Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Unrequited Love


Before I got married, even before I'd ever had a girlfriend there was a girl I'll simply call T. She showed up in my class about halfway through third grade and was instantly the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen. She was in my class through sixth grade and attended the same school as I right through high school graduation. Year after year, she became something greater than she was the year before. I dreamed about her and imagined myself saying those magic words that would somehow sweep her off her feet, but alas, it was never meant to be. In my senior yearbook, she wrote me a perfectly generic message saying how 'nice' it was to have went to school with me for all those years. That's about as close as I got to a meaningful exchange with her.

My pitiful little story was inspired by this week's topic for the Thursday Movie Picks hosted by Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves. It is movies about unrequited love. There are lots and lots of these. I've decided to come at the subject from three different angles while mixing in some love for the Brown-Houston clan. Lord knows they need it right about now. Chronologically, of course, here are my picks...


Waiting to Exhale
(1995)
This all-out salute to girl-power contains lots of unrequited love. In what might be the finest movie performance of the late Whitney Houston's acting career she plays a woman clinging to the hope that the married man she is in love with will actually leave his wife for her. That guy, by the way, is played by none other than Mr. Allstate himself, Dennis Haysbert. However, the unquestionable star of the show is a brilliant Angela Bassett as a woman who has devoted her life to making her husband a success, not the same guy, only to see him leave her for another woman, Throw in excellent work from Loretta Devine, an oddly dramatic and very young Donald Faison, and a charming Gregory Hines, and we get an excellent lesson in the high art of melodrama.


A Thin Line Between Love and Hate
(1996)
Our first pick gave us women on the both sides of bad marriages. This one gives us a Cougar gone mad. Our hero, of sorts, is Darnell, played by Martin Lawrence. He is a nightclub manager and unrepentant playboy. He wines and dines his way into the heart of the beautiful, wealthy, and mature Brandi only to discover he's in love with a much more simple girl. He puts the brakes on things with Brandi and Fatal Attraction happens. I'm not much of a fan of his movies, but this stands next to the Bad Boys flicks and his turn in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, as his finest work. It's completely derivative, but fun. Here is my second bit of love for a certain R&B family. Bobby Brown plays Martin's co-worker, fellow playboy, and sidekick, and has a fun time doing it. Not that he's any good, but he does have fun.


The Skin I Live In
(2011)
My first two picks take a somewhat traditional path to showing us unrequited love. This one is completely off the rails and I love every minute of it. A rather morose Antonio Banderas plays a world renowned doctor who has developed artificial skin that is resistant to burns and insect bites. As such, he lives in a huge, secluded mansion. He also happens to be keeping a beautiful woman locked up in the bedroom adjacent to his. The wall between them is made up of a two-way mirror that he watches her through, occasionally going in her room to check on her. He loves her. She doesn't love him and it only gets more bizarre from there. I'll say nothing else to keep from spoiling it. Just know that it's from famed Spanish director Pedro Almodovar. Therefore, you know it's not going to be quite like anything else you've ever seen. (my full review)



28 comments:

  1. The Skin I Live In... man that is a great film. Almodovar's most dangerous film in years. Waiting to Exhale is a guilty pleasure. Angela Bassett owned that film. My favorite part was when she bitch-slaps Kelly Preston. I was like "kill that bitch!"

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    1. TSILI is flat out amazing. And yeah, Bassett kills it in WtE. Glad to see some love for those movies.

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  2. Great picks! I actually haven't seen any of these, but they sound well worth a watch...especially The Skin I Live In!
    - Allie

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    1. It is well worth. Just be prepared for something different. Probably NFSD.

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  3. I haven't watch any of your picks today and the last one, The Skin I Live In sounds creepy.

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    1. Creepy is just one of many adjectives that accurately describe this film. Twisted, horrific, unique, and imaginative are a few others.

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  4. Oh man, good call with The Skin I Live In. That movie was something else! I haven't seen the other two.

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    1. "Something else" is also a great way to describe it because it just is. Glad you like it.

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  5. I've only seen Waiting to Exhale, which is basically unrequited love 2.0! Great choice. That movie is such a guilty pleasure...like, it's so tacky and not really that good and yet so great at the same time, and Bassett is on fire!

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    1. You've summed up WtE perfectly. It is precisely all of that. I think you would really appreciate The Skin I Live In, too.

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  6. I need to see The Skin I Live In like yesterday. Love Almodovar; LOVE Banderas. Waiting to Exhale is such delicious melodrama. Angela Bassett FTW!

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    1. See Skin as soon as possible, then. It is an amazing ride. Such a shame Bassett was criminally under used for basically an entire decade. She is a great actress.

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  7. I've only seen The Skin I Live In, and while I preferred the short novel, I liked the way it was filmed. Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya were great in their roles.

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    1. Haven't read the novel. I imagine that was crazy. As far as its impact on the film, its perfect match of source material and director.

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  8. Gosh, I haven't seen any of this, but surely they go to my watchlist!

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    1. Cool. Love to hear what you think of them.

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  9. Awesome pick! I LOVE LOVE Waiting to Exhale, it's such an underrated film and I love Angela Bassett here... 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!' I also love Wesley Snipes in his limited screen time, in fact their scenes are perhaps my fave of the film. I'm very curious about The Skin I Live In!

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    1. So happy to see more love for Waiting to Exhale. It is very underrated in my opinion. Bassett's scenes with Snipes are some of the film's most touching.

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  10. I remember my older siblings watching the first two films when I was much younger, and to this day they both mesh in as one film for me, ahha. All I remember is the flashlight cops scene and someone burring a ton of clothes? Bassett I think.

    I love The Skin I Live In!!! That ending was everything!!!

    Great choices! They might be the most unique I've seen thus far.

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    1. Hilarious story about the first two movies. For sure, the clothes-burning was Bassett. I'll cop to not remembering which one had the flashlight cop. It's been a little while since I watched them both. Glad you love TSILI. What a great movie it is.

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  11. Waiting to Exhale is the only one here I've seen, and it was years ago. I don't remember much of it. I have to see more from Almodovar. Need to see many of his films, including The Skin I Live In. Great picks!

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  12. I haven't seen any of these, but I am definitely curious about The Skin I Live In. Great post!

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    1. I'd love to hear your thoughts on TSILI. Hope you get to see it soon.

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  13. I've never seen or for the most part heard of any of these movies. The only one that stuck out as something I'm interested in seeing is Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Skin I Live In since you seem to speak highly of it.

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    1. Waiting to Exhale is great, trashy fun. A little surprised you hadn't at least heard of that one. Then again, it's only a classic in certain demographics. And yeah, I'm a huge fan of The Skin I Live In.

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  14. Really dug The Skin I Live In. That was my first Almodovar. Quite the introduction.
    Nice review of it by the way.

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    1. Quite an introduction, indeed! It's an amazing piece of film. Thanks for reading!

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