Wednesday, February 24, 2010

review: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

This is quite the movie.
I don't mean to be mean sounding, but this movie is about a parent's nightmare. Not about the race aspect - but can you imagine, as a parent, how that must feel? Hello, surprise: I'm home. Guess who this is? My fiance. I've only known him 10 days. We're going to be married in a couple weeks. It doesn't matter what you say, we're in love. I need to have your blessing. Today. Oh, and guess what ... his parents are coming over for dinner. Tonight.
A nightmare.
There is so much in this movie is uncomfortable.
The whole episode at the drive-in just made me mad. Stupid, snotty waitress with her gum chewing. Jerk man in the car overreacting. An unfortunate accident happens, and he has to blow up and make a scene - and above all, disrespect people like that - even after he tried to make amends. And then all of those damn people clapped at him! That just made me sick.
This movie is really good - and, it makes a point. I love that. The whole ending speech by Tracy is powerful.
It's hard to watch this movie knowing that Spencer Tracy died 11 days after the film was over. Especially in that last bit, when he refers to Katherine Hepburn's character. I cried. Just knowing how real life was, and what was to come. So sad.
Everyone in this movie does a good job in acting. Katherine Hepburn won Best Actress for her work, and she deserves it. Tracy is also wonderful, and Poitier is good as well. The only person I don't really care for is a character issue. The daughter drives me mad! She's all sunshine and roses. And she is also quite insensitive to the feelings of others. Which is both a good and a bad thing, as far as character goes. But so much of this is a problem because she makes it a problem. They never explain why she is in such a rush other than: why wait? I also don't like the fact that they never explain why she loves him. She just says she does. At least with the Poitier character, you hear what she means to him. It's not completely the actress's fault - it's just a bad character.
This movie is quite honored. It was nominated for 10 Oscars, winning 2. It is on 3 AFI lists: one being the Top 100 Films, and two specifically for 100 Cheers and 100 Passions. Which, I'm sorry, I think they have that one wrong, unless they are referring to Tracy and Hepburn, who far outshine the love of the young couple in this movie.
As far as what I think: it's on my list of movies everyone should see at least once.
4 out of 5 stars

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