Friday, March 12, 2010

For the Weekend: Romantic Sentimentality

I have been in such a mood this week, ever since watching and writing about "Sense and Sensibility."  It's called the Storybook Romantic Syndrome, a powerful condition that some people (mainly girls) are stricken with at a young age.  A dying breed, as some might say.  So, for your viewing enjoyment this weekend (and mine), I suggest some truly sappy romances for the SRS in us all.

First off, a truly sappy (and really corny too, I know, but I still can't help loving it) "Shining Through" from 1992.  Starring Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith, it's a one of those typical World War II love-story melodramas.  Griffith plays a half-Jewish secretary who falls in love with her American-spy boss Douglas.  But after Pearl Harbor, she volunteers to go undercover in Berlin, and lands in the house of high-ranking Nazi Liam Neeson as his children's nanny.  The normal suspense, drama, bombings, and Nazi-based danger ensue, as you might guess.  True, this film did get the Razzie Award for Worst Film of 1992.  And Griffith's German "accent" is something to laugh about.  But it's still fun to watch and get wrapped up in the WWII romanticism.  It brings me back to the days of my youth when I really was lost in my romantic sentimentalities.  Also, you get the pleasure of watching Sir John Gielgud and Joely Richardson (Liam Neeson's future sister-in-law at the time).

Next, I suggest "Where the Boys Are" from 1960.  Really one of the first teen films of the time to truly explore the changing morals about sex, it tells the story of four college girls as they travel to Fort Lauderdale for spring break, all looking for love.  The main lead, Dolores Hart (who later gave up acting to become a nun), falls for a pre-obsessively-tanned George Hamilton.  Paula Prentiss, in her film debut, is paired up for the first time with Jim Hutton (father of Timothy Hutton).  And recording artist Connie Francis makes her acting debut, as well as sings the title song.  It is largely due to her popularity that this teen movie became such a hit.  Released in the winter of 1960, it also caused a larger flock of kids to travel to warm destinations like Fort Lauderdale for their spring vacation.

And finally, though it's not a movie, I have to talk about the TV series "Scarecrow and Mrs. King," for which its first season is finally out on DVD.  (Yay!)  It stars Kate Jackson and Bruce Boxleitner, and I loved, loved this show as a kid.  I had such a crush on Boxleitner.  (Another time I wouldn't have minded trading lives with another actress was when he married Melissa Gilbert back in '95.)  The series premise is that of a spy and a housewife working together to save America and/or the world.  This show has not been on television for quite some time, and nowhere online, so when I noticed it was coming out, I had to rent it from Netflix.  And can I say, I have been in heaven this week...*sigh*.  It's about as cheesy as the first two movies I mentioned, but I still love it.  And even though the romance between the main characters took awhile to come to fruition, the first episodes tug at my romantic heartstrings just as much.  Yes, Bruce, I still love you, and can't wait to see you in "Tron Legacy."

So, if you suffer from SRS too (Storybook Romantic Syndrome), then I hope you'll enjoy these suggestions for your dosage...or would it be the catalyst?  Who knows, but I say relax and enjoy some corny cheese this weekend anyway.  You can watch all three on DVD, or catch "Where the Boys Are" on TCM this Sunday at 6pm EST.  Have fun and see you Monday!

(Post-tidbit:  A $500,000 building was constructed for "Shining Through," just so it could be blown up.  Unfortunately, when that moment arrived, no cameras were rolling to capture the explosion.  Oops!)

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