Friday, December 17, 2010

#16: Holiday

Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant
Dir: George Cukor (1938)
This is one of those movies that puts me in mind of similar ones that are better. I love watching Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant together in anything, though, and in my mind this movie is just a wonderful warm-up for The Philadelphia Story - which is obviously the best movie in the entire world.
Holiday was actually a lot of fun in its own right. I loved the way the Seton family was its own enormous entity (I found many of the Setons referred to their family unit in similar language my siblings and I use for our own), and I especially loved all the dysfunction flying around between the siblings. The whole package obviously originated on the stage, but that gave it a nice contained sort of feel. I especially liked the neat handling of Julia's character - the plot held out admirably until the last minute, and then turned her into a horrible bitch. I like things being made easy for me like that.
Good: We'll start with Ned! I always felt like he was about to say something horrific. His character had a real edge that I really liked, and he played well with Linda. Cary Grant turned quite a few tricks in this movie, of course, which I found plenty exciting, and his adorable little face and adorably messy hair were positively at their peak. Linda was obviously wonderful since any time Katharine Hepburn plays a snarky, repressed and lovelorn sophisticate I get a kick out of it. Gee whiz I just love her.
Best: The Potters! God bless them! I haven't seen Edward Horton outside of a buffoonish role before, but in this film I felt like he had all of the cleverest lines and one of the most likable characters I've ever watched. They were just so damn cute! I want to meet them!
Bad: Linda's emotional outbursts (especially her vindictive farewell speech to her father and Julia) were just a tad too intense and a tad too lengthy for my comfort. When I see Katharine Hepburn pissed, I want to see a trembling chin and a whirlwind of chilling insults - not expansive declarations about love and support and commitment to peanuts.

Summary: Fun! Not where I'll go first to see this duo perform, but definitely worth the watching.

Stars: 3.75 of 5, rounded awkwardly due to the fact that every scene with Linda and the Potters rates an automatic 5 out of 5 but I just can't commit to a 4