Sunday, December 9, 2012

CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT | 1945 | May Every Day Be Like Christmas, and May No Movie Be Worse Than This One.

There's nothing screwball about CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT.  With a few tweaks, it could have been, but as-is, it's just not.  Instead it's a pretty decent holiday movie - easy on the schmaltz.  It's also pure, straight-ahead rom-com.  Not top-shelf rom-com, but solid and respectable.  Very Nancy Meyers.

That sounds like a slam, but it's not meant to be.  Because, actually, viewing CIC solely on its rom-com chops, I'd say that no rom-com should ever be worse than this one.  They frequently are, but there's no reason for it.  If you look really closely, CIC has got some weak spots - the set-up is a bit clunky and the way the ending pulls together isn't super-strong - but despite that, it manages to be entertaining each step of the way.

Which is huge.

But it shouldn't be.  Movies, as entertainment, should be entertaining - at least.  And yet, so many just aren't.  Especially rom-coms.

If I ran the world I'd set up a sort of Olympic trial for rom-coms, and CIC would be the score to beat in order to be allowed into competition.*  That way, a whole mess of movies just wouldn't be made, and those budgets would be funneled into better movies, or job-training for displaced starlets...  or a cure for Alzheimer's.  I dunno, I'll work out the details later.  But my eye would on achieving more consistent quality.  I know it's possible.

Then, maybe this genre wouldn't be quite so maligned.  Or, at the very least it'd be easier to defend.

Until I can get all of that going, watch this film and then accept nothing less from your other entertainments.

Happy Holidays!

*If I actually do end up running the world, this rom-com-thing wouldn't get tackled in the first hundred days or anything, but definitely within the first 500.  For sure.

Released:  1945
Writer:  Lionel Houser, Adele Comandini, Aileen Hamilton (story)
Director:  Peter Godfrey
Leads:  Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet, S. Z. Sakall
Genre:  Rom-Com
Plot summary and reviews of CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT @ Rotten Tomatoes.