All the Things That I Have Seen
1. Night at the Museum (2006).
America apparently loves actor Dick Van Dyke. Why else would they have made this flick such a favorite at the holiday box office? Of course, Dick Van Dyke's character does not come off looking too well in this movie. So maybe America hates Dick Van Dyke. Maybe whom they really love is actor Ben Stiller. After all, he's the real star of the movie and is in far more scenes than Dick Van Dyke. Plus he plays the hero.
Then again, Ben Stiller also plays a guy who gets urinated upon by a monkey. And getting urinated upon by jungle animals is not a trait one generally associates with America's most liked movie stars. So maybe America hates Ben Stiller. If he keeps making flicks this lame, they definitely should.
In any event, there once was a time when Dick Van Dyke was a young and popular comic actor just like Ben Stiller is today. It would be nice to see this flick as a symbolic passing of the comic torch from one generation of comic actors (represented by Mr. Van Dyke) to another (represented by Mr. Stiller). But unfortunately, one only need consider the sorry fate of Mr. Van Dyke's character -- who is basically humiliated by the end of this flick -- to find that kind of symbolism depressing.
No doubt Mr. Stiller one day will be as old as Dick Van Dyke is today. And he too might some day find himself playing in the same movie as the hot young comic actor of the day. Will he fare better then than Mr. Van Dyke did in this movie?
Er, I wouldn't bet the rent money on it...
2. The Holiday (2006).
It's Kate Winslet. In a black swimsuit. And oh, yes, there's a story too. As well as scenes in which Kate Winslet is not wearing a black swimsuit. But it's still good anyway.
Kate's character befriends a feisty old guy (played by Eli Wallach), meets cute with a feisty young guy (played by Jack Black), and basically hangs out in a fancy California mansion.
Unfortunately, there's also Cameron Diaz. Who looks like a Barbie. Not like Latina Barbie or Cubana Barbie. Plain old everyday all-American Barbie.
Which is quite well for the one scene in which she is required to play someone who looks like a Barbie. But, unfortunately, her character is required to do more than that. She's required to meet cute with Jude Law and outact a dog and meet cute with two adorable British moppets and have a big emotional confrontation with her ex-boyfriend that unfortunately is less convincing than her big scene with the dog.
Oh, well. There's still Kate Winslet. In a black swimsuit. Who tells us moviegoers all about the pain and misery of unrequited love. (Which is certainly a subject I can identify with.)
Of course, I can't help but wonder about the sanity of any straight British male who can't find it in his heart to love Kate Winslet. But that's a subject for another day.
Labels: Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz, Dick Van Dyke, El Descanso, Eli Wallach, Jack Black, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Museos, Películas Nuevas I, Una Noche en el Museo