His Girl Pfeiffer or Bringing up Maggie?

Today is the birthday of the ultimate movie star, Cary Grant. The man born as Archie Leach in Bristol, England is my favourite classic actor, so it’s no surprise I long for an alternate Hollywood universe, where Cary could have made multiple movies with Michelle Pfeiffer and Meg Ryan. It’s one of my eternal film fantasies.The closest Michelle came to a Cary collaboration was One Fine Day, where she was swept off her feet by George Clooney. Although mid-90’s Clooney was more of a Buff Bagwell wannabe, than “the new Cary Grant”. As Michelle’s mellifluous Melanie Parker talked circles around George, their dynamic wordsmithery brought back memories of Cary and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday.In Addicted to Love Meg Ryan’s Machiavellian Maggie came across as a direct descendant of Susan Vance, Katharine Hepburn’s capricious heiress, who befuddles Grant’s palaeontologist in Bringing up Baby. Pfeiffer had the poise, Ryan the dizzy energy. Both played screwball comedy like they were born to play it. Either would have been a perfect foil for Walter Burns or David Huxley.Ryan’s vulnerability and fast-talking feistiness would have completely confused Cary Grant. Pfeiffer’s beauty and withering one-liners would have driven him to distraction. Meg and Michelle could make the most mundane dialogue sound as sharp as a razor blade. Neither would have played second banana. In this scenario the possibilities are boundless…


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