Friday, December 31, 2010

Cinema Betty

In A Christmas Proposal Bertha has one of those dire families that argue forcibly for being raised by wolves. So too does the main character in:
About a Boy (2002)
I have nothing but affection for you Bertha, I'm just trying not to look at your sweater...

I love, love this movie even though, along with Betty Debbie, it occupies a spot high up on my shelf where the children can't reach (language mostly). It has a bleak little Christmas and a posh, upscale New Year's party--the kind where the Rachel Weisz doesn't look a bit out of place--a young boy (Bertha?) who is forced to wear awful vegan clothes (nearly!) and Hugh Grant playing the creepy man/boy so well that it's hard to unknot fact from fantasy.

I think we need another New Year's movie for A Happy Meeting. How about:
The Apartment (1960)
The Apartment: Just like Mad Men...if Fred MacMurray is Don Draper

The premise is quite racy (corporate types co-opt an office drone's apartment so that they may conduct their illicit liaisons) and the bit where Shirley MacLaine has passed-out on sleeping pills is shadowed slightly (so slightly) in A Happy Meeting when our heroine falls asleep in the snow. The abrupt and lusty ending of A Happy Meeting is also mirrored in the film when, upon hearing Jack Lemmon's character declare his love for her, Shirley responds, 'Shut up and deal.'


  1. Well, I'll go with The Apartment mostly because I didn't like A Happy Meeting at all. Betty Ross loved The Apartment back when he lived, alone & lonely, in the UK. So I watched it, and it's a deeply depressing and miserable movie. I'm not at all convinced it even has a happy ending. (Rather like how staging an HEA in a solicitor's office tarnishes the "Awww..." factor, frankly.) I love Billy Wilder, but not that particular movie.

  2. About A Boy is one of my all time favorite movies.