Monday, July 03, 2006

Dear Charlie:

I just watched Last Holiday. I rented it and Find Me Guilty, which I had planned to watch first because I absolutely adore/admire Vin Diesel. Dunno why I watched Queen Latifah first, but I'm pretty darn glad I did. Maybe I'll blog about Find Me Guilty tomorrow.

Probably will.

Anyway, so I watched Last Holiday, and I think this exerpt from Roger Ebert's review says it best:

"Last Holiday" is a movie that takes advantage of the great good nature and warmth of Queen Latifah, and uses it to transform a creaky old formula into a comedy that is just plain lovable. To describe the plot is to miss the point, because this plot could have been made into countless movies not as funny and charming as this one.

It's so true. In anyone else's hands, this film would have been mediocre at best. But because it's Queen Latifah and LL Cool J and Wayne Wang, it comes out as something that made me cheer and smile and feel good. Admittedly, I'm easy to please, but this is a good movie. Not just an entertaining movie, although it's that, too.

No, this movie makes you want to do what Georgia Byrd did -- cash in your savings for the future to live for today. Not all of us have the courage to do that, since we're so focused on planning for the future. We spend so much time planning our lives that we never live them.

Trite sentiment, to be sure, but so very true.

Of course, not all of us have the savings to cash in. Reality bites. But...but you want to root for Georgia. She's such a nice person and so very classy. She's the difference between politeness and genuine warmth. Between a good person and a truly elegant individual. Between money and class.

But Georgia would have been just anyone if it weren't for Queen Latifah.

You know, I've liked most of her movies. I haven't watched every one, but I have noticed that she always brings that class, that integrity to her roles, even if she's playing a crazy chick. She plays someone who is genuinely nice and you can see it in every smile, every wink.

I don't know her at all, of course, but surely that kind of class has to come from somewhere.

Doesn't it?

I also like how, while she continually questions "Why?", speaking directly to God as if He's listening and taking personal interest -- whether He answers or not -- she never actually has a crisis of faith. She never doubts that God is there...just whether or not He's crazy.

Heh, and when she laughs and tells God, "You wrong! You had me goin there for a minute, You know that?"...yeah...priceless stuff. She's just so...well...it's like she's talking to her best friend who has just played one HELL of a bad joke on her...but a joke that was still funny as all Hell. Nicely played.

Anyway, great movie. Watch it as entertainment, as a "guilty pleasure" if you must, but watch it. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Now, I gotta go watch Vin Diesel stretch his acting chops. Woo-hoo!

[EDIT: I knew that man could act! I will definitely be writing up a review on Find Me Guilty tomorrow! Not your common flick, admittedly, but...oh...to see someone take that part and run with it....]

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