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An Affair To Remember Review


OK
The good thing about being an international playboy who looks and sounds like Cary Grant (well, one of the good things) is that there isn't much you have to do to pay for your fabulous jet-set lifestyle, except marry the occasional filthy-rich heiress (who's hardly bad-looking herself, so that doesn't hurt). So we shouldn't feel too bad for scandal-sheet regular Nickie Ferrante (Grant) when we're introduced to him at the start of the glossy, late-studio-period romance An Affair to Remember, at which point he's leaving behind his French lover, and presumably many years of others like her, in the interest of future security. Nickie's on an ocean liner steaming back to the U.S. to marry the heiress whose financial largesse will keep him in tuxedos and pink champagne for a good many years to come, when he runs into the woman he's fated to fall in love with, Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr), also no slouch in the looks department. But even after the fateful meet cute -- a nicely-framed bit with a cigarette case and some snappy quips -- and all the emotional and moral confusion it causes, there's little reason to feel bad for the guy.

Whether or not one should feel concern for Nickie's state of mind is important here, because director and co-writer Leo McCarey seems to have much more on his mind here than a simple romantic soufflé. The first half of the film takes place almost entirely on the ocean liner, and it's here that the film is at its best. Although both Nickie and Terry have significant others waiting for them on the pier in New York, they can't stop from engaging in some sharp romantic badinage, setting the tongues wagging among their entertainment-starved shipmates. The first sign that the film is moving into different territory, though, is when Nickie goes ashore in France to visit his grandmother and brings Terry along. It's a lengthy and overplayed sequence at a sleepy villa in which Terry, who had previously felt impervious to Nickie's attempts at pitching woo, gets a window into his soul via the grandmother and so falls for him. McCarey also introduces an overtly religious theme here (having Terry and Nickie pray briefly in the chapel) that will come back later in an even more heavy-handed fashion.

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V Review


Very Good
Independence Day ripped off the far superior 1983 TV miniseries, V, correctly assuming that the public has only a short-term memory. The pervasive image of flying saucers hovering over every major metropolitan city in the world is undeniably creepy, especially when the visitors are not our friends. V's mice-munching lizards, disguised in human form as soap opera-friendly actors in bright red Nazi uniforms, wore false smiles and were much scarier than any computer generated menace proposed by ID:4.

What we're quick to forget is that TV movies from the early 80s were actually pretty frightening, what with Ronald Reagan threatening to bomb the Russkies and all. The Day After caused many a sleepless night as Jason Robards marched through a nuclear nightmare. While the good guys ultimately score a point for justice at the end of V, much of the film is devoted to the insidious alien plot to corral humans into concentration camps for food. Yum, yum, yum. A few supporting characters get picked off in the first hour or two when they try to prove that "the truth is out there." We're gonna snatch you, and then we're gonna eat you!

Continue reading: V Review

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