also stars the very suave Gene Hackman. You know, Gene Hackman might just be the suavest guy since Frederic Austerlitz Jr. If you've never experienced it, you must obtain and watch The Conversation starring Gene Hackman and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, circa 1974. It's a taut morality play, set in one room, if I rememberr correctly. Very interesting.

Sigourney was masterful but I have this little MEM thing. What can I say? Another cutie, Holly Hunter, who is an alum of my son's university, speaks softly but tough with a charming drawl and looks so very nice in a vest. (She was also fabulous in a little gem called Miss Firecracker from 1989.) Dermot Mulroney is the epitomy of sweet, innocent youth. But the film was stolen, for me, by William McNamara. What a socioopath and how deliciously portrayed! The look in his eyes as he carried out his horrific acts was just the sort of sick pleasure I'd anticipated. He was diabolical. Yum!

Think William McNamara is just the cutest young thing? Go see him in Stealing Home, if you want to see absolutely adorable! This movie might just have to rank in my personal top ten for content only, not plot or character development or anything else of more substantial value; I just like it. Mark Harmon, with whom I had a torrid mental love affair during his early tv career, though I can't recall now what show he was on. (Could it really have been 1972 on Emergency?)

Harmon is perfect as the bedraggled,
downtrodden semi-pro ball player (baseball, of course). Blair Brown stars as Harmon/McNamara's grief-strickened, recently-widowed mother trying to drown her saddness in booze and men. (For classic Blair Brown, see A Flash of Green, a film produced by PBS for American Playhouse, arguably my all-time favorite non-science tv program) as the grief-stricken widow drowning her sorrows as she tries to make sense of her life again. But the queen, Jodie Foster, is at her ephemeral best. She practically floated through the film, so light and airy. It's hard to imagine someone so carefree could carry the heaviest load.

No, Mae Whitman wasn't in Stealing Home, but my beloved home state of New Jersey was, including:
  • The Garden State Parkway which is, in my old neck of the woods and Jersey shore, the prettiest highway going
  • Camden, where I was working at the time. Yes, it really looked like that. They had not yet started to clean up and build in earnest for the Republican National Convention, which would come not long after
  • Atlantic City and Steel Pier, of which I have such fond childhood memories.
Take a gander at our Miss Whitman now...what a young looker she's turned into! Is it any wonder it was her siren sound that called me away?

tags: life / movies


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