Tag Archives: Screwball Comedy

Bringing Up The Awful Truth About My Addiction to Love at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

It’s strange to have grown up in an era where romantic comedies rapidly fell in and out of fashion. Going back and watching films like Bringing Up Baby and The Palm Beach Story brings home how the genre has evolved over the years.When I watch classic era films I often imagine them with certain 1990’s marquee superstars involved. Blame it on You’ve G@t Mail. If Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan could pay homage to The Shop Around the Corner, why couldn’t Hanks and George Clooney feud over Pfeiffer in a tribute to The Philadelphia Story?There’s no question that Tom was James Stewart’s heir apparent, and Michelle would have been a sweet proposition as his manic Katharine Hepburnesque foil. I hyperventilate at the thought of Pfeiffer adopting the voice. You know, the no nonsense, tough dame voice that you don’t hear anywhere in modern cinema.While we’re in Katharine Hepburn territory, might as well touch on Bringing up Baby. Hawks was clearly having a ball, Hepburn turned her persona on its head, and Cary Grant got to do all kinds of crazy schtick, which adds to the fun. It’s almost as much fun watching Clooney unleash his inner Cary Grant in a comedy.The trend of classic influenced comedies pretty much came and went in a 5 or 6 year period in the 90s. Meg Ryan was an enormous and influential part of the trend. As a cross between Jean Harlow, and Carole Lombard she would have charmed Clooney out of his loafers, if she’d been given half a chance.It might seem contrary to declare Michelle Pfeiffer the scion of the screwball queens of yore, then write about Meg as though the title belonged to her. The awful truth is I wouldn’t be able to get through the day if I couldn’t relate and compare these two to each other… looks-wise, laughs-wise, and other-wise.



Filed under Retrospective