Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: May-December Romance


Yes, It's Thursday. It's also February. What that means is that our host for Thursday Movie Picks, the illustrious Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves, has given us Valentine's related themes all month long. Today, we're talking May-December Romance. Yup, creepy old people trying to get into the pants of some young thing. If you know me by now, you know that I try to put my own twist on all these TMP topics. This week, we're going theme within a theme within a theme (within a theme?). All three of these films helped launch these starlets into mature roles.They all play young women in situations that didn't turn out quite as romantic as they hoped. Those other themes? I think you'll figure them out,


Poison Ivy
(1992)
May  - Ivy (Drew Barrymore)
December - Darrel (Tom Skerritt)
Ivy is a high school girl and a wild child who so happens to meet up with Sylvie (Sara Gilbert). She wants to have a stable home like Sylvie. Ya know, house, mom and dad happily married, white picket fence...shit like that. She sets out to get just that and starts by seducing Sylvie's dad Darrel. When things don't go quite the way she wants...yup, psycho mode. We're talking Fatal Attraction for the teeny-bopper set. This is pure guilty pleasure stuff. It's so bad it's awesome. It's so awesome it gave us...


Poison Ivy II: Lily
(1996)
May - Lily (Alyssa Milano)
December - Donald (Xander Berkeley)
You ever see one of those sequels where the connection to the original is so weak it has to be shoe-horned in for no reason other than maintaining name recognition? This is one of those. It's about an art student named Lily. She's a rather unassuming type. That changes once she stumbles upon a box of stuff that belonged to the titular Ivy. By "stuff," I mean nude pics and Ivy's diary. Apparently, Ivy wrote some brilliant stuff in that diary because Lily decides to model herself after Ivy. First she goes all single white female and tries to look like Ivy. Second, she sinks her hooks into Donald, her art teacher. Sorta. It's complicated. It's also so bad it's awesome. It's so awesome it gave us...


Poison Ivy: The New Seduction
(1998)
May - Violet (Jaime Pressly)
December - Ivan (Michael Des Barres)
Continuing that fine series tradition of only incidentally being linked to the first movie, this installment focuses on Ivy's little sister Violet. We start by showing Violet and Ivy when they are 8 and 9 years old, respectively, and living with Ivan, his wife Catherine (Merete Van Kamp), and their daughter Joy who is 9. Some things happen, Violet goes away and resurfaces twelve years later after Catherine has died. A whole lot of stuff happens and then she tries getting with Ivan. By "a whole lot of stuff" I mean she sleeps with and/or kills everyone, more or less. The bottom line is while Ivy and Lily were both certifiably insane, Violet makes them look like nuns. This installment is bananas...no, it's so bad it's awesome. It's so awesome it gave us...

Poison Ivy: The Secret Society
(2008)
May - Daisy (Miriam McDonald)
December - Andrew (Greg Evigan)
I dunno. It's a damn Lifetime movie, so needless to say, I didn't watch this shit. I mean, I do have standards, ya know.



26 comments:

  1. MMMMMM..... the first one was alright, the 2nd.... oh yeah! Alyssa Milano. The 3rd one.... fuckin' hell! Jamie Pressly and that ass!!! I haven't seen the 4th one but I do have clips of a fine young thing with nice boobies who you might remember from Little Giants as the Icebox.

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    1. Yup, that's about the gist of it. Though I'll continue to skip the 4th. Rather not think of Icebox that way. lol.

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  2. I adore the first one :) Also you seem to get the theme wrong because in this case and - if you read my friday posts - it's the young ones who are creepy :P

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    1. Yes, they are. And that's my twist on it, lol.

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  3. I like that you went with Poison Ivy movies. I know I saw the first one, but I don't remember much from it. I never did see the sequels.

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    1. The second is zanier than the first. The third doubles the insanity.

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  4. First off, your opening image is...amazing.

    I've only seen the first one, but I loved it. Like, it's such a hot mess, but Barrymore is amazing in it...such seductive authenticity. It's the best kind of tacky because it feels real.

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    1. A hot mess is right. The sequels lose all pretense of realism, but up the hotness and messiness. Gotta love it. Speaking of hot messes, thank the late great Anna Nicole Smith for that pic. Yup, that's her and her kajillionaire hubby.

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  5. I've only seen the first of these crazy trainwrecks. It's seems incredible that a piece of low grade sludge like this really helped Drew move forward when her career had stalled after her early troubles. I like the two actresses in the first and second sequels but I don't think enough to get me to watch the movies!

    Kudos, I love themes within themes (within themes!). Mine don't interconnect in nearly as linear a fashion.

    Murphy’s Romance (1985)-In her early thirties divorcee Emma (Sally Field) and her young son are new in town where she is trying to make a go of a horse farm. Middle aged druggist Murphy (James Garner) takes a shine to her and tries to send business her way while slowly romancing her. Things are progressing nicely until Emma’s irresponsible but charming ex-husband turns up and tries to win her back. Complications ensue. Amiable, ambling comedy netted Garner a best actor Oscar nomination.

    Forty Carats (1973)-Fortyish Ann Stanley (Liv Ullman) has a brief fling with 20 something Peter Latham (Edward Albert) while on vacation in Greece. Returning to her New York home she runs into Peter again at a party and he wishes to pick up where they left off. Ann mindful of their age difference is leery. Peter however will not be put off. Somewhat stagy (it’s based on a play) but it’s nice to see Ullman loosen up and character actress Binnie Barnes is a hoot as her irrepressible Mom.

    Autumn Leaves (1956)-Lonely 50ish spinster Millie (Joan Crawford) meets equally lonely 30ish Army vet Burt (Cliff Robertson). Despite her initial reluctance they marry after a whirlwind courtship. One day Burt’s ex-wife and father show up telling Millie Burt is mentally ill and their presence does seem to spark a great deal of agitation in him. Millie, sensing there is more than meets the eye, attempts to help Burt and get to the bottom of the situation. With the high priestess of 50’s anguish in the lead you just know that will include much melodrama but the film does try and provide some insights into mental health issues. The title song is sung over the credits by Nat King Cole.

    Honorable mention-Leon: The Professional (1994)-When her entire family is murdered by an out of control DEA agent 12 year old Mathilda (Natalie Portman) is reluctantly taken in by professional assassin Leon (Jean Reno). Hunted and sworn to vengeance they form an intense connection during which he teaches her his trade. Not so much a May/December romance as a tale of extreme emotions under extraordinary circumstances. Both leads give wonderfully nuanced performances.

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    1. Haven't seen any of your first three. I remember when the Sally Field flick cane out. Just wasn't something a 14 year old me cared to see. Might need to Autumn Leaves, though. That sounds fantastic.

      The Professional is an amazing movie. It's also one of the most uncomfortable romances committed to film. That only serves to make it better. I'm a huge fan of that one.

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  6. I haven't seen any of these. Maybe I'll check them out.

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    1. Only if you're in the mood for junk food.

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  7. LOL Only you, Dell! LOVE these picks - I haven't seen any of them, but of course know them by reputation. And I certainly like other films like them (Fear, The Crush... Wild Things...), so when I'm in the mood for some trashy fun maybe I'll pop one in.

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    1. Trashy fun is exactly what you have to be in the mood for.

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  8. I've seen as many of these as you have. They all suck, at least what I remember of them. The first two suck in a good way, I'd say. I like where you went with this though. Good call!

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    1. Thanks. I think that third one sucks in a tremendous way!

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  9. Oh boy! These films do sound...bad:) I feel like it is a bit of a remake of Pretty Poison. Needless to say I have not seen any of these

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    1. Haven't even heard of Pretty Poison, but now I'm intrigued.

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    2. Pretty Poison is fantastic, everything these movies aren't. Tuesday Weld is amazing in it, the very picture of the All American girl but underneath a soulless psychopath. Speaking of Psycho her co-star is Anthony Perkins! Tuesday made another really interesting, quite unusual film around the same time that's worth seeking out as well called Lord Love a Duck.

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    3. Thanks! I've never even come close to hearing of Lord Love a Duck. What the hell is that about?

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    4. It's a black comedy satire that lampoons all sorts of pop culture of the 60's. Definitely unique unto itself.

      Speaking of unique unto themselves that would be the star of the film, Tuesday Weld. A complex, free spirit with an EXTREMELY messy young life (look her up...she had a nervous breakdown at 9 just for starters) who could have been an enormous star in the sixties, she was very versatile, but hated too much of the spotlight. Funnily enough she had a very sharp script and turned down Bonnie & Clyde, Elaine in The Graduate, Lolita, True Grit, Norma Rae, Cactus Flower, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Rosemary's Baby, the 70's version of The Great Gatsby, Polanski's MacBeth, The Stepford Wives and The Rocky Horror Picture Show all because she felt they would be too successful and impinge on her privacy. The result being that when she did chose to work it was usually in more avante-garde projects, like Lord Love a Duck, which were less accessible but allowed her to do complicated interesting work. She gives an extraordinary performance in Play It As It Lays, award level great but the film is a tough view. What's even more surprising with her being a purposeful outsider she still managed to snag an Oscar nomination for Looking for Mr. Goodbar. She hasn't worked in years unfortunately.

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    5. That list of films she turned down is amazing. I couldn't imagine being that coveted and reluctant at the same time. I have seen Looking for Mr. Goodbar. She is excellent in that one.

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  10. Ha, you really like the 'Poison Ivy' films. The first one was of course the best. I prefer may-december romances between younger men and older women.

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    1. I have a blast with them. Don't really have a preference on May-December romances.

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  11. I have not even heard of these movies, but love that you went with the entire series!

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