Search Box

Monday, August 3, 2009

A slightly tardy movie review

One of my favorite movies has always been Heaven Can Wait, starring Warren Beatty, which came out in 1978. (What self-respecting reviewer would ever start a review that way?) The lead female roles were played by Julie Christie and Dyan Cannon, both underrated actresses and overrated beauties. Charles Grodin was at his weaselly best in a supporting role. And the movie would have been stolen by Jack Warden if everybody else -- even Beatty, who always got by more on looks than on acting ability -- hadn't done such a great job.

The movie works extremely well on two different levels: as a comedy, and also as an affecting love story.

Last night it was showing on TCM (Turner Classic Movies). I convinced my 14 year old daughter to watch it, and was quite gratified that she actually liked it -- a lot. She had that reaction despite not being familiar with any of the actors, not being a football fan, having no interest in reincarnation, and most certainly not having any desire to take a sentimental journey back to 1978.

I was also gratified when I looked the movie up on Wikipedia ten minutes ago and discovered that it had gotten ten Academy Award nominations.

That must have been back when the Academy knew what it was doing, before they started doling out Best Actor awards to actors who can only play themselves, like Jack Nicholson.

I watched the entire movie (for about the seventh time) with my daughter. The wonderful thing about a truly great movie is that no matter how many times you see it, there's always some little touch you hadn't noticed before, some new wrinkle to appreciate.

The main thing I got from last night's viewing was.....the realization that you're really getting old when your favorite movies start appearing on TCM.


jmh said...

i can't believe i forgot about this movie, as it was one of my favorites for a terribly long time. i'm glad to hear that it still holds up over time. i'd like to watch it again and see for myself.

i was able to get my daughter to watch one of my all-time favorites, oliver!, a few years back. (i know--stop laughing, i am probably the only living being who will tell you that this is one of their top 2 or 3 movies.) to my amazement, she said that it was "ok," and that made me quite happy, as that was more than i expected.

John Craig said...

Well, good for you, and good for her. Caroline has always struck me as an eminently sensible girl; this proves it.