Sunday, June 29, 2014

Movies by year: 1991

(Be warned, possible spoilers ahead)

1991 was an interesting year with interesting films. David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch weirded us all out, The Commitments grew to a crescendo and flew apart, The Silence Of The Lambs put the lotion on its skin, scissors freaked everyone out in Dead Again, Raul Julia and Angelica Huston perfectly embodied the heads of The Adams Family, and I saw Hugo Weaving for the first time in Proof (Russell Crowe too, but I didn't care about him). But I have an easy favourite for this year:

L.A. Story

Just what is it about Los Angeles? It's like a completely different planet, populated with bizarre creatures in their own strange mating rituals.

Steve Martin stars as Harris K. Telemacher, a Los Angeles weatherman bored with his girlfriend, his job and his life. Sara (Victoria Tennant, Martin's really-world wife) arrives from England to write a story on the people and culture of L.A. and Harris is immediately smitten. But if it weren't for a friendly highway traffic sign, he might never have taken a chance.

Sounds cheesy, right? In someone else's hands, perhaps, but this film just hits all the right marks and has a great cast of surprise characters – Rick Moranis as a gravedigger with a Shakespearean bent; Patrick Stewart as the manager of the strictest bank in L.A.; Woody Harrelson as Harris's angry boss; Richard E. Grant as Sara's ex-husband; and Sarah Jessica Parker as SanDeE*, a free-spirited aspiring spokesmodel. How could it go wrong?

It didn't. It went right in every way possible. Right down to the Enya soundtrack highlighting the fantasy elements. It's such a funny, beautiful film.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

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