Thursday, February 21, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks: Starring Real-Life Couples

For the eighth week of 2019 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We venture into films starring real-life couples. It’s sort of common that actors meet and fall in love during a production and would probably later star in another film whether it would cause scandal or something. There’s always opinions that real-life couples don’t have chemistry when they act and work together but that’s not always true. Here are my three picks for films starring real-life couples:

1. Jamon Jamon

From Bigas Luna comes one of the first films that both Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem did early in their acting careers. Cruz plays a woman who learns she is pregnant but her boyfriend’s mother disapproves of the relationship hiring Bardem to seduce Cruz. Instead, Bardem and Cruz falls for each other where things get complicated as Cruz’s boyfriend is also sleeping with Cruz’s mother and it becomes a mess. It’s a strange film but certainly a must for anyone wanting to see the first of several films that Cruz and Bardem would do together.

2. Love Me If You Dare

From 2003 comes a film that would star one of the most famous acting couples in France in Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard in a romantic comedy about two people who were friends as kids as they bonded together by playing a twisted game of dare that would continue into their adult life. It’s an offbeat comedy that is fun where it is clear that Canet and Cotillard do have this electrifying chemistry although neither were dating at the time despite being friends for years. It wasn’t until 2007 that they became a couple as they would do more films together including three that Canet directed starring Cotillard.

3. Spy

Paul Feig’s spy comedy about a CIA office worker who becomes a field agent to protect a crime boss’ daughter is an enjoyable comedy. Yet, it’s a film that features not one but two real-life couples with the men playing smaller roles. The film is really a vehicle for both Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne while McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone appears in a cameo asking McCarthy if there’s a place that sells fried chicken nearby. Byrne’s real-life partner in Bobby Cannavale also has a small role as a weapons dealer trying to make a deal with Byrne’s character as he’s kind of the main villain in the film. It’s a hilarious comedy that allows the women to take charge while Jason Statham steals the show playing a comedic version of his tough guy persona.

© thevoid99 2019


Brittani Burnham said...

The only one I've seen is Spy. I adored that, I had rock bottom expectations for it and I ended up laughing my ass off.

Becks said...

I have to admit, I haven't seen any of your picks, but they seem rather intriguing!

Often Off Topic said...

I've never heard of Love Me If You Dare but it sounds beautiful, I need to see that!

Dell said...

Didn't realize Bardem and Cruz were together. Now, I really want to see that one. The only one I have seen is Spy, and I love that movie, probably more than I should.

joel65913 said...

I haven't seen the first two, I've been meaning to with the first but the second is new to me. But I love Spy! Silly nonsense that it is Melissa McCarthy just takes the reins of the film and goes for it. Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart and Jason Stratham are all a riot.

I went very specific, married couples in adaptations of Shakespeare comedies:

The Boys from Syracuse (1940)-In the town of Ephesus in ancient Asia Minor two boys from Syracuse, Anthipholus (Allan Jones) and his servant Dromio (Joe Penner), search for their long-lost twins who, for reason of plot confusion, are also named Anthipholus and Dromio. Problems arise when the wife of the Ephesians, Adriana (Irene Hervey) and her servant Luce (Martha Raye), mistake the two strangers for their husbands. Complications and comedy ensue. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. Leads Jones and Hervey were married for over 20 years, their son vocalist Jack Jones is most well-known for singing the theme for The Love Boat.

The Taming of the Shrew (1967)-Wealthy Padua merchant, Baptista (Michael Hordern), has two daughters-the fiery Katherina called Kate (Elizabeth Taylor) and younger sister Bianca (Natasha Pyne). Bianca loves Lucentio (Michael York), and wants to marry but can’t until the thorny Kate does which she shows no inclination to do. On the scene comes the raucous and magnetic Petruchio (Richard Burton) who sees Kate as a challenge and when her father forces them to marry the real combat begins. The infamously battling Burtons are perfectly cast as the warring lead couple.

Much Ado About Nothing (1993)-After a successful campaign against his rebellious brother, Don John (Keanu Reeves), Don Pedro (Denzel Washington) visits the governor of Messina. With him are Benedick (Kenneth Branagh) and Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard). While there, Claudio falls for the governor's daughter, Hero (Kate Beckinsale), while Benedick engages in a war of words with Beatrice (Emma Thompson), the governor's niece. While Don Pedro tries to trick Benedick and Beatrice into falling in love, Don John tries to tear Claudio and Hero apart. Aside from married (at the time) couple Branagh & Thompson and the aforementioned stars the cast also includes Michael Keaton, Imelda Staunton and Emma’s mother Phyllida Law.

The Taming of the Shrew (1929)-Same basic story as the Liz & Dick version above but with substantial cuts (and additional dialogue by Sam Taylor-???? WHY) served as a wrong-headed early sound vehicle for two of the biggest stars of the silent era, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Sr. who had notoriously left they spouses to marry each other (but whose own marriage was foundering by this point) in an echoing of the whole Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie episode of later years. Static and dated with both stars nearing the ends of their careers (Mary made 3 more films, Doug 4 before retirement) Pickford considered it one of her worst performances (she’s right) but Fairbanks, full of brio is suited to Petruchio and emerges okay. Still you’re missing nothing if you give it the skip.

Birgit said...

I have not seen your first 2 picks although I love Cruz and Bardem but the 3rd film I love. It is hilarious with strong female characters and Statham is excellent as the inept spy. Did you watch the Oscars? I am sure you did. I created 10 questions about the Oscars and hope you take a gander. I will post my answers on Tuesday afternoon.

thevoid99 said...

@Brittani-I also had low expectations for Spy as that was a last-minute pick when screenings for Inside Out weren't available. Man, that was a fun film and it saddens me that Jason Statham didn't get a deserving Oscar nod for that role.

@Becks-They're all different films but all offer something different.

@Allie Adkins-Well, it's actually a rom-com but in a very different way.

@Wendell-Well, it was an early film from Cruz and Bardem as that was how they met as they were in an on/off thing but always were great friends but now a much happier couple.

@joel65913-Glad to know you love Spy

@Birgit-I would love for Jason Statham to do more comedies. He was awesome.