March 9, 2004

New Series: Cinecultist Owns It

Faced with the need to stay home at least one night this week but the dearth of Monday television options, Cinecultist decided to chose at random a film from the Collection for re-viewing and commentary. Thus launching our new On DVD series to answer the question -- Cinecultist owns it, but why? To kick things off, we offer five reasons why CC owns While You Were Sleeping (directed by Jon Turteltaub, 1994).

1. It's set in Chicago. It is easy enough to film a rom com in some city, shoot some cityscape footage and call it a day, but it's more of a trick to offer the texture of a place in the film. Working class Lucy (Sandra Bullock) toils for the CTA in that decidedly unglamourous vest. She orders a daily hot dog, even though the vendor can't remember her usual. They seem like throw away details but they flesh out the comedy.

2. Michael Rispoli. As Joe Jr., the deluded, creepy goomba-esque neighbor, CC loves this character from that first ass crack shot to the last tearful agreement that he could be cheered up by trying on Lucy's shoes.

3. She falls in love with his family.She's not a liar, she's just lonely! Rom coms need us to like the heroine but there's no plot if they don't act in a little bit of anti-social, screwball way. Here the story gets to have it both ways, in a organic manner.

4. The "touchstone" is the Florence snow globe. Lucy longs for a man who will give her the world, Jack buys her a snow globe; it sounds the ultimate in cheese to describe it here but the movie sells it as charming and believable.

5. Peter Gallagher's eyebrows. We're not sure we would fall in love with him from afar, but he's quite funny as the shallow lawyer who wakes up to discover he's engaged to Sandra Bullock. Some career advice from CC to Peter -- Comedic roles like the O.C. = good, "dramatic" turns like Center Stage = baaad.

Remainders: Lindsayism (aka That Lucky Bitch) already saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last week. CC is so excited to see it, we're recommending it already at left.

In Germany, the title of the film Death to Smoochy is Tötet Smoochy (another film Michael Rispoli appeared in) which translates literally into Smoochy Kills. Robin Williams as a children's entertainer is so horrific, it may kill you.

Posted by karen at March 9, 2004 8:32 AM