Sunday, February 3, 2013

26. Bringing Up Baby

1938; dir. Howard Hawks; starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn
My views: 11

The first time my mom got this from the library, towards the beginning of my classic-movie-watching career, she said, "I don't really like this movie, but you might."  Then I watched it, and I thought it was one of the most hilarious films I'd ever seen.  Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn are to this day my favorite actor and actress, and Bringing Up Baby was a major contributing factor.  I couldn't help but admire the way they managed to emanate class and style while chasing leopards, knocking over dinosaur skeletons, and finding themselves in other completely ridiculous situations.  I can't tell you exactly when my crush on Cary Grant began, but it could very well have been while I was watching this film.  I also really wanted to be Katharine Hepburn's character, and not just because she ends up with Cary Grant (sorry for the spoiler, but I think it's kind of implied).  She's so ridiculous and silly and obnoxious, and yet, she's so confident and lovely and, for lack of a better term, so Katharine Hepburn, that even a stuffy scientist can't help but love her for it.  Unlike most kids, when I was in middle school I wanted to stand out.  I loved that I was into movies most of my peers had never heard of.  And I think this is part of the reason why I was so drawn to this movie: I wanted to be weird and slightly annoying and have someone love me anyway.

As I'm sure I've mentioned, I do a lot of movie-watching with my mom, so the fact that she doesn't like this film makes it surprising that I've seen it enough to blog about it.  But fortunately for me, I could always count on my brother to watch this with me.  He and I both really appreciate screwball comedy, and this is an example of the genre at its finest.  For years (mostly 2003-2005) when we weren't watching this movie, we were reciting it.  My brother was pretty young at the time, but I remember him doing a hilarious Mrs. Carlton Random impression: "Constable, if you continue to annoy me about this girl who is no responsibility of mine, I'll have you arrested!"  The rest of our family thought this movie was stupid, but we appreciated its humor, and probably drove them all crazy talking and laughing about it constantly.

And then, our obsession with this movie ended.  Part of it was that my brother decided he didn't like old movies anymore and refused to watch anything in black and white for a long time, mostly to annoy me (it worked).  I think since then he's relented a bit, but it's still not the same as it was before.  Another part of it is after a while this film does get a little annoying, so I decided I needed a break from it.  But I see now that the last time I saw this movie was in October of 2008, so I think it's just about time to end that break and give this movie another chance.  After all, I can always use more Cary and Kate in my life.

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