As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

His Girl Friday – first thoughts

Posted by Hedwig on January 10, 2008

The first of the three DVD’s I ordered at Christmas finally arrived. “His Girl Friday”.

I think I caught about half the words.

I also think I love it.

How can you not, after all? It’s smart. It’s a romantic comedy, but it’s bitter and cynical, and most of all, it’s funny, maybe not in a rolling on the floor kind of way, but so funny and consistently funny that you can’t help but watch with a grin. It has Cary Grant, suave as ever but really quite a cad, a crook even. And then there’s Rosalind Russell as one of the feistiest, smartest female characters ever put on screen. Sure, she falls for Grant’s tricks in the end. But she does so knowingly.

I know, I know, all those experienced cinephiles in my readership are probably shrugging now. Sure, His Girl Friday rules. They’ve known that forever. I’ve even known that forever, even without having seen it, which is why I didn’t expect the sheer fun of it to take me by surprise.

As I mentioned before, I missed almost as many of the jokes as I caught. But why would that be a bad thing? It’s a good excuse, after all, to watch this movie again. And again. Although in the end, I might just have to look up the script, because not only do these people rattle, but they often rattle off two different conversations at the same time (if not more), paying no attention to each other in the least.

I’ve been watching Californication lately – and only got the pun in that title a couple of days ago, can you believe that? Anyway, maybe it’s just a proximity effect, but I’m seeing a lot of parallels. I’ll devote a post to it soon, as soon as I watch the finale, that is. Unfortunately, none of the female characters in Cali fornication can quite live up to Hildy Johnson, but it gives you hope smart, literate, and none-too-polite writing isn’t dead. And someday, I hope to have a good excuse to say to someone: “I wouldn’t cover the burning of Rome for you if they were just lighting it up!”

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3 Responses to “His Girl Friday – first thoughts”

  1. Ahhhhhhhhh…One of my perfect movies.

    I could never shrug. A person’s joy at seeing His Girl Friday for the first time is what movies are all about and I’m delighted you enjoyed it.

    In a country not known for it’s generous treatment of women (we still can’t imagine a female president for crapsakes!) Rosalind Russell was standing tall with the boys in 1940. She’s an equal match for Cary Grant also at his best. I like this dark, cynical, funny side of him.

    This is also a perfect warmup for Hudsucker Proxy because Jennifer Jason Leigh does a pretty swell job of channeling Ms. Russell in it.

  2. sarcastig said

    I’d heard about it, yes…makes me look forward to Hudsucker even more. Tomorrow’s the day, with a Miller’s Crossing/Hudsucker double feature.

  3. nickplowman said

    I have never heard of “His Girl Friday”…. *now red with embarrassment*
    I think I should check it out…Sounds great 🙂

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