My Favorite Color

I remember seeing this and laughing out loud:

Ditto. I wish I knew the origins of my fatal attraction towards redheads. Was it first-grade crush Judy Hickman, who wouldn’t let me kiss her all the way through fifth grade, when I left the school, my longing forever unrequited? Or was it flame-haired teacher Miss Cooke, who set my boyish heart aflutter every time she came to school with her gorgeous red tresses flowing down over her shoulders instead of being tied up in the normal stern bun?

I have no idea. Nor do I wish to examine it in too close a detail now, because I’m old and it’s too late. So here are a few who have caught me over the years:

…and to prove my point:

And just in case you’re think I’m stuck in the past — an altogether fair observation in most cases — here are a couple of youngins:

Priceless, every single one of them. Feel free to add your favorite gingers in Comments.

Dramatis personae, from the top:

Amy Adams
Kate Walsh
Julianne Moore
Jill St. John
Ann-Margret (again, because Ann-Margret)
Karen Gillan (who turned the TV show Doctor Who into Doctor Who?)
Nicola Roberts (of the pop band Girls Aloud)

Sophisticated Comedy

Reader Harry F. writes:

“In your rant about horrible modern movies, you mention the ‘sophisticated comedies’ of Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder. Can you suggest some for me to watch? (I want recommendations because if they’re that good, I’d rather buy the DVD, but if I’m going to buy them, I don’t want to risk getting a dud.)”

Okay… no pressure there. Before I go any further, though I’d like to set some parameters first.

In the traditional sense, “comedy” is not just that scenario which which makes you laugh out loud (although, of course, it can). Mostly, comedy involves situations that are not thrilling or dangerous, or even life-threatening. The best example of comedy writing, by the way, is that of the various P.G. Wodehouse stories, which place its characters into situations that seem ridiculous to the reader, but which are taken very seriously by the characters themselves — which is part of the comedy.

If you think of comedy as amusing, therefore, then most of what follows will make more sense.

But while I’m going there, let’s broaden the scope of movie comedy to beyond Lubitsch and Wilder, and include others just as good or better. I’m going to confine myself mostly to the b&w movies, because nowadays everybody seems to have their favorite color movie comedies*, and the oldies need to get their due. (Note that I’m leaving out comedies like those of the Marx Brothers and Chaplin, because everybody knows about them and in any case, their comedy is often too broad for my taste. I’m also going to leave out the better-known comedies of the era like the Astaire/Rogers movies, because everyone knows them — and if you don’t, this would be the time to remedy that shameful omission).

If you want a better idea of my suggested movies’ plots, look them up on Wikipedia or IMDB. Here goes.

The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941) starring Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck — quite possibly the greatest comedy ever filmed. I cannot count how many times I’ve watched this movie, and every time I get the same enjoyment that I did from the very first viewing.

If you get your hands on no others of my recommendations, get this one.

Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932) starring Kay Francis and Miriam Hopkins — each of the ladies has impeccable comic timing and the pre-Hays Office repartee is wonderfully saucy.

Love In The Afternoon (Billy Wilder, 1957) starring Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn — the ending had to be rewritten because the Hays Office thought the original was immoral. ‘Nuff said.

And it’s much better than Wilder’s most famous comedy, Some Like It Hot.

A Royal Scandal (Ernst Lubitsch, 1945) starring Tallulah Bankhead and Anne Baxter — Catherine The Great’s love life, as portrayed by Tallulah. Word is that the best scenes involved Ms. Bankhead’s improv of the dialogue, the language bluer than the Pacific Ocean. Had it been filmed in 1932, it would have fitted in with today’s movies. Because it was filmed in 1945, though, the improvised dialogue was all cut out. Still funny, though, because Lubitsch.

Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (Ernst Lubitsch, 1935) starring Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert — serial marriages, divorce, alimony and mistaken identity, oh my. How I love this movie.

Bachelor Mother (Garson Kanin, 1939) starring Ginger Rogers and David Niven — Ginger in a non-dancing role, and Niven at his not-so imperturbable best. Viewed in contemporary terms, the plot is ridiculous; back then, it was very serious — which is why it gets the comedy treatment.

All these are just the ones which come to mind first; I’ll post more later as I think of them.

And next weekend there’s going to be a spinoff from this post, brought to mind by some of the pictures.

*Blazing Saddles is not a comedy, it’s a farce — in so many ways.

5 Worst Things To Say Or Hear At The Altar On Your Wedding Day

Ranked in order of awfulness:

  • “I thought you had the ring.”
  • “I take thee ummm… what’s your name again?”
  • “What do you mean, you filed for bankruptcy yesterday?”
  • “My mother’s joining us on the honeymoon.”
  • “Honey? I think you forgot your Maxi-Pad…”

and a bonus (from Doc Russia):

  • “I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

You suggestions in Comments…

Knight To Queen 4 Play

Seeing as we’re already on the topic (see next post below), you just have to know you’re in for a few laughs when an article begins with these words:

“The point of this article is to shamelessly up your orgasm quota..”

Race quotas, gender quotas, LGBTOSTFU quotas, and now orgasm quotas. Do we need any of these anymore?

Anyway, those are the seven things that Tracey Cox [sic] suggests “will guarantee an orgasm EVERY time”.

I am not an expert on these matters, but I have to tell you that in my somewhat checkered experience, a couple of them will guarantee not an orgasm but raucous laughter or the services of an osteopath. What’s needed in those cases are a good strong pulley setup and an ostrich feather, maybe two.

I will concede, however, that one of her suggestions is a 100% slam-dunk, every single time.

(And no, I’m not going to tell you which one. You can find it for yourself, just like I had to.)

Jump Start

Apparently it’s quite easy to restore a woman’s libido:

Zaps to the ankle may boost a woman’s libido more than foreplay: sending electrical signals from the foot to the base of the spine can cause arouse in less than 30 minutes

Knowing that my Loyal Readers are often of a DIY disposition, however, I would caution y’all before you try this on your girlfriends / wives / FWBs with your own equipment, such as this:

…or this:

The effect on yer beloved may be a little more, ummm extreme than you may have been expecting.

Don’t ask me how I know this.

For my Lady Readers:  don’t even go there.

And a final thought: 30 minutes? If you can’t get yer old lady started with 30 minutes of traditional foreplay, you either need to update your technique or else check her pulse.