Sunday, November 27, 2016

I don't like her and you can't make me

Movie stars are funny creatures. Their charisma often overwhelms their performances, but if you like them, you don't care.

Katharine Hepburn is the most Oscared Best Actress in history, so of course she can act. But her acting isn't why I love her. It's her voice, the way she moves, the way she lived her life. There's a moment at the end of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, a two shot, where old and angry Matt Drayton tells his dinner guests that he vividly remembers being swept away by romance. His wife Christina tears up. And so does this old Gal, because I'm watching Katharine Hepburn listen to her dying partner, Spencer Tracy, say he loves her. Judged by Meryl-Streep-standards (she's never a star and always an impeccable actress), this is a false moment. But I love The Great Kate and so I love this moment.

Elizabeth Taylor ... Barbra Streisand ... Robert Redford ... Cary Grant ... Marilyn Monroe ... Sandy and Jen ... the galaxy of my heart is filled with major stars who I will watch do anything and will forgive anything because I like them.

And then there's Ida Lupino. I know I should like her. She was daring in her choices both as an actress and a director. The latter is especially important because she chose to direct back in the days when women simply didn't. And the model she used -- appear before the cameras in popular entertainment to finance her riskier independent projects -- is the one one Redford adopted.

But I don't like her. She's brittle and harsh. I adore one of the movies she directed -- The Trouble with Angels -- but I avoid her in front of the camera.

Which is why I'd never seen last night's movie group film, Road House. Everyone seemed to love it, and I like to be an active participant in the after-movie discussion, so I only voiced what I liked about it and kept my reservations to myself. But here's the thing: so much of the plot depends on two men falling head-over-heels for this chanteuse. And I just didn't buy it. Ida Lupino is just so ... icky.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, based on that clip I can't imagine two men falling for her.