Bewitched by Blondes Born too Late

The films of Howard Hawks are more famous than the man himself. His career spanned every genre and style. He made screwball comedies and film noir, gangster films and westerns. And he made them better than anybody else.Over thirty years after Howard’s last hurrah with Man’s Favourite Sport a pair of Hawksian hossanas were heard in 1990’s New York. Michelle Pfeiffer rising, patrician and perfect, from the ashes of Up Close and Personal, was first out of the blocks, however a certain doe-eyed fireball would come roaring at her heels.
As Pfeiffer’s mellifluous Melanie Parker talked circles around George Clooney in One Fine Day, their dynamic wordplay brought to mind His Girl Friday’s Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. No man could stand up to this sonic boom in heels.In Addicted to Love Meg Ryan slipped into Katharine Hepburn’s shoes, playing a worldly-wise photographer who makes a blithering, quivering chump out of Matthew Broderick’s naive astronomer. Maggie comes across as a direct descendant of Susan Vance, Hepburn’s capricious heiress in Bringing up Baby.Meg and Michelle played screwball comedy like they were born to play screwball comedy. I just can’t help but salivate at the thought of them as Hawksian comrades-in-arms, dressed to kill wearing pearls and sheer evening gowns.Meg’s modern mix of vulnerability and fast-talking feistiness would have completely confused Cary Grant. Michelle’s serious beauty and elegance would have driven James Stewart to distraction. Pfeiffer and Ryan could have made even mundane dialogue sound as sharp as a razor blade. Neither have would played second banana. In this scenario the possibilities are boundless…

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