Sunday, October 26, 2014
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Movie Matchmaker: Can a Movie Save This Marriage?

By way of introducing a new Flickgrrl feature, Movie Matchmaker, an anecdote: Some 15 years ago, I gave a talk at a Penn conference. Afterwards, a very attractive couple in their fifties came up and asked an off-topic question. Could I save their marriage? "Every weekend we fight about what to rent," said the husband. "I like adventures like Guns of Navarone and she likes romantic Roman Holiday type of stuff."

Movie Matchmaker: Can a Movie Save This Marriage?

Daniel Day Lewis and Madeleine Stowe as Hawkeye and Cora in "Last of the Mohicans," a near-perfect movie with a tiny problem: Because the stars have the same coif, in closeups when their faces are obscured it´s hard to tell who´s who.
Daniel Day Lewis and Madeleine Stowe as Hawkeye and Cora in "Last of the Mohicans," a near-perfect movie with a tiny problem: Because the stars have the same coif, in closeups when their faces are obscured it's hard to tell who's who.

By way of introducing a new Flickgrrl feature, Movie Matchmaker, an anecdote:

Some 15 years ago, I gave a talk at a Penn conference. Afterwards, a very attractive couple in their fifties came up and asked an off-topic question. Could I save their marriage? "Every weekend we fight about what to rent," said the husband. "I like adventures like Guns of Navarone and she likes romantic Roman Holiday type of stuff."

"Apparently you both like Gregory Peck, that's a good place to start," I replied, brain riffling through the Peck filmography, drawing a mental Venn diagram of titles where romance and adventure overlapped. I prescribed Spellbound (1945), Capt. Horatio Hornblower (1951), Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952), Designing Woman (1957) -- not really an adventure, but he plays a sportswriter -- On the Beach (1959), Cape Fear (1962), Mirage (1965) and Arabesque (1966). Within a year, I got a thank-you note from the husband, sheepishly admitting that he was beginning to enjoy Peck's straight romances, too.

It's probably the way we are hard-wired, but men tend to like movies about men having manly adventures outside in unforgiving landscapes and women tend to like movies about the adventure of human connection, which often take place indoors. Can a marriage between these two tastes succeed? You bet.

Here are some titles bridging the taste gap: The Age of Innocence (1993), Alien (1979),  Bull Durham (1988), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Dodsworth (1936), Garden State (2004), Gladiator (2000), I Know Where I'm Going! (1945), Jerry Maguire (1996), Kiss Me, Deadly (1955), The Lady Eve (1941), The Last of the Mohicans (1992), Local Hero (1983), Mississippi Masala (1992), Notorious (1946), The Quiet Man (1952), Red River (1948), Something New (2006), To Have and Have Not (1944), Two for the Road (1967), Year of Living Dangerously (1983) and Under Fire (1983).

Your additions to this list? Do you have any problems the Movie Matchmaker can solve?

Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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