Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Philadelphia Story - 9 stars out of 10

The Philadelphia Story - 9 stars out of 10

“The Philadelphia Story” is one of the greatest wedding weekend movies ever.  The plot is as spontaneous as Katharine Hepburn’s love, and it would make a great multiple choice question:
Which man will Katharine Hepburn marry?
A. Jimmy Stewart, the reporter covering the wedding
B. Cary Grant, her ex-husband
C. John Howard, her fiancé
D. None of the above

The acting is top notch with an Oscar win for Stewart and nominations for Hepburn and Ruth Hussey.  The quality of the film is further emphasized by its win for Best Adapted Screenplay and nominations for Best Picture and Best Director.  The critics loved it, Hollywood loved it, and you will love it.  The long scenes and simplicity of the sets make it easy to see that this is an adaptation of a stage play, but I think that format works well for this story.  The only problem (and only reason I didn’t give the film a perfect rating) is that it caused the movie to drag on at a few points.  Regardless, the humor is great and Jimmy Stewart gives one of the greatest drunk scenes ever.  The chemistry between characters is fantastic as it revolves from love to hate and back again.  The script is very clever, neatly tying up all loose ends and remaining unpredictable from start to finish.  While I would love to see this on stage, this amazing all-star cast has successfully ruined any future stage production of “The Philadelphia Story.”

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