Category Archives: Blogathon

Michelle Pfeiffer, Batman Returns, and the Danger of Falling in Love at the Movies

Why do we watch movies? Outside of a need for entertainment, or to learn something about the human condition. Speaking for myself, I go to the movies to fall in love.
Falling in love with a character from a film approaches the spiritual, and I can recall my cinematic crushes as vividly as Mr Bernstein could recall the girl with the white parasol. Glorious technicolor beauties with dulcet voices, captured in two dimensions and shared with strangers around the globe.
Selina Kyle Blu RayNicole Kidman in To Die For. Audrey Tautou in Amelie. Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation. Meg Ryan in … well, virtually everything, but especially Flesh and Bone. And Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns.
Mousey Girl in GlassesOh Michelle! Did you have any idea what you were doing when you stepped into Catwoman’s knee-high boots? Did you deliberately set out to inflame my desire and bend me to your will?
You played the mousey secretary-turned feline femme fetale with such relish, such joy, how could I not fall in love with your performance. The forces you unleashed were powerful, maybe too powerful for this viewer.
Feline Femme FataleI was a teenager in 1992, when Batman Returns hit the big screen. Sat in the circle of the Palace Cinema, I wanted to hug Selina Kyle; I wanted to make her smile, I wanted to to save Catwoman. Only by looking back, can I name my pain: heartache. I’m no psychologist, but I’d guess you’re never too young to fall in love and have your heart broken, and Michelle Pfeiffer did it to me in just 126 minutes, one warm July night, in sleepy, small-town Stalybridge.
Crushing on CatwomanOf course the great sadness of falling in love with film characters, is that once the credits roll, it’s all over. You’re free to watch the film again and again, but you’ll only be revisiting a memory. You can only fall in love once, and like the hopeless romantics who exchange brief-but-meaningful glances from across train carriages, you’re doomed to relive those moments time and again.
Nine LivesWe might only fall in love once, but if the string of names I reeled off above are any indication, I might be wrong. Thank you, Michelle, Meg and many others for giving me a reason to go to the movies. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read the rest of the entries in the blogathon.

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One Fine, Pfabulous Day

Today, the 29th of April,  is the birthday of my favourite film related person of all time, the superlative Michelle Pfeiffer. Words, especially so late at night when I can’t think clearly, cannot express how much I adore her. I’ve fêted her time and time again, because I honestly believe that she is the greatest, most talented and formidable actress of her generation.
Melanie ParkerIn preparation for the Pfilm Pfest I happened to rewatch One Fine Day this past weekend. Truth be told, I’ve probably rewatched it one time more than I needed to, but some films rise far above just picture and sound and One Fine Day is one of them. It has something intangible. A magic that permeates through it, with dialogue that’s sharp, witty, perfectly delivered and written for people who are over the age of consent, and not afraid to admit it.
Turn the World OffBack in 1996 many people dismissed One Fine Day as a pale imitation of Sleepless in Seattle, but I’d say it has aged far better; mainly because it’s filled with the witty banter that’s been a genre mainstay since before the days of The Taming of the Shrew… a factor that Sleepless misses out on.
FormidableOne Fine Day might seem a little safe, or predictable, or old-fashioned, but watching it again, I was taken with the comic timing, as well as its loose adherence to a three-act romantic comedy structure. A comedy with a deadline, One Fine Day adroitly builds to a climax, somewhat like a thriller.
Her SmileGeorge Clooney is a living, breathing pheromone. He’s also Peter Pan looking for his Wendy, brought to life in the form of Michelle, sleep deprived, mascara smudged, clad in her son’s dinosaur t-shirt and still more beautiful than 99% of humanity. She’s a romantic comedy masterpiece, the perfect blend of charm, intelligence and beauty, with a heart-meltingly wholesome, yet sexy smile.
Michelle and Amanda PeetI do think this one of Michelle’s most enjoyable performances. Her natural subtlety and ease is masterful. The more you laugh, the more you fall in love with her and unfortunately, we haven’t really seen Pfeiffer do funny since; unless you count the dire New Year’s Eve.
Prelude to the KissMichelle and Clooney make such a delicious combination that it’s easy to overstress their contributions. But as important as these stars are, a lot of credit must go to director Michael Hoffman who completely nails what a romantic movie should be; with two actors in their prime and a vision of New York full of romance, meaning and hope.
Happy Birthday MichelleIn my limited imagination the only thing missing from One Fine Day is a cameo appearance from Meg Ryan, but it’s possible that so much brilliance in one film would have caused me to spontaneously combust. Meg and Michelle are at such opposite ends of the spectrum as actors it would have been fascinating to see them in close proximity to one and other. The quintessential leading lady and the queen of romantic comedy. Just imagine the glorious verbal exchanges the two would have shared. Enough.
Happy Birthday Michelle!


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