Friday, April 22, 2011

Cinema Betty

Fate Takes a Hand has some mild home renovations which our heroine has to facilitate.  I love home renovation movies almost as much as I hate actual home renovation:
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
If there is anything I love more than Cary Grant, it's probably Myrna Loy.
One review says, "The type of humor here is something that everyone can enjoy because, even if you haven’t built a house yourself, the emotional focus is on attempting something that seems to get more and more difficult as the days go by. We all have those goals in our lives – probably more than one – and we can all remember the feeling of seeing the end of a project on the horizon only to be told that a major complication will push everything back or not allow us to do things the way we want."  I spent forty minutes one day this week (on the nicest day in an age!) NOT driving my daughter to her softball practice.  We were like one of those Discovery Channel scare-the-suburbanites shows where a real-life couple take a shortcut through a snowy forest and, through a series of misadventures, wind up on the brink of death. I felt just like Mr. Blandings.

In The Doctor's Girl, Loveday and Charlie take a trip to Brighton which is a town that always struck me as giving off a kind of Atlantic City boardwalk-y vibe...which is just enough to recommend:
Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (1991)
My blindness is no worse than your acting...

Yes.  The movie has flaws.  The title is about as awkward as a handlebar mustache during the soup course.  It tells the story of an obscure side-show act. No one acts very well in it. And yet...Gabrielle Anwar is engaging.  The story is a universal one of courage in the face of terrible odds.  And then there's Michael Schoeffling's turn as 'Al' the love interest--his acting is just rotten and not for nothing does his wiki page have an entire segment titled "Life After Sixteen Candles" (wherein he played desperately hot Jake Ryan) but he's one of those people who prove the saying, 'A thing of beauty is a joy forever' and expecting Jake Ryan to act is like asking the Venus de Milo to tap dance.  It's just not done.

*For Valentine's Day in 2004, twenty years after the film's American premiere, the Washington Post ran an article entitled "Real Men Can't Hold a Match to Jake Ryan of Sixteen Candles". On set Schoeffling used risers in his boots to appear taller than Ringwald and the other actresses in Sixteen Candles. Schoeffling stood 5'8" and several camera angles were used to give the appearance of a 6' tall jock. Schoeffling never duplicated the success of Sixteen Candles, and in various magazine and newspaper interviews stated the lack of roles and a growing family to feed were his reasons for retiring from acting. He now lives with his wife, Valerie L. Robinson of Virginia, also a former model, and their two teenage children Scarlet and Zane, in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, producing handcrafted furniture as the owner of a woodworking shop. 


  1. Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. Hmmm....Road trip, Betty Magdalen?

  2. I'll drive anywhere. Let's see what Google Maps has to say!

    Newfoundland, PA is about two miles south of Lake Wallenpaupack (and so four miles away from where my brother and his wife used to have a weekend place), thus south east of me.

    It would be an easy stop if we were going to Easton to the Crayola factory, at least from here (it's closer to I-84 than I-80).

    So how's this as a possible plan: you guys visit here and if there's a rainy day, we'll head off to see how crayons are made (always wanted to do that) and swing by to check out Michael Schoeffling's woodworking shop. (I'm more of a Breakfast Club gal myself.)

  3. *Smile* I agree that the movie is totally worth it just to stare at him.

  4. But when are you coming to Williamsport??

    I'm back, btw, after being ill for much of the last 2 months, which caused almost a week in the hospital (after 7.5 hours in the ER!) and then 2.5 weeks in a nursing home to get IV antibiotics. Still struggling to feel normal but the cellulitis that laid me up seems to have sent my chronic condition into a royal fit. LOTS of pain. However, the RDD Bobblehead is FINISHED!

    I'll get some pics and send them on to the founders. :)


  5. Betty Cindy - so glad you're back! I'm really looking forward to seeing the RDD Bobblehead, but really, it's just great that you're back.

  6. Betty Cindy -- I'll happily drive to Williamsport any time in the second half of May. Pick a date & time and I'll be there. I'll bring all the foods you love *and* are allowed to eat. As many East Coast Bettys who want to join us will be more than welcome. (Betty Cindy -- you don't have to host it; I can get space at a convenient hotel or something so you don't have to do anything.)

  7. Second half of May means we'd be on my beautiful porch. And it's easier for me to be home than to gather my self and my walker and go.

    I'd love to have you here! And I'm allowed to eat anything. Truly. I have it in writing from the nursing home. ;-)

    Let's hear from some other Bettys about dates - my life is fairly simple and with no commitments except a few doc appts and they're all in Apr or early May.

    Whoohoo - this should be great! And ya'll can meet (and name?) our RDD Bobblehead.


  8. Yay! You're back and on the mend!

  9. Betty Barbara here--
    Welcome back Betty Cindy!
    Second half of May I should be rehabbing my new hip, so I will be there in spirit. I'll eat a scone on the day y'all get together, so I can feel like I'm there.
    Can't wait to see pics of the RDD Bobblehead!!