August 23, 2012

Sense and Sensibility; Crazy Stupid Love; Romantics Anonymous

(photo from Amazon.com)

Would you like to see a movie that leaves you WEEPING and yet feeling LITERARY AND EDUCATED AS HECK? Then oh, I have a suggestion. I saw Sense and Sensibility (Netflix link) last weekend after seeing the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice last month, and both are just PERFECT for that. I now have both annotated book versions on my wish list for Christmas or birthday.

I think it would be smart to redo the classics every ten years or so with whatever actors are hottt at the time, because I'm sure seeing Sense and Sensibility with Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, and Hugh Laurie hurt NOTHING. Hugh Grant's awkward cuteness and decency! Emma Thompson's anxious earnest wonderfulness! Alan Rickman's EVERYTHING!

(photo from Amazon.com)

I was planning to see Crazy Stupid Love (Netflix link), because I tend to like ensemble casts and Steve Carrell, but I wasn't expecting to LIKE it much: the plot didn't really appeal to me, and the cover made it seem like it was about Special Moments and also Sex and possibly Cheaty Sex, and I suspected it would involve Steve Carrell finding True Love with a Much Younger Woman, so I went into it with low hopes. Which likely contributed to how MUCH I really, really liked it.

The Steve Carrell / Ryan Gosling pair-up is EXCELLENT. I completely loved both of them, and now all the Ryan Gosling love/hey-girl stuff seems wayyyyy better/funnier to me. Julianne Moore was perfect. Marisa Tomei was perfect. Kevin Bacon was perfect. I don't know if I'd seen Emma Stone in anything before, but now I feel like I know who she is and she was perfect. I didn't know Analeigh Tipton, but now I do and she was perfect. (And baby-namers, I suggest spelling that name with a double N.) I enjoyed everything except the plotline with the 13-year-old boy, because I have a 13-year-old boy so I was completely grossed out whenever I wasn't thinking, "Wait. That makes no sense. He wouldn't do that or talk like that, I don't think. ...Would he? Is my 13-year-old defective, or am I even more clueless about him than I think, or is this just that some kids are like this and some are not, or..."---and that is not relaxing.

I also wouldn't think too hard about the messages of the movie, which seem to be that if you "let yourself go" in ANY WAY, including footwear choices, you should expect, nay ASSUME your partner will cheat; and also that every smooth bad boy changes the minute he finds the right woman---MAYBE YOU!!! I didn't feel these messages at the time, only when looking back on it; at the time, I was caught up in it and really liked each thing that happened.


(photo from Amazon.com)

Romantics Anonymous (Netflix link). My parents came over for dinner/movie, and they brought this movie. We were all UTTERLY CHARMED by it. It's in French, with subtitles; that adds to the charm. If this were made in the U.S., the female lead would be Amy Adams. (She looks more like Geena Davis on the cover there, but in motion she's more Amy Adams.) The male lead, we couldn't think of an obvious U.S. equivalent for (Tom Hanks, maybe?), but he's nervous and kind with very expressive round dark eyes. Both of them are unusually nervous types, but in different ways; they somehow manage to start a relationship. It's the kind of movie where someone's EXPRESSION is so funny you laugh and laugh, and no one has even SAID anything.

We were really rooting for them, but didn't see HOW they could manage their own issues enough to make things work. We kept saying "HOW can this WORK?" (Well, that's what _I_ said. My MOM said, "I don't see how this can possibly end in sex.") The movie left me with a happy, takes-all-sorts, it's-okay-to-be-a-nervous-type feeling.

21 comments:

Judith said...

I'm so glad you liked "Sense and Sensibility"! I absolutely adore it and rewatch it every so often. I saw it as a teen when I went to the movies with my mother, and we both were blown away by how much the older/younger sister dynamics between Elinor and Marianne resembled that between me (the older sister) and my sister. Including the whole "do you have no heart" bit. She still hasn't seen it – too boring, she thinks…

If you liked that movie, I would also recommend the BBC-miniseries from 2008. It is wonderful and has its own style. For one, the actors are younger, which supposedly is more correct for the story and gives it all a different dynamic. And they styled it differently, the cottage the Dashwoods move to does feel quite poor, for example, and it feels more like people really would have lived that way, while the Ang Lee-version in comparison feels a bit more people-in-the-movies in comparison. Also, as a miniseries, there's just a bit more room for it all to happen. I liked it a lot, and was surprised by that, since I'm such a fan of the earlier version already.

Thank you also for the other recommendations. "Crazy Stupid Love" I may have avoided otherwise, because of the possible cringe-factor with that kind of romantic comedy. And "Romantics Anonymous " I wasn't even aware existed, but sounds really nice and sweet.

lucidkim said...

I don't usually like period movies and wouldn't have normally ever seen Sense & Sensibility. When it came out my sister was in college and got extra credit if she saw it so I went with her. I had never read the book so everything was new to me. I have never enjoyed a movie more. It's still my favorite. Love it. :) k

Holly said...

Sense and Sensibility came out when I was in high school, and I must have watched it a thousand times. My elem-aged younger sister too! Today, it's still one of those movies that if I run across it on TV while channel surfing, I just have to watch it. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

Heather said...

Emma Stone is in 'the help. If you havent seen it, you should! But the book is better than the movie (as always).

Jenny said...

I just watched Romantics Anonymous and really enjoyed it, too. And thanks for the recommendation of Crazy Stupid Love, because I really like Steve Carell but doubted this one. Sense & Sensibility I've seen a thousand times and love each time. Yay!

Melissa said...

I just watched Crazy, Stupid, Love last week and enjoyed it. It was the first time I had ever seen anything with Ryan Gosling and while I liked him-I agree with what you said on twitter: I liked Steve Carrel better. But one thing that bothered me(besides the 13 year old's storyline-ick) was the fact that Julianne Moore's character is the one who cheated AND THE FRIENDS CHOSE HER OVER STEVE CARREL'S CHARACTER! Really? And then they got mad that he went out and slept with other women, even though HE WOULDN'T HAVE DONE THAT IF SHE HADN'T CHEATED! UGH!

And Sense & Sensibility? Amazing. Hugh Grant! Emma Thompson! Kate Winslet! Excellent, excellent, excellent.

Surely said...

Wait, how in the world of Matt Lauer have you not seen Sense & Sensibility with your love of all things Allan Rickman!?!?!

It's one of my all-time favorites.

"Please give me a task or I shall run mad." *wistful sigh*

Nicole said...

Sense and Sensibility is one of my favourite books, even if it is a very depressing depiction of women's lives in the 1800's. Talk about being chattel. That movie is very excellent, I'm kind of in love with Alan Rickman in it. Oooh. Colonel.

I LOVED Crazy Stupid Love and I did not expect to at all. It was very funny with very unexpected writing!

Sarah said...

SWISTLE! How can you not have seen S & S til now?! It's only literally my favorite movie ever. I watch it every few months, while drinking tea and eating crumpets (okay, kidding. kind of.) and I read the annotated book version twice. You will love it too, I'm sure.

Bibliomama said...

I'm constantly avoiding movies with Steve Carrell in them even though I like Steve Carrell, and then I see them and smack myself in the head. And then keep doing it. Still haven't seen Date Night. Could you watch Date Night and get back to me? And I totally thought that WAS Amy Adams at first glance.

Rbelle said...

Oh, yay! Sense and Sensibility is one of my all time favorites. While I adore Pride and Prejudice, and think the Colin Firth version will likely be the best adaptation of a Jane Austen novel ever, Sense and Sensibility actually holds up for me better as a relatable story. The couple who hate each other at first but fall for each other in the end is a workable romantic comedy trope when done right. But it's never felt very true to life. But I have been both Marianne, bawling my eyes out because the boy I was 100 percent positive loved me as I loved him dumped me anyway, and I have been Eleanor, falling for a man still tangled up in a loveless relationship and hiding my feelings from (almost) everyone I knew. Plus, after Darcy, Colonel Brandon is my Austen boyfriend, and Rickman is just ... mrowr.

I recommend Persuasion (the Ciaran Hinds/Amanda Root version) and Northanger Abby as well, although neither packs quite the same emotional punch as S&S.

Cayt said...

I love Sense and Sensibility! I took an Austen class last year in which we watched a bunch of adaptations and read everything she published and her juvenilia, and it was wonderful. There was a discussion in that class in which we talked about which Austen character we'd like to think we were like and I picked Elinor Dashwood because I think she's great! But most of the others wanted to be Lizzy Bennet or Mr Knightley.

Jenny said...

Ooh! Yes! Persuasion. That's actually my favorite Austen, narrowly edging out Pride & Prejudice. P&P is funnier, but Persuasion is... I dunno, it just gets me, I guess. And the film version (Hinds/Root) is fantastic.

Jana said...

I love that version of Sense and Sensibility and really enjoyed Crazy, Stupd, Love, too, so I checked out Romantics Anonymous last night while the hubs was out with some friends. Loved it! It was really cute and you're right, the main female character really reminded me of Amy Adams, especially when she broke into song. I pictured the male lead as more of a Liam Neeson than a Tom Hanks, but maybe that's because I have a little crush on him (Liam Neeson, that is).

Swistle said...

Rbelle and Jenny- Okay! I've added it to my Netflix queue!

Swistle said...

Jana- YES, Liam Neeson would be GREAT.

Maureen said...

I want to second what Judith said, the BBC did remakes of S&S, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion which are all so good, must have been around 2008 though I can hardly believe it.

I am a huge Emma Thompson fan so loved this version, and Alan Rickman is beyond dreamy. When he carries Marianne into the house after she was lost in the rain, and he drops to his knees when she is taken away from him-SWOON!

Hildie said...

I love S&S so very much. I do the ugly cry every time I see it. For that reason I really didn't want to see the newer version but it ended up being fantastic. So now I like them both.

Loved crazy stupid love. I haven't laughed that hard in a loooong time.

I'm so looking forward to this French movie. Thanks for the recommendation!

Abbe said...

Along with S&S, the BBC made a version of Emma that is fantastic. When I read the book, I was just so aggravated with her, but the actress softens her enough to make her sympathetic while still keeping her essence. And Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley is yummy.

Hildie said...

So, is that French movie safe to watch with my teenage daughter? Or are there topless women and charming sex addicts?

Swistle said...

Hildie- I THINK so, although I wasn't watching it with that in mind so I'm not SURE. But I watched it with MY PARENTS and I don't remember dying of embarrassment, so it must have been okay! No topless women. No sex addicts. There's a scene where a woman is telling her support group how she can't say no to anything, but I don't think it gets racy.