Tag Archives: Katharine Hepburn

Addicted to Screwball? A Reminder

I really needed a good laugh this week and Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story provided (again). Today apropos of nothing I thought of Meg Ryan’s loopy clowning in Addicted to Love and started laughing. Silliness is so underrated in the movies… and in life.For reliable laughs even if you’ve never heard of the picture, nothing beats the classic era screwball comedies in general and Bringing Up Baby and His Girl Friday in particular. The Palm Beach Story begins at such a furious pace that you cannot take your eyes off the screen, as sexy Claudette Colbert slips out of her boring marriage to have fun with the Sausage King on a train heading south.I can’t say that 80’s comedies hold up all that well for me, but I was thinking the other day that maybe 90’s era comedy will last forever… there are so many genuinely funny movies from that decade: Addicted to Love, Bullets Over Broadway, Clueless, Flirting with Disaster, One Fine Day?Who did haughty Hepburn better than Michelle? As her imperious, comical turn in One Fine Day demonstrated, she liked nothing better than to feed on a screwball frenzy when she had the chance.With her dislike of children Katharine would have been allergic to a film like One Fine Day, but both Pfeiffer and Hepburn specialised in professional women, battling patriarchy with wit.Though she shared Michelle’s comedic cadence, Meg Ryan played awkward and ditzy in a way that Pfeiffer never would have countenanced. But who is Maggie if not Tracy Lord after one too many mint juleps? Her saucy, amoral and utterly madcap antics make Michelle’s Melanie look as if she’s walking underwater.It might seem contrary to declare Michelle as the new Hepburn in one breath, then wax lyrical about Meg Ryan. The awful truth is, while the sexy wit and charm of these two could dangle men à la Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story, they cannot be constrained by a single post. The screwball blogathon awaits!

The fun has begun. Click HERE for the first blogathon entry!

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Filed under Blogathon, Retrospective