Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"Are you packing?" "Yes, dear, I'm putting away this liquor."

After the Thin Man -- Yep, I'm still officially an official Nick & Nora fan. While there didn't seem to be as much boozing as in the first one, the couple seemed to have gotten a lot more adorable. I thought that the murder mystery this time was more interesting as well. Also, a very young Jimmy Stewart was involved! Asta the dog had a little more screen time, with puppies (aww!) and a cheating wife. Again, I thought his scenes were going to be overly cloying, but once more he proved me wrong! I seriously want a dog just like him.

We get to see Nick and Nora's different backgrounds. Nick's friends are all newsmen, paperboys, prizefighters, pickpockets, and the usual rough fare that comes from being a former flatfoot. Nora's family is rich and haughty, mainly consisting of old stodgy biddies who tell her how sorry they are that she's married to Nick -- right in front of him. That was pretty harsh!

Nick and Nora sleeping in separate beds somehow adds to their adorability. There's a scene where Nora can't sleep, so she turns on the light and lays on her side facing him. "I like to watch you sleep," she says. "You're so cute. Do you have any pictures of you when you were a baby?" "No," he mumbles, trying to get some shuteye, "but you can take one in the morning." And then she talks about scrambled eggs, and he gets up and offers to make some for her but she says no, never mind. So he gets back into bed and she's all, "But you are a better cook than I am." Eventually, at the end of this scene, he gets up to cook her some eggs because she's basically just so darn cute. I'm explaining it really badly, but the whole thing just kinda tickled me. (Plus, I realize now that this scene totally sets up the movie's ending.)

This is not a nitpick, just a curious observation: why...why did the detective from the San Francisco police department have this really grating Chicago-ish accent? Did all Chicago/New York detectives get transferred to San Francisco during the 1930s and '40s? Because I haven't seen a detective movie set anywhere other than Chicago or New York where the lead detective didn't have an accent.

Speaking of accents, this is a nitpick: the Lychee club owner, Dancer, was in the beginning derided for being a "kraut," at least I think he was, and then at the end, he suddenly gained an Irish accent. Either I didn't notice it at first because it was bad, or I noticed it because it got worse. In any case, I had to pause the movie and say aloud, "Wait, when did he become Irish?!" It didn't really matter, it just threw me.

Oh, and for once, I didn't really mind the way the Asian characters were portrayed. One of them even spoke in perfect American English. Go figure!

The gag in which the butler says "Walk this way" and the guest imitates his funny walk occurs in this movie. And for all this time, I thought Mel Brooks invented it.

Overall a really fun film! Another Thin Man, coming up next.

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