At the Movies Bonus Edition

As I mentioned, in honor of the long Thanksgiving weekend, I am adding an extra day of movie picks. My first pick is a particular favorite with the boys in my house. But I like it as well because John Hughes’ 1987 Planes, Trains and Automobiles is not only hilarious but also a touching film. The madcap humor of its comedic stars, Steve Martin and John Candy, is enhanced by their terrific on-screen chemistry and offset by the depth of John Candy’s character and the poignant ending. If you have never seen it, the plot is simple. Steve Martin is a businessman stranded at La Guardia trying to get home to his family in Chicago for Thanksgiving. He meets up with shower curtain ring salesman Candy and the movie chronicles their Murphy’s law cursed cross country trip back to Chicago. You can only imagine the situations that Hughes created for his bumbling duo. But it’s too bad that the R rating prevents younger kids from watching this movie because there’s a terrific message hidden in this very amusing comedy.

On a completely different note, is my next pick, Woody Allen’s classic Hannah and Her Sisters from 1986. Many fans consider this Allen’s finest film for good reason. Beginning with a large family Thanksgiving dinner, the character development and interaction are incredible and you follow the dynamics of this complex family from its highs of exuberant laughter and love to the depths of disappointment and despair. In his New York Times review, the estimable Vincent Canby said, ” ‘Hannah and Her Sisters’ has the narrative scope of a novel.  … With this film, it’s apparent that Mr. Allen has become the urban poet of our anxious age – skeptical, guiltily bourgeois, longing for answers to impossible questions, but not yet willing to chuck a universe that can produce the Marx Brothers.” The movie has an amazing cast with, aside from Mr. Allen, Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest and Barbara Hershey as the three sisters, Michael Caine, Max von Sydow, Lloyd Nolan and Maureen O’Sullivan (Farrow’s real life mother). In addition, the film is beautifully photographed by Carlo Di Palma with a wonderfully urbane jazzy soundtrack. For a sophisticated contemporary dramatic comedy, it doesn’t get much better than this.

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20 Responses to At the Movies Bonus Edition

  1. I love this movie edition:) My Balazs is a movie translator and we love Woody Allen:) Have a fantastic weekend,kisses

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Diana – how interesting – a movie translator! Never met anyone who did that! Have a great rest of the weekend!

  2. elle says:

    Thank you for these two recommendations, Q. Popcorn stash (Paul Newman’s natural) is adequate and Netflix is appropriately queued. I’ll be nesting tonight with Hannah & Her Sisters!! (Trains planes & automobiles I moved to first position for delivery.)

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Elle – sounds like a great evening you have planned. I’m hoping Netflix is going to be adding more movies to instant streaming!

  3. We just watched Planes a few weeks ago and it was so charming in it’s funny way. Thanks for the remind on hannah’s Sisters, it’s been ages! Good picks. XO

    • quintessence says:

      AGWL – yes Planes, Trains is surprisingly charming I think. I’m hoping to squeeze in time for Hannah today!

  4. I had forgotten all about this movie–I’m going to Netflix right now. Thanks, Mary

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Mary – hope you meant Hannah – that’s instantly streamed! Planes, Trains you have to order (so prefer the instant gratification!)

  5. Rita Schaefer says:

    So glad that DivaDebbi introduced me to your blog! Charming posts! Thanks so much!

  6. annechovie says:

    Hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying the weekend.

  7. paula says:

    havent seen any of these movies. Hope you are having the most fabulous weekend.

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Paula – oh you must see at least one of these classics depending what you’re in the mood for – both classics!

  8. Delighted you stopped by…so nice to get connected to your wonderful and informative posts…really enjoyed my first visit here and will now be a regular. Your movie pics are so appreciated. While we see almost every new release at the theatre, I am usually at a loss trying to decide which oldie to order up. Hope you have had a most enjoyable Thanksgiving.


    • quintessence says:

      Hi Jermaine – thank you for visiting here as well. You can’t go wrong with any of these movies – they’re all wonderful!! Have a great rest of your weekend and look forward to seeing you again soon!

  9. Heather says:

    ah…. Hannah and her sisters….one of my favorites … being one of three myself, always loved the fact that Mia’s real parents played the parents!

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Heather – what number sister are you in the mix of your family? And I believe it was just Mia’s mother in the movie – Lloyd Nolan was not her father. But the famous Thanksgiving dinner was at her real apartment. Such a great movie!

  10. Jennifer says:

    I l o v e Hannah and Her Sisters. A classic gem.

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