Tag Archives: George Clooney

Meg gets an Eiffel, as Clooney French Kisses Pfeiffer

Who doesn’t love a good kiss, a witnessed meeting of two mouths on the big screen? Movie kisses are the embodiment of all the beautiful feelings you experience when being kissed. That’s why a good cinematic kiss can tingle the spine, and make or break the entire film.What prompted this little outburst was the habit of English television showing the same film over and over in a short period of time. Catching pieces frequently and remembering how much I love French Kiss. I’m a sucker for French Kiss. It gets me every time, and while we’re on the subject of kisses, it should be noted that Meg Ryan had the mechanics of screen kissing down to a fine art.Contrary to what you may believe, French Kiss is not a sequel to Prelude to a Kiss, although Ryan’s comic timing never fails to delight. The kiss comes in the middle of the film when Ryan’s runaway bride-to-be Kate, asleep on a train, dreams of her fiance. She rolls over and, still asleep, starts kissing her travelling companion Luc, played by Kevin Kline.Until this point her Kate has been prone to bouts of nausea and fits of hysteria, but when she kisses Luc, she changes before your eyes. The obligatory screen kiss becomes a defining character moment. With her peroxide locks, and her rosebud lips aquiver, Kate is transformed into a classic screwball ingénue.I love this moment. You can find it in almost all my favourite Meg Ryan movies, I call it the “melt moment,” the moment when one character melts the other’s heart, melts through his or her resistance, and…amor vincit omnia, of course!The melt moment isn’t restricted to Meg Ryan films. George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer cooked up a classic in One Fine Day. It may take almost the entirety of the film for their lips to meet, but when they do I’m always glad that DVDs don’t wear out like VHS tapes, because it’s endlessly watchable.Michelle’s character was a nice riposte to the fantasy figure played by Meg in a number of her films. It’s a role she nailed, with a steely combination of wit, determination and romanticism, in the best tradition of Hawksian women.The conclusion of One Fine Day actually makes more sense than French Kiss, as a reflection of “real life,” but I don’t always want to watch real life. Somewhere between Bringing Up Baby and To Catch a Thief, Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock there exists a romantic comedy that just is. French Kiss is that movie.


Filed under Retrospective