I love The Philadelphia Story. It’s the perfect Sunday afternoon movie: Katharine Hepburn at her most glorious, Cary Grant suave and sassy, James Stewart sarcastic yet adorable. It’s the kind of film that takes your breath away with its dialogue; sharp and always funny, no matter how many times you’ve heard it. I think today counts as my ninth viewing, although I watched the DVD commentary too – does that count, d’ya reckon?
There are two scenes that slay me every time I watch it. Stewart turning up drunk at Grant’s home and battling with hiccups (adlibbed, apparently, according to the knowledgable woman on the commentary track) – and Stewart, even more drunk, telling Hepburn that she has a fire burning deep down inside her, something beautiful and bright. “Like… hearth fires and holocausts!” he exclaims, and you can see the madness of love in his eyes. Much as I adore It’s A Wonderful Life, Stewart was never finer than in this one scene. He’s everything cinema stands for.
I was lost in Philadelphia when the phone rang. It was one of the DJs from Spin 1038 in Dublin: “Jayne, Jayne, Jayne. Can you talk to us in ten minutes?” I love doing their radio show, wittering on about movies and answering their nutty questions (“What’s your favourite thing that goes ‘beep’ in Star Wars?”). Today’s interview was a look back over the films of the summer. I slagged off Be Cool, though I have to admit the scene with The Rock trying on trousers is rather funny (or even fanny, cos he keeps slapping his arse in it), gave Batman Begins the seal of approval and sang the praises of Ong-Bak, because it’s mighty fine. A martial arts movie with no wires or trickery, it’s the real deal – and kicks the stuffing out of Unleashed, Jet Li’s latest, which I watched last night. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch any fight scenes ever again without thinking, “Yeah, okay, but Tony Jaa would do that for REAL!”
I only talked about Ong-Bak just then because I wanted to use the headline “Ong-Bak To The Future” for this blog entry. Yeah, I know, it don’t mean nothin’, but it makes me laugh.