Films: Frank Capra’s “Pocketful of Miracles”

It’s not really a Christmas tradition in the realms of It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle at 34th Street, but it’s one of those nice movies to watch once whenever it happens to be on. Featuring heavy-lidded Bette Davis as Apple Annie, Frank Capra’s Pocketful of Miracles is probably one of my favourite Cinderella stories.

It’s so endearing!

The thing I like so much about this is that it’s not about some chick trying to find a man, but about an old lady who just wants to be the best mum for her daughter. Granted, it all starts with boldfaced lies about how Annie is an elderly dowager with a judge for a husband, but trust Bette Davis to make you understand why she does it.

Glenn Ford is no dead weight either, as the unwilling fairy godfather, Dave the Dude. He and Hope Lange as (Queenie Martin) start out as kind of douches, but later on you see that they’re actually really good people. There’s no crazy twist or M Night Shamalan shit. Shit just gets carried away, as most shit does, and soon there are reporters tied up in secret rooms and a party of fake socialite guests.

But who else do they go through all this trouble for, but the cute little Ann Margret? I’d do anything for that face!

And don’t even get me started on how cute Hope Lange is:

It has a nice consistent humour that is not disgusting, but a little bit more wholesome, as far as funny, crotchety men are concerned. You’ve got stars like the Judge, Hudgins, Joy Boy (who later becomes our good friend with the wonky eye, COLUMBO) and “Joon-ya”.

The whole movie is just about protecting the ones you love, and how surprising it is sometimes when you have a little faith in people. I feel like I have to sum something up here, but to put it simply, I like movies like this. The writing is good, the characters are warm and delightful, and it isn’t a formulaic romantic comedy.

Oh, and I found this as a side note:

According to the Bette Davis biography, ‘Fasten Your Seatbelts’, the actress was furious when she read a Glenn Ford interview in which the actor claimed to have gotten her the part because of the boost she had given him years before in A Stolen Life. Davis is quoted as saying, “Who is that son of a bitch that he should say he helped me have a comeback! That shitheel wouldn’t have helped me out of a sewer!” —via IMDB

Terrible: “Twilight”

It’s all over the internet, and it’s my fault for following RPuttz on Twitter, but I’m developing this strange fascination with how terrible the Twilight franchise really is. I know there are tons of people out there already openly flogging its merits, but I just feel like I need to say it. I’m not a fan of Twilight. Particularly because some people assume I am.

I know, I know, I have a penchant for liking shite things. I can’t help it. I love the Reba series, and I genuinely do. Those Hanson brothers—God love them and their inability to spell properly—but I have an equal amount of appreciation for what they do.

But there is something really off-putting for me about the Twilight series—starting with the fact that it’s a terribly written book. I say fact because, I swear, no person in their right mind would say that this book was well-written in any way, shape or form. Even fans of the book have no qualms in admitting this.

Again, as a person of varied tastes, I tried to read this book. And I consider myself fairly reasonable in my intake of any type of cultural garbage.

I couldn’t finish it.

Not since I read an interview with Avril Lavigne where she proclaimed herself “the next Sid Vicious” was I so turned off by what I had read. And guys, I’ve read my fair share of shit. The Sweet Valley series—yea, I went through that shit like corn chips—SV Kids, SV Twins, SV High, SVU, and even the Goddamn epic novellas about their ancestors aboard the Mayflower. I’ve read books that lonely housewives read, like Judy Garland, Jude Deveroux type garbage.

And sometimes, we can excuse terrible writing for good characters. Those fun ones that might be dumb as blocks but somewhat charming in their own ways.

Twilight read like endless teenage rambling on those fan fiction sites, right around the time in the late 1990s/early 2000s when Buffy was still dating Angel. But in this case, Buffy had no redeeming qualities. Or interesting friends. And it was 2010.

Secondly, the movie, which I have been unfortunate enough to see (my sister had the DVD) was even less impressive. I wanted to give it a chance. Hello. It’s me.

I don’t understand it when non-fans go “Yea, it’s not great, but for what it was, I enjoyed myself.” Not so much for the fact that they saw it despite themselves, but moreso for giving this pile of shit any credit whatsoever. Even Michael Bay’s Transformer movies had special effects to fall back on—at least.

It was boring and everyone was terrible. What is there to like? I don’t understand it.

Again, movies I had suffered through were no comparison to Twilight. Anything with Amanda Bynes (except Lovewrecked—by jove that was another terrible venture); She’s the Man?—Loved it! What A Girl Wants?—Totally saw it just for Colin Firth but that’s beside the point. I would gladly watch Sleepwalkers ten times again before watching Twilight.

Yea, that's right. Clovis the cat had more personality than Bella.

I don’t want to be a hater. Really, I don’t. I think I’m a relatively open-minded person. And all I’m saying is that I’ve tried Twilight, both in book and film format, and you know, some things just don’t work out that way. I didn’t expect anything, which I thought was already a great start (the lowest bar possible), but yea, no. Not for me. Can’t get into it.

I joke about it, but I think it boils down to the fact that I felt no heart go into any of the story. Even if Twilight was all about love and all that garbage, it felt like it was a sad sort of fantasy piece that was more embarrassing than anything. It feels like the type of stuff that contrived sitcoms are built on, where the stories fall flat and the characters don’t quite make it to the audience’s hearts. Nothing happens to make me care, and nobody is interesting enough to convince me to think otherwise. It’s as if everything in the story is based on assumptions, and it doesn’t even try to make up for it by being earnest. It just flies that weird median line of sort-of fiction with no meat or substance to sustain it.