Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

French Kiss 1995

French Kiss 1995 Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline

My romantic comedy phase continues. French Kiss was on television on the weekend, and I have to say it is lovely for a light summer evening's entertainment. Kevin Kline is brilliant as the slightly rough around the edges Frenchman, Luc.  Even though he is of course not French, he is hilarious. And Meg Ryan is adorable and doing what she does best as Kate, the uptight yuppie trying to win her fiancee back.

Now, remember, Kevin Kline's character is pronounced Lee-ook. And you must hum La Mer (or Bobby Darrin's Beyond the Sea) as you are reading this. If you need a memory jog, here is the YouTube of Luc (Kline) singing it to Kate-La Mer! 

En route to Paris

Kate: [singing] I hate Paris in the springtime/I hate Paris in the fall/I hate Paris in the summer when it sizzles/I hate Paris in the winter when it drizzles/I hate Paris, oh why oh why do I hate Paris?/Because my love is there... with his SLUT girlfriend.


Luc: [on Kate's fear of flying] I'm curious how you got around your whole life, or do you just stay in your house with the doors locked?
Kate: I get around as nature intended: in a car.

Luc Teyssier

Luc: For me, bullshit is like breathing.

Kate: You lost your birthright in one hand of poker?
Luc: I'm an asshole. What can I tell you?

Du fromage?

Kate: Did you know that there are four hundred and fifty-two official government cheeses in this country? Don't you think that's incredible? To come up with four hundred and fifty-two ways of classifying what is basically a bacterial process?
Luc: You would prefer one cheese? One cheeseburger to put it on and one restaurant to eat it in?
Kate: I'm saying I *like* the cheese. God!


Kate: Spasm! Spasm! Oh, God, here it comes... lactose intolerance! 

Les rues de Paris!

Kate: [to Luc] You'll become one of those hunchbacked, lonely old men, sitting in the corner of a crowded cafe, mumbling to yourself, "My ass is twitching. You people make my ass twitch."

At Cartier

Inspector Jean-Paul Cardon: I must come to Canada someday. You are a very sympathetic people.
Kate: Well, actually, I'm not really a Canadian. In fact, I'm... currently without country.


Luc: And I am thinking, you should not be flying anywhere.
Kate: I shouldn't?
Luc: No, in fact, I am sure of it. I am thinking, I want you.
Kate: You want me?
Luc: That's all. I want you.


So sweet! Now I want to watch it again. I am adding this one to my collection so I can watch it whenever I want. Perhaps the next time I have a headache? Or a cold? Add a cup of tea  (avec le fromage et un biscuit?) and it would be parfait!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kate and Leopold 2001

Kate and Leopold 2001 with Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman

Kate and Leopold is a lovely light romantic comedy involving time travel. And the best thing about it is Hugh Jackman. If the look on his face in the photo above doesn't have you weak in the knees, well perhaps you need a few hours with this film.

"Fresh creamery butter. Is there anything more comforting? I say there is." And his name is Hugh. Hugh Jackman.

A duke on a white horse. Are we being manipulated here? I do not care.

Kate: I don't want it to be Sunday. I want more of this, more 1876.

Dinner on the roof? Prince Charming....

Leopold: Where I come from the meal is the result of reflection and study. Menus are prepared in advance, timed to perfection. It is said that without the culinary arts, the crudeness of reality would be unbearable. 

He refuses...respectfully.

Leopold: Are you suggesting madam that there exists a law compelling a gentleman to lay hold of canine bowel movements?
Police Officer: I'm suggesting that you pick the poop up.

Charlie and Stuart. You have to go now Kate!

Stuart: Theoretically, if you go to the past in the future, then your future lies in the past. This is a picture of you in the future - in the past. 


Charlie: You want to vex my sister!

Miss Tree of the Trees of Schenectady
Miss Tree: I've never been to England but father's teeth were made there.
Leopold: He's quite rich, your father.
Miss Tree: Oh, yes.

Best apology note ever

Dearest Katherine,
    I behaved as an imbecile last night, animated in part by drink, in part by your beauty,and in part by my own foolish pride. And for that, I am profoundly sorry. Please accept, as a gesture of apology, a private dinner on the rooftop tonight at eight o'clock .
                                                                  Yours truly, Leopold 

A man in a cravat and knee high boots. Yum!

Kate: People might think I'm brave, but I'm not.
Leopold: [quoting Thucydides] "The brave are simply those with the clearest vision of what is before them - glory and danger alike - and, notwithstanding, go out to meet it."

Kate McKay of the McKays of Massapequa

Kate: She was a real romantic, my mom. When Prince Charles and Lady Di got married, she had a party, she made crumpets and jam. It was like a Super Bowl party, but for moms. She cried for a week.
Leopold: I don't know the story of Prince Charles and Lady Di.
Kate: Oh, you don't want to. It's a cautionary tale, further proof.
Leopold: Of what?
Kate: You can't live a fairy tale.


So, on goes my phase of light romantic comedies. Don't overthink this film and for heaven's sake, don't go looking up Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany on Wikipedia. It's a big disappointment. Trust me, I just looked him up. NOT Hugh Jackman! Although the real Duke went to Cambridge. So perhaps he could quote Thucydides and sweep a girl off her feet after all. Who knows? But I doubt it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Nora Ephron- Writer/Director of the Week

"Be the heroine of your life, not the victim".  Nora Ephron sure could turn a phrase, couldn't she? In all the tributes to Nora I have read in the weeks since her death, she emerges as a wonderfully funny, kind, feminist who loved to cook (with butter). And what a great combination that turned out to be.

I know she didn't write period drama, but she sure had a fondness for Jane Austen. Wouldn't you love to be at a dinner where Jane Austen and Nora Ephron were at the same table? OK, maybe that's too much greatness at once. Separately then perhaps! And she loved films. Films with humour and romance and happy endings. I am going to be spending my summer holidays reading Nora's books, watching Nora's films, and thinking about how to be the heroine of my life. So here's a little tribute.

Heartburn with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep

Mark Forman: My wife's name was Kimberley. One of the first Kimberleys.
Rachel Samstat: My husband had hamsters.
Mark Forman: Me too.
Rachel Samstat: Not as a grownup you didn't. He had hamsters named Arnold and Shirley. And he was always whipping up little salads for them in the Slice-O-Matic and buying them extremely small sweaters at a pet boutique in Rego Park. Also, there was a certain amount of talking in squeaky voices.
Mark Forman: Both of you?
Rachel Samstat: Well, he was Arnold... and I was Shirley.

When Harry Met Sally with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan

Harry Burns: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally Albright: Which one am I?
Harry Burns: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.
Sally Albright: I don't see that.
Harry Burns: You don't see that? Waiter, I'll begin with a house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. "On the side" is a very big thing for you.
Sally Albright: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry Burns: I know; high maintenance.

Sleepless in Seattle with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks

Sam Baldwin: What is "tiramisu"?
Jay: You'll find out.
Sam Baldwin: Well, what is it?
Jay: You'll see!
Sam Baldwin: Some woman is gonna want me to do it to her and I'm not gonna know what it is!

You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan
Kathleen Kelly: I love daisies.
Joe Fox: You told me.
Kathleen Kelly: They're so friendly. Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower? 

Julie and Julia with Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci

Paul Child: What is it you REALLY like to do?
Julia Child: Eat!


So again, thank-you Nora Ephron for leaving the world a happier place. I dearly love a laugh!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

You've Got Mail 1998

It seems fitting to blog about Nora Ephron's film You've Got Mail this week. I never really thought of myself as a Nora Ephron fan, but I guess I am. And this film is an adorable slice of the 1990s. Remember when it was exciting to get email? Before spam?

How can you not love a RomCom about books that refers to Pride and Prejudice in a lovely scene in a coffee shop where the guy has actually read the book (even though he can't stand it)? Ah, yes,and he has a Golden Retriever to boot!

Kathleen Kelly: Confession. I have read Pride and Prejudice two hundred times. I get lost in the language, words like 'Thither, Mischance, Felicity'. I'm always in agony over whether Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are going to get together. Ah! Read it. I know you'll love it.

Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly

Kathleen Kelly: Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today, I saw one! It got on at 42nd and off at 59th, where, I assume, it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake, as almost all hats are.

Tom Hanks as Joe Fox

Joe Fox: Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.

The Shop Around The Corner

Kathleen Kelly: When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.  

Joe Fox: The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.

Joe Fox: I could never be with someone who like Joni Mitchell. "It's clouds illusions I recall/I really don't know clouds at all." What does that mean? Is she a pilot? Is she taking flying lessons? It's probably a metaphor for something, but I don't know what.

Joe Fox: Don't cry, Shopgirl. Don't cry.
Kathleen Kelly: I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly.


Thanks Nora. We're really going to miss you. But we'll always have You've Got Mail!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Christina Cole- Actor of the Week

Christina Cole

Christina Cole is a young actor with an amazing body of work already, much of which is period drama. Her breakout role was opposite Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth and Anna Chancellor in What a Girl Wants. She finished drama school early to play the snooty, catty Clarissa Payne.

Anna Chancellor and Christina Cole in What a Girl Wants

Clarissa: Oh, very you, lovely. So Henry asked us to give you a few pointers, didn't he? Well, pointer number 1: go home. Mother and I belong here and it's quite clear you just don't fit in. And pointer number 2: while you're packing, keep your grimy little Yankee paws off Armistead Stuart, he's mine.
Daphne Reynolds: If you take your nose out of the air for one second you'll see you're designer, I'm vintage. You've got a mansion, I've got a five floor walkup. You're a snotty little miss cranky pants and I go with the flow, so why would you ever think for one second that I'd ever have the same taste in guys? So here's a little pointer for you. Get over yourself and stop trying to be my daddy's little girl because I'm not going anywhere.

Christina Cole in He Knew He Was Right

From bad girl to nice girl, Christina hit it out of the park as the lovely Nora Rowley in He Knew He Was Right. In the classic struggle of the Victorian lady, she has to choose between love and wealth when she is pursued by two men. Quite an excruciating choice as the men are both wonderful and she plays her dilemma with great sensitivity and believability. I think I would have gone with Mr. Glascock personally, but that might be because I loved Raymond Coulthard as Frank Churchill in the Kate Beckinsale version of Emma. I am soooooo shallow!

Michael Fassbender, Christina Cole and Jemima Rooper in Hex

If your taste runs to witches and the supernatural with a bit of girl on girl action (not my taste, but I work with a woman who would love this) Hex has some pretty great actors in it. Along with Christina Cole as the main witchy type, we have Michael Fassbender (Rochester from Jane Eyre 2011), Jemima Rooper (Amanda Price from Lost in Austen) and Laura Pyper (Jane Fairfax in Emma 2009).

Christina Cole as Blanche Ingram in Jane Eyre 2006

Back in her Victorian garb again for Jane Eyre 2006, Christina almost makes us forget that Blanche Ingram is supposed to have raven locks. Actually, it makes me wonder what she would look like as a brunette. (Squinting hard at photo...nope, can't picture it!)

Lost in Austen

Then into Regency garb to play Caroline Bingley in Lost in Austen. I kind of love the wackiness of this time travelling Austen piece, and Caroline starts out like a catty Clarissa Payne but transforms into...well I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen this one yet.

Caroline Bingley: Money, Miss Price. The fortune to which you aspire in an immediate instance may pass you by. But I am certain you shall not starve.
Amanda Price: No, I don't suppose I shall on 27000 a year.

Christina Cole as Mrs. Elton in Emma 2009

My sister complained that there were too many blondes in Emma 2009. I will agree that the lack of variety in hair colour may have confused those not familiar with the story, but this is still my favourite version of Emma so far.

I will however concede that Juliet Stevenson is the definitive Mrs. Elton in the 1996 Gwyneth Paltrow Emma, but I don't mind Christina Cole in the role either. She certainly can play the nasty jellyfish woman type (nod to Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason, and didn't the jellyfish woman also play Mrs. Elton if I recall? Tee-hee!)

So it will be interesting to see if Christina Cole ever dons a bonnet again after seeing how many period roles she has done in a relatively short period of time. Small roles in Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day and Foyle's War at least get her into the 20th century. We will have to see where her talent takes her in the future.

Did I miss any roles that you enjoyed her in?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What A Girl Wants 2003

What A Girl Wants is one of my guilty pleasures. I know it is not a "great" film, but it doesn't purport to be Oscar-worthy. It is just trying to be a fun, light chick flick and it succeeds at that in abundance.  I kind of love it actually.

Amanda Bynes and Colin Firth as father and daughter in What a Girl Wants

A remake of the 1958 film The Reluctant Debutante with Sandra Dee and Rex Harrison, it is another twist on a classic story. The daughter who reestablishes a connection with her long lost father (in this case, he never knew about her), the evil step-sister, the clash of different cultures. Aw, sometimes we all need a bit of Cinderella in our lives. By the way, I may need to add the Sandra Dee version to my sappy, happy film collection.

Father/Daughter pedicure

Henry Dashwood: I think I owe you a rather large apology.
Libby Reynolds: Do you think I've waited 17 years for an apology?

Young London!

Ian: Why are trying so hard to fit in when you are born to stand out? 


I know the line is cheesy but what 17 year old (or 47 year old) wouldn't melt with that one?

Glynnis and Clarissa- they are such a Payne!

Glynnis Payne: I know my daddy was naughty, but what about me?


Clarissa: I can't believe that little impostor is going to ruin my summer!
Fiona: She may be a lot of things, but I can't believe impostor is one of them. Technically, she's 39th in line to the throne.
Clarissa: Really, Fiona. 38 people would have to die for her to be queen.
Jane: Well, it's far less than the 72 you'd need.
Clarissa: Hmph! 

Colin Firth

What a girl really wants of course is Colin Firth. And I guess if he is really too old for you, then having him as your Dad would be the next best thing????

Seeing him dance in this is very funny. Not quite as hilarious as seeing Hugh Grant dance in Love Actually and Music and Lyrics, but pretty darn funny in a "cover-your-eyes-and-peek-through-your-fingers-embarrassed-for-him" kind of way. Oh, those pleather pants!!!

 Henry Dashwood: Remember when I told you how groovy I used to be?

Cat fight!

Glynnis Payne: Now Daphne, we don't want to make a scene now, do we?
Libby Reynolds: Take your hand off my daughter or you won't get a scene, you'll get a Broadway Musical!


So here's to having a little fun and spotting Dame Eileen Atkins in a lovely little role as Henry Dashwood's mother. Now I need a few of you to fess up that this is one of your "happy night" films too. I know you watch it!



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