Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks - All in the Family Edition: Twins

Written as part of the blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. You should join us. We don't bite! Just pick three films that fit the week's theme and tell us about them. It really couldn't be easier... well, maybe not this week...

For this month's All In The Family edition of Thursday Movie Picks, the Wanderer has asked us to come up with three movies focusing on twins. Twins.

Twins?

Couldn't this have been around April Fool's Day so I could just choose three Olsen twin films and call it a day? Because this one is REALLY difficult. But never fear! For when I have a task in front of me, I simply must complete it. And complete this week's task I did!

The Parent Trap (Nancy Meyers, 1998) Oh, Lindsay. Where did it all go wrong? You started off so promisingly here, believably adopting a British accent and speaking in French and acting so winningly and natural that it was easy to imagine the star you would one day become. But unfortunately you succumbed to every single one of the "child star gone bad" clichés. Please just talk with Drew Barrymore and figure out how to get out of this funk and get your mojo back! Because sure Natasha Richardson and Dennis Quaid are lovely as your parents in this, but it's really your tiny little shoulders on which the film rests, and despite the film being too long you carry it as ably as Hayley Mills did the original. And that's no mean feat!

3 Women (Robert Altman, 1977) Okay, so this film isn't really ABOUT the twins, but they are very important supporting characters. "We don't like the twins," says Shelley Duvall's immortal Millie (née Mildred) Lammoreaux. And then Sissy Spacek's Pinky (née Mildred) Rose wonders what it must be like to be a twin, and even tries it on for size for a bit, walking in perfect step with them (in my Best Shot for the film). And then later, after hitting her head, Pinky starts to take on Millie's identity, and things get kind of weird. Three Women is an utterly unique film, one of the best of the 70s.

Adaptation. (Spike Jonze, 2002) Say what you will about Nicolas Cage, but the man is an Oscar winner for a reason, and he is damn inspired here as actual real-life writer Charlie Kaufman, tasked with adapting Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep)'s book The Orchid Thief into a film, and his fictional brother Donald, whom Charlie calls for help when he realizes the book simply can't be turned into any kind of conventional film. And if that sounds too crazy-meta for you, consider this: the film's screenplay is credited to Charlie and David Kaufman, mirroring the film, and both the HFPA and AMPAS nominated both Charlie and Donald Kaufman for "their" screenplay for this film, despite the fact that Donald Kaufman is a fictional character. This may be the most kookily inspired both Cage and Kaufman have ever been. And Meryl Streep, for that matter.

BONUS PICK:
Original Star Wars Trilogy (1977-1983) Luke and Leia are twins. LUKE AND LEIA ARE TWINS. This is the greatest twincest that never was. And that's all I have to say about that.

17 comments:

  1. Even though I don't love the movie, I like it well enough but once was enough for me, the inclusion of 3 Women is a brilliant choice.

    I prefer the Hayley Mills Parent Trap to this one but you're right about Lohan's promise and the dissipation of it and this is still a good film. Love that they brought back Joanna Barnes from the original!

    Star Wars! Of course! It never even crossed my mind, I'm not a big sci-fi guy but you can't go wrong with this one.

    I can't even begin to say how much I hate, hated Adaptation but it's a good choice for the theme.

    This was a tough one to narrow down, so many choices-I was originally going to do all classic actresses good twin/evil twin with A Stolen Life (Bette Davis), Dead Ringer (the Bette Davis one not the Jeremy Irons Dead Ringers) and The Dark Mirror (Olivia de Havilland) but decided to go a bit more varied and came up with these three:

    Big Business (1988)-Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin play two sets of twins, one born into wealth the other to a poor farm family in a town the moneyed couple are passing through. Complications set in when one of each of the pairs are unknowingly switched at birth. Years later things come to a head when they all converge on the Plaza Hotel at the same time. Silly bit of fluff that rests almost entirely on the talents of its two leading ladies but they do a great job of making each twin a distinct personality.

    The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)-French musical co-starring real life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Francoise Dorleac as twin sisters Delphine and Solange who live in the small town of Rochefort but dream about traveling to Paris and finding romance. A singing and dance duo, Gene Kelly and George Chakiris blow into town and they find they don't have to leave home to find love. Charming and light as the air. Sadly Francoise Dorleac was killed in a car crash before this opened.

    Among the Living (1941)-Sharp, hard to categorize film has noirish tendencies as well as elements of old style horror with Albert Dekker excellent in the dual roles of very different twin brothers. An insane young man breaks free and creates havoc in a small town for which his identical twin, who thinks he died years before, is being blamed and pursued. Also in the cast are Susan Hayward on her way up and the ill-fated Frances Farmer most definitely on the downward slide. This was her second to last picture before descending into a decades long hell of mental illness and involuntary confinement.

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    1. I also love that Joanna's character's name is the same as the character she played in the original.

      I essentially feel the same about 3 Women. Once is enough for me, despite how fascinating it is and how flat-out amazing Shelley Duvall is in it.

      It kills me that Bette Davis didn't do a third twin movie. I have to see both A Stolen Life and Dead Ringer. LOVE Les Demoiselles de Rochefort. Want to see Big Business since I love both Bette and Lily. Among the Living sounds good, too.

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  2. OMG I didn't even think of Star Wars. I would've picked that. Damn it.

    lol

    Adaptation is getting a lot of love today. Nice picks!

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    1. If I was feeling more cheeky I would have made my list each of the original three Star Wars films lol.

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  3. Oh well, Donald Kaufman I forgot about him at all; he's fantastic and even cowrote Adaptation.
    I love your picks!

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    1. Thanks! Adaptation is so brilliant and I love that they continued the whole "Donald Kaufman" thing into real life.

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  4. Oh and by the way Dan thanks for NOT picking three Olsen twins movies! I don't think I could have handled that this early in the morning. :-)

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    1. Joel, you are most welcome. In truth I've never seen a single Olsen twins movie, so I could only have done it as a joke. A cruel, cruel joke. :-)

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  5. I have not seen 2 of these films either and 3 Women sounds quite interesting and unique. I have so many films I still need to see like Adaptation. I still enjoy the original Parent Trap better but this one was good. Too bad lindsay lohan is such a train wreck

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    1. 3 Women is a trip. As is Adaptation, although it's much more comic.

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  6. OMG! All three of your pics are AMAZING...and I LOVE that you mention the twincest!!!!

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    1. It's amazing how one little line two films later immediately makes half of the first movie totally cringe-worthy.

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  7. Adaptation is getting lots of love today. I still need to see that!

    Twincest, lol!

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    1. Um, yes you do. Because it is BRILLIANT.

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  8. 3 Women is coming up on my Blind Spot. Really can't wait. One of the few Altman films I haven't seen. Adaptation is boss! The Lindsay Lohan Parent Trap is a movie that I assure you I will never see unless I have a daughter one day.

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    1. And I assure you, the Lohan Parent Trap is thoroughly enjoyable (as these things go). If Lindsay annoys, there's always Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson as the parents who are always watchable.

      OOOOOOOOH so excited for you getting to watch 3 Women for the first time!

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  9. Haven't heard of 3 Women before...sounds interesting.
    Have seen Adaptation, unfortunately I found it boring.

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