Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ain't that a kick in the rubber parts?

Two movies this time, one that I picked up at a friends' insistence (read: demand), the other because of a Whedonverse alumni.

Radio Days

It should be said, I have issues with Woody Allen.

I have no doubts he is as talented as everyone says. Up until this moment, I had never seen one of his movies, but I’d heard how talented, funny, and self-depricating he (and his movies) were.

However, he lost pretty much any ounce of credibility I once had for him once I learned about the situation with his adopted stepdaughter, whom he had been around since she was a young child. The creep factor was too much for me, and I’ve never had any inclination to watch his films.

However, there was a roadblock to my decision not to seek them out.

That roadblock was a very young, precocious redhead in his 1987 movie Radio Days. The premise of the movie, while not boring, would not have been enough for me to seek it out if it weren’t for a very young Seth Green in the role of Joe.

As Seth is a top 5 most beloved Whedonverse alumni, I watch all of his projects, save Family Guy, which I cannot bring myself to watch unless forced by TBF and her husband. But young Seth Green really is one of the best versions, so when the library had it on their New Movie list, I requested it.

The premise of the movie really is interesting. Being born in 1982, I’ve never known the radio for anything other than blasting music in the car. Up until last year, I couldn’t imagine listening to anything other than music, because what’s the point of listening to something you can’t see? Now that I’ve become an audiobookophile, I can definitely understand the appeal of radio programs like The Masked Avenger and that lot.

The interweaving of Joe’s life with the various radio programs and world events of the time was lovely. The casting in this movie is superb, even if watching Mia Farrow get used and discarded by various men makes me twitch a little in my left eye. Dianne Wiest is one of my favorite actresses, I’ve adored her since I first saw the movie Parenthood, and she doesn’t fail in the role of poor single Aunt Bea. The woman really is typecast quite a lot. In this movie, I am Aunt Bea. Though at least she seeks them out a bit more regularly than I do.

I would have liked to have seen more about the radio stars themselves. We got Sally’s backstory and rise to radio star, but they barely touched on any others. I adored the music throughout, even if the music from that time isn’t something I seek out, or even listen to outside of movies like this. The coverage of the war, and how different life was in the 40’s was lovely to see. This is one of those movies that convinces me I was born in the wrong decade. Though truth be told, I would rather have come of age in the 60’s rather than the 40’s.

Seth Green is adorable in the role of Joe. The other cast were spot on with their acting. If this had been anything other than a Woody Allen movie, I would’ve watched it long ago.

Torch Song Trilogy

My very lovely friend Marina talked me into getting Torch Song Trilogy. It would not be an exageration to say she INSISTED I watch this. I'd heard absolutely nothing about it, so color me shocked to realize Matthew Broderick was in it. The library had it, so away I went.

I didn't know a lot about the movie when I set out, other than that it was going to make me cry. Seeing as how I haaate when movies make me cry, I was ready to verbally smack Marina if it affected me too deeply.

I love Harvey Fierstein (quick IMDB check to make sure I spelled that right). It's the voice. But I really only know him from Mrs Doubtfire. Even then, how can you not love him? Matthew Broderick's a fine actor, but his movies don't exactly make me want to run out and see them in theaters, so I wasn't expecting much from him.

First of all, Arnold is not a terribly pretty drag queen. I'm okay with that, but really, not a pretty drag queen. The other Queens were no Nathan Lane in The Birdcage, either. But he is terribly attractive in plain clothes in this movie. He is so adorable, it's not even funny. And I really like his hair. Really. I wanted to pet it. Broderick's, too. So fluffy.

The dynamic between Arnold and his mother was really the greatest thing about the movie, other than Arnold's deep and abiding love for bunnies. I should've kept count of how many bunnies were in the movie. The stuffed animals, the wallpaper, the kettle/tea pot (where can I get one of those?). Anne Bancroft is one of those actresses who is always fun to watch on screen, and it's not a stretch to imagine Arnold's voice being born from her. Their final battle in his apartment broke me a little. I love that Harvey wrote this to be such a pro-gay movie. This was before the AIDS epidemic, and it was an entirely different battle being fought.

Arnold and Alan's relationship was uber sweet. Broderick is so young here, and he's so believable as a young fresh-faced kid in his first real relationship. I pretty much saw what was coming, minus, you know. The actual death part. And yes, I cried. Damn you, Marina.

Even more than Alan and Arnold's relationship, I loved the dynamic between Arnold and David. "Alright, Ma." "Don't call me 'Ma'." Their complete acceptance of each other. The only part I didn't like was the bonding with Ed, who I saw as a Class 1 Fucktard. There must be a positive message in there somewhere about him, but all I saw was Fucktard Who Shouldn't Be There.

I would like to own TST. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

Whedon Six Degrees of Separation: Radio Days is easy. With TST, Harvey Fierstein provided the voice for Lily's "Smoker Voice" on How I Met Your Mother Season 5. Lily is played by Alyson Hannigan, who played Willow on Buffy and Angel.

Edited to Add another WSDS from RyAn:

Michelle Trachtenberg was Penny to Matthew Broderick's Inspector Gadget. MT played Dawn on Buffy.


  1. Other than on Twitter, you didn't mention the title of the second movie you saw. Just point it out there.

    And speaking of that movie, I really do need to see it. It's been recommended for me on Netflix for forever.

    Another Whedon Six Degrees of Separation for you: Michelle Trachtenberg was Penny to Matthew Broderick's Inspector Gadget.

  2. I love your opinion. It makes me want to run out and rent movies. :)

    Also, loving the Six Degrees notes at the end.

    As usual, you rock my socks, Bunny!