Saturday, January 13, 2007

McNeil's Movie Korner: Euphoria


Jeff McNeil suggests that every man, woman, and child take the day off on Friday, January 19th, and watch TCM all day long. It is, McNeil has concluded, that cable station's greatest day of programming ever. McNeil himself has considered calling in sick but will most likely set his famous DVR instead, though he fears it may burn down his house from overuse. Things kick off early Friday morning with a McNeil favorite, BUENA SERA, MRS. CAMPBELL. After that, an early Jack Lemmon comedy entitled PHFFFT. Next up, HOW TO SAVE A MARRIAGE AND RUIN YOUR LIFE, already the subject of so much appreciative discussion on the "blog." Then comes the jewel in the day's glorious crown: Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller in BOY, DID I GET A WRONG NUMBER. (Here is the part where I should apologize again for never having mastered "paragraph breaks," because let me tell you, we're just getting started.) McNeil has decided to give the next movie, ONCE MORE WITH FEELING, a shot, because even though the cast (Yul Brynner) doesn't have the authentic McNeil vibe, the plot seems to fit right in. After that comes Cary Grant's final movie, WALK, DON'T RUN. But it's not over yet! According to McNeil, the next film sounds "dreadful in a great way," and it has the truly McNeilian kind of title that we discussed in the most recent McNeil's Movie Korner: DOCTOR, YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING. On into the night they come, a triple feature of Neil Simon, including a movie way up there on the McNeil list: THE ODD COUPLE. After the three Simon movies comes CURSE OF THE DEMON. Yes, the tone has shifted, but it's a fine, effective, cheap Jacques Tourneur movie with lots of atmosphere... and it's followed by Vincent Price in the Roger Corman version of HOUSE OF USHER. You can ask for no better crash course in Movies the McNeil Way than to watch everything from BUENA SERA, MRS. CAMPBELL to THE SUNSHINE BOYS in a single sitting, while on a strict fast. The two films after that are more in the Theresa Starkey mode, but will make for an excellent means of reentry into the so-called real world. Enjoy!