Saturday, February 14, 2009

Auteur Watch Special Edition - Valentine's Day 2009

Welp, we've got 1 more hour of Valentine's Day here on the West Coast, but I already know it's too late for me. It may not be too late for you!
But what happens to a director when they've given birth to a movie, and suddenly it takes on a life of its own? Since we just ended with the Coen brothers, I believe it was on Blood Simple that Joel married Frances McDormand... and it's clearly been downhill ever since. Okay, bad example. Perhaps the best example is Ron Shelton's Bull Durham, where Tim Robbins met Susan Sarandon and they got married... didn't they? Close enough, right? And Kev thought he'd be the lucky guy! How's that happen? Of course, Ron himself lucked out with hot Canuck babe Lolita Davidovich.
There are plenty others. Lawrence Kasdan got Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates together soon after their work in I Love You to Death. Mike Newell got Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie together on Pushing Tin, and lemme tell ya, tin wasn't the only thing getting pushed on that set!... Oh, grow up. Sadly, Thorn-gelina didn't last, so Doug Liman begat Brangelina with Mr. & Mrs. Smith - the director's cut. Who else? Soderbergh begat Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas with Traffic, even though they weren't in a scene together. (Interesting trivia note!) And I think Joe Dante gets blamed by Steven Spielberg for getting Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan together on Innerspace. But why did it take so long? Unfortunately, it's the rare director who breaks up a marriage, and I'm afraid the blame in this case goes on Mangold!!! Spielberg himself tied the knot with the second Indiana Jones... rather, BASED on the second Indiana Jones. But why did he wait until Hook to do it? How unromantic. I bet Dreamscape is his least favourite movie. Maxim magazine, you know why. And of course, who can forget when Jared Hess got Napoleon Dynamite married to ... AMERICA! You know, it's not too late for the sequel.
Not that I've given it that much thought, but you know... it's the rare director who gets two right in a row, and that's Glenn Gordon Caron. First with Wilder Napalm, he gets Debra Winger and Pvt. Cowboy together. Then, with Love Affair, it's Warren Beatty and what's her face... the Columbia logo lady. Annette Bening, that's right!, shoot. No, I think it was Bugsy they got together on. But Love Affair is clearly the more romantic of the two, right, ladies? Then again, there is that one scene in Bugsy when he's eating dinner... Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine are brother and sister?? Excuse me for a second while I go blow my mind.....................................

Ah, but it ain't all bells and whistles. Not every director gets to take credit for a great romance. Take Harold Becker and The Boost. Better yet, better not. James Woods and Sean Young, they couldn't make it work off screen, but at least it's there on the screen. I saw some of it once. You can tell! You can tell it's a little more than just regular acting. Or maybe I'm just Monday morning quarterbacking again... Ben Stein wrote that? Interesting. Sounds like his Those Who Trespass. How far around the bend he's gone since then. And me personally, I like to think Hard to Kill was where Steven Seagal and Kelly LeBrock met and fell in love, but that would mean it was made about three years before it was released in theaters, which somehow doesn't seem that hard to believe. No, it was just a pet project of theirs. I'll bet Seagal swept Kelly off her feet by saying something romantic like "Hey, I just gotta have the Woman in Red! I earned it!" Or along the lines of "You know, I could snap your neck in two with one kick if I wanted. And you wouldn't even know it." Now, why couldn't those two forces of nature work it out?
Speaking of forces of nature, who's to blame for Sean Penn and Madonna? George Harrison? James Foley? Probably Foley. But Phil Joanou to the rescue with State of Grace. Man, all these tenuous connections are giving me whiplash.
Meanwhile, there's Tom Green and Drew Barrymore. Personally, I didn't care for it when Tom said after splitting with Drew that he's dating all kinds of Playboy models now. That's not nice. And it's unfair to the bunnies, exposing them to biohazards like that.

Well, it's almost midnight here. Damn, blogging takes up so much time! We've talked a lot about love and how it blossoms as movies are being made. But I'd like to end on the most romantic one of all IMHO. And I'm talking about James Keach and Jane Seymour, the most mystical of the Bond girls. And it is truly an act of love when the hubby goes to his wife and says "Hey, wouldja be in my crappy movie for me? You'll get points!" Trust me, ladies, take the cash up front instead of points.

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