When I was young, there was just something about this backwood-living, tap-dancing, semi-sexist family of fourteen that I couldn’t get enough of. If I could have elected to be kidnapped in the night, driven via horse and carriage in the woods to live out a life of singing all the time, participating in dance-offs/barn-raisings, and playing with baby farm animals with six friends and their partners, I would have done it in a heartbeat. I still might.
Everything about this movie is magical, from the scenes of soft falling snow to the somehow simultaneously bright and muted colouring of the 1954 film. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was one of my first tastes of musicals, and it taught me early on that spontaneous singing and dancing are completely normal, a tenant I hold near and dear to this day.
An Affair to Remember might only be remembered in modern pop-culture because of Sleepless in Seattle – and even that is a stretch as that movie is now nearly 20 years old. In my opinion, Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr’s classic should be remembered as one of the all-time greatest romantic comedies. I have to admit, I am a huge romcom fan, but Hollywood hasn’t impressed me in at least 20 years. The genre has become as sterile and uncreative as, um, Hollywood itself.
Anyway, An Affair to Remember is the story of the rich playboy, Nikkie Ferrante, who falls in love with the soon-to-be married Terry McKay on board a European cruise. They agree to meet at the Empire State Building in six months if it was meant to be. But something tragic happens and they don’t meet. Are they still meant to be together? Everything about it is perfect! There’s no quirky best friend, no tiresome raunch fest, no fart jokes. Like I said, if you want to watch good romantic comedy, check back 50-60 years.
Margaret isn’t the only one who loves Cary Grant. In 1963 Grant, along with perennial Urchin all-star Audrey Hepburn, starred in a farcical whodunit called Charade. If romcoms aren’t well-made today, comedy mysteries aren’t really done at all anymore. Perhaps it is a sign o’ the times, or perhaps you just need the perfect pair. Charade‘s twisting and turning plot aside, the teasing and flirtatious banter between Grant and Hepburn is what you really want to pay attention to. Smart, quick, and delivered perfectly by the two actors. Charade is as loveable to listen to as it is beautiful to watch.