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This is a comments thread about Blog Post: Film Score Friday 11/22/19 by Scott Bettencourt
 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 1:55 AM   
 By:   No Respectable Gentleman   (Member)

My distaste for the John Hughes canon extends to the inexplicably popular FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF, which seems terribly smug (and not particularly funny) to me. But the nadir is the charmless MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, which, being in colour, seems to have replaced the classic original on Christmas TV schedules. There should be a law against charmless remakes -- if nothing else it would spare me the effort of having to add "the 1947 one" or "the 1973 one" (I'm thinking of PAPILLON) when recommending good movies.

 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 7:12 AM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

I once saw Ferris' character described as a "smug sociopath" and it seemed accurate though I feel like the film is still one of Hughes' more effective ones, mostly due to the cast. It was also edited by the superb Paul Hirsch (Carrie, The Empire Strikes Back) which definitely helps.

Hughes' changing the resolution of the Santa trial in Miracle from the classic ending of the original to a more "faith-based" version is also a big black mark, though Attenborough was a nice piece of casting.

A few years ago I saw an LA screening of Some Like It Hot where the "film historian" giving the intro attributed the classic "Dying is easy, comedy is hard" not to Edmund Kean but to Edmund Gwenn. Ouch. (The speaker was actually a film historian, but in that same speech he misquoted Some Like It Hot's classic final line as "No one's perfect," so I can't say he impressed me with his scholarship that night).

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 7:18 AM   
 By:   Bill in Portland Maine   (Member)

Minor suggestion to add to the "Coming Soon" section: Star Wars IX.

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 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 7:40 AM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

Minor suggestion to add to the "Coming Soon" section: Star Wars IX.

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I'd checked Amazon a day or two ago and didn't see any release date. I don't want to jinx it.

 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 10:23 AM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

Movies about the rich are their own problems. To wit- you have the resources and the time, I don't much care about your petty, interpersonal problems.

Movies about actual middle-class or poorer people (esp from the 80s & 90s) are more problematic. They seem to be middle-class in a 1900-1950s sense (where you still have at least a regular maid and a well-appointed house) instead of in an 1960-200s sense (where you're just trying to hang into a tract house in the suburbs).

I think Hollywood does a better job of it now overall, but a big studio production is still made by above-the-line-talent (and all the people you mention) that rarely had to worry about making rent that month.


Broughton's score to the remake of 'Miracle...' is delightful, and everyone should get the double album from LLL with the original and remake scores.

 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 10:53 AM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

One of my favorite quips about (more or less) class issues and Hollywood was someone's description of Hal Ashby's "Coming Home" as "Bel-Air telling Brentwood what the war was like."

I currently have Broughton's Glory & Honor on my player at home. I wish he'd had a bigger career in features, but his TV output made up for it. Hell of a composer.

 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 11:50 AM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

You forgot the current king of "Affluence Porn" filmmakers, Judd Apatow. The 40 Year Old Virgin is the one film in his oeuvre that realistically portrays working-class stiffs and the bawdy way they interact, but everything since then has rankled at how we're supposed to sympathize with the plights of his well-off characters when they live so far beyond the means of ordinary people. In Funny People, we're supposed to feel bad that Adam Sandler's fabulously wealthy comedy actor character has cancer...as he looks at clips from his old stand-up routines on the SEVEN WIDE-SCREEN TELEVISION SETS arranged on the walls of his bedroom. mad And in This Is 40, we're supposed to relate to the money woes of Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann as they constantly bicker and grouse...in the living room of their spacious, multi-story house that looks like it cost a million dollars (and most people looking down the barrel of the big 4-0 aren't blessed enough to look like Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann at that age...or any age).

It's the same problem I have with Stephen King novels after the 80's...his books used to be about relatable, middle-class characters with middle-class problems, but the wealthier King became, the more his books tended to be about well-to-do authors with summer houses and nannies for their kids and all this bullshit. In his book Duma Key, the protagonist loses his arm in a construction accident...then rents a lavish beach house in Florida to recover in for the better part of a YEAR. 99% of Americans who lost a limb in an accident would be FUCKED by medical bills for the rest of their lives, and be unable to get a new job to pay those bills.

 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 11:55 AM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

I like Apatow's movies in general, but This Is 40 is a particularly egregious example of that Hollywood success bubble.

I haven't read any of those later King books but the example you give doesn't surprise me. After he had that near fatal incident of getting hit by a car, it occurred to me that, awful as that must have been, at that point in his life he could afford the best imaginable medical care and any work he decided to write inspired by the incident was guaranteed to make him what would be for any of us a fortune. If it had happened in his earlier years, when he was a teacher and struggling writer, he probably would have been f****d for life.

 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 12:08 PM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)


I haven't read any of those later King books but the example you give doesn't surprise me. After he had that near fatal incident of getting hit by a car, it occurred to me that, awful as that must have been, at that point in his life he could afford the best imaginable medical care and any work he decided to write inspired by the incident was guaranteed to make him what would be for any of us a fortune. If it had happened in his earlier years, when he was a teacher and struggling writer, he probably would have been f****d for life.


King says that he and his wife have jokingly referred to his post-accident life as "the bonus round". I bet they wouldn't be so cavalier about it were they STILL paying off the medical bills two decades later. It's the kind of thing only extremely well-off people can joke about. Hell, I have to find a new doctor next year because my new rinky-dink insurance won't be accepted by my current doc after December ends. And that's just for a basic, yearly physical and eye exam! God forbid I get genuinely ill at some point, or break my leg or arm. It's why so many people are terrified to go to the doctor, even when they're in severe pain...it's not the diagnosis or treatment they fear, it's being buried under absurd medical bills for years.

 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 12:14 PM   
 By:   No Respectable Gentleman   (Member)

I just saw MARRIAGE STORY. Must admit that, coming from a lower middle-class background, I find it impossible to relate to the marital problems of film/theatre types who see psychologists, throw costume parties and fly from city to city for visiting rights. Or people who divorce over career ambitions in the first place. I think Woody Allen gets away with it (or used to) because his films were comedies that invited you to be amused by the excesses of the Upper East Side demographic.

 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 12:22 PM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

People have been hounding me to get officially diagnosed as autistic after a rather spectacular Twitter meltdown I had recently so I can go to a psychologist to work out some issues, but I seriously doubt my Tuft's Health Plan is gonna cover any of that, so I continue to bottle it all up. When I see an affluent movie character treating their weekly hour on the shrink's couch as casually as buying groceries, I always get a bit pissed off.

 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 12:31 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

My distaste for the John Hughes canon extends to the inexplicably popular FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF, which seems terribly smug (and not particularly funny) to me.

Never understood why this became a cult classic. Worse yet Matthew Broderick just comes across as an unlikable smug instead of a lovable smug. (say like Han Solo) Hes like the @sshole nerd who thinks he's cool but hes not. You want to punch him in the face. There's a important distinction there. Mia Sara was gorgeous though and you have that one iconic cue in the museum.

 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 1:24 PM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

No argument on mid-80s Mia Sara. I clearly like Broderick more than you do, but he still can't keep Ferris from being punchable. He is the prototypical guy-who-does-whatever-he-wants-but-acts-like-he's-doing-it-for-your-sake.

Fun fact: Alan Ruck was 29 when he played Ferris' best friend Cameron. 33-year-old Stockard Channing in Grease has him beat for over-age movie high school student.

The much better version of Ferris -- better written, better performed, better movie overall -- is Val Kilmer in Real Genius.

 
 Posted:   Nov 23, 2019 - 12:01 PM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

I just saw MARRIAGE STORY. Must admit that, coming from a lower middle-class background, I find it impossible to relate to the marital problems of film/theatre types who see psychologists, throw costume parties and fly from city to city for visiting rights. Or people who divorce over career ambitions in the first place. I think Woody Allen gets away with it (or used to) because his films were comedies that invited you to be amused by the excesses of the Upper East Side demographic.

^^ This

 
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