Tag Archives: The Fabulous Baker Boys

1989: When Harry Met Sally… Frank, Jack and Susie

According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Driving Miss Daisy was the best film of 1989. These days, however, it routinely shows up on Worst Best Picture Winners lists. I did watch Driving Miss Daisy once in the early 90s and wasn’t impressed. It’s likely I was too young to fully appreciate what it had to offer. I am curious to revisit the film, twenty seven years after the cinematic dust has settled.
wolfish-harryBut what of my other memories of 1989? Does Do the Right Thing remain Spike Lee’s best film? Is my memory betraying me, or was Major League better than Field of Dreams. Is The Burbs as funny as I once thought? and was The Fabulous Baker Boys really superior to When Harry Met Sally…?  I’m curious.The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)There are two reasons why I return to The Fabulous Baker Boys. One, fondness for 1989; two, Michelle Pfeiffer. An essentially ageless rom-com The Fabulous Baker Boys has become a landmark of the time, earning a treasured place in my affections because of nostalgia for my youth. Nostalgia can be a curse. People change. Tastes change. But the films remain the same.
Same Old SusieAs Susie Diamond, Pfeiffer made critics, and this fan fall in love with her. She steals every scene she’s in, and leaves you pining for her during the other scenes. This said, the chemistry between Jeff and Beau Bridges is intriguing, forming a trio of flawed underdogs you can’t help but root for.
Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer)It’s a tug-of-war for me when I think about the best actress of 1989. On one hand lies Michelle, in the movie that made her the biggest female film star in the world, and on the other hand Meg Ryan: sweet, sexy and rip-roaringly funny in When Harry Met Sally… Although the argument has rumbled on as to who actually turned in a better performance in 1989, the battle between these two classics doesn’t end there.
wistful-sallyOf the three films that I re-watched over the last couple of days, When Harry Met Sally… has been the one I’ve watched least, so I always forget how much fun it is. The supporting cast are all absolutely brilliant.
yes-yes-yesI still don’t like Billy Crystal, I doubt I ever will. I do miss Meg more than ever though. Is it any wonder that Hollywood milked her charm for all it was worth, making her the go-to female romantic lead of the 1990s? She’s never been funnier, more lovable or more believable.
Makin WhoopeeSo years later, which movie is my favourite? When Harry Met Sally… is charming, with a heartwarming finale. The Fabulous Baker Boys is a funnier, more sophisticated comedy of romance, in which the the interweaving of three lives is explored, rather than the question of whether or not two people will end up together.annie-hallesqueFor me this choice is one that I could go back and forth on depending on when you ask me. In the end, Jack and Susie look like the winners. They may be a match made in hell, but watching them is movie heaven.

susie-and-sally-2Any thoughts on 1989 in film? Is either of these your favourite?


Filed under Retrospective