Levitt Rips Apart Classic Films

Notting Hill- Julia Roberts, she crazy!!!!!


Most people who enjoy the film, “Notting Hill”like the charming bi-play between the movie star (Julia Roberts) and the commoner/befuddled travel book-shop owner, Hugh Grant.  But, if you bother to look for logic and realistic reactions (in a romcom are you crazy?!!!) it does seem that Julia Robert’s character is simply batshit crazy.  Instance 1: after grant spills coffee all over Robert’s blouse (something that normally drives celebs crazy—when their clothing is suddenly  and randomly attacked by a stranger) Roberts suddenly kisses Grant full on the lips.  Instance 2: Alec Baldwin (julia’s former lover) surprises Roberts in her Hotel Room its a little bit awkward with Hugh Grant there so Roberts, like any rational woman in the same situation, decides to… leave the country.  Instance 3:  Roberts and Grant are photographed in skimpy attire after emerging from Grant’s Notting Hill Flat so, rather than explaining/holding a press conference or simply avoiding reporters for a while, Robert’s thinks its safer/more incognito to, you guessed it, leave the country. Then, finally when Roberts realizes that she truly loves Grant, she decides to give him a token of her affection and gives him an original Marc Chagall painting.  I guess they were out of Whitman Samplers at the Drug Store.

Dreamgirls- Jamie fox’s Acting Has Left The Building


 Jamie Fox is one of our most reliable actors his breakout performance in Collateral and Oscar Winning Turn in Ray show his versatility and gift at characterization.  It is astounding, then, that in a film so highly regarded for its music and acting (Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson both Oscar nominating and winning) that Fox seems to stink up the screen so much. In re-watching the film recently, I couldn’t hit upon one scene in which Fox seemed to be reacting realistically to what was around him. He grins, smirks, and stares wide-eyed at each set of circumstances like he was some random guy that just wandered onto the set off the street.  Even in the ending frame when he is supposed to be shocked to discover that Effie has a daughter and that he might be somehow connected to her birth (ya think?) his expression seems as real and genuine as Gary Coleman’s expression when he says, “Wotchu talkin’ bout Willis”.  I’m not sure why Fox sucks so bad in this film and why its never talked about in any review but I urge you to watch it again and convince me he’s not the Jar Jar Binks of Dreamgirls.

Other Things that always bothered me about other classic movies?

*Rob Morrow’s thick “bahstonian” accent in “Quiz Show” more scandalous than any cheating going on by Van Doren


In “Good Will Hunting” why does the plagiarizing dick at the Harvard Bar tell Matt Damon’s character that he likes apples?  I know it sets up the verbal beatdown line by Damon, “I got her number, how about them apples” but the pony-tailed dick doesn’t seem the apple munching type.  I’m thinking a nutrition bar is more in his wheelhouse.


*In Whiplash, why does the film’s protagonist, Andrew break up with Nicole, Melisssa Benoist?  I guess its to paint him as more as a drumming fanatic who doesn’t have time for romance in his life. it does seem rather abrupt in the film and Benoist’s character was the least cloying girlfriend I’ve ever seen depicted in film.  Also, she went on to be TV’s Supergirl, so I think Andrew missed the boat a bit there too.


*Mr Holland’s Opus- Those who can’t do Teach


Throughout the bulk of Mr Holland’s Opus, Teacher Glen Holland cannot find the time to compose a symphony which, if the story would have us believe, once completed will net him fame and riches.  Its a little hard for me to believe that in a teaching career of 30 plus years that-no matter how busy he is- the man cannot string together 10 minutes here and there (bathroom visits, waiting for a bus, getting up an extra 10 minutes early for work) to finish one piece of music but so be it.

At the tail end of the film though, the man does finally manage to complete /peform his “American Symphony” in front of a full auditorium of his most adoring students and faculty and…well, the piece just is not all that good. Its bombastic enough but very repetitive/derivative and does not exactly leave Johann Sebastian Bach quaking in his grave and I have never, outside of this film, ever heard anybody else ever using this piece of music for anything ever. They should just have ended the film with the inspiring speech about his students being his opus blah blah and perhaps had ended the film with a more classic musical composition.  So,the unintended irony I’m left with is not that Holland had a fuller life (just like in Its A Wonderful Life) because he touched people but, in actuality, that he made the correct career decision because he was an effective and inspirational teacher but a lousy, or at least un-inspiring composer.


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