Eating my vegetables #3: Bringing Up Baby

I must admit, Howard Hawks’ Bringing Up Baby is far from a “vegetables” film, though I knew this going in. This film is just great fun – fast moving broad comedy the likes of which you don’t come across any longer and which has aged just wonderfully seventy years on. The sort of universal comedy, both physical, situational as well as, I gotta say it, some pretty funny and clever puns, is hard to find these days, especially in such a clean and family friendly form. The screwball comedy certainly is not dead, but it seems to me that it’s current incarnation is found in the gross-out films such as those of the Farrelly brothers (I can draw a direct line from this film to There’s Something About Mary) and other such films that tend to rely so much on dick and poo jokes. Not to say that Hawk’s film avoids using laughs of a lower sort (the entire scene of Carey Grant running around the house in a furry bathrobe is an overt laugh drawn from Grant’s being the epitome of heterosexual masculinity thrown together with a broad stereotype of gay men) but it generally finds it’s humor in the chemistry of the two leads. This film is just a treat the whole way through and, as I mentioned, quite tightly woven and very quickly moving. Can’t say much more for a wonderful comedy classic: it certainly stays in the collection.

Next up, something completely different: Terrence Malick’s Days of HeavenThe Brattle Theatre is showing La Dolce Vita, so this is as good a time as any to catch that, no?

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