February 19, 2012

The Glibness of the Long-Distance 'Road'

I forgot just how smug Stanley Donen's Two for the Road is.

The Albert Finney/Audrey Hepburn vehicle is not one of my favorite films, though I remember appreciating its modish banter back when I originally saw it.

Now, upon seeing it again, I believe I've lost that appreciating feeling.

It's still slick and well-crafted, but it feels artificial, with "witty" (read: grating) repartee that has seemingly been manufactured for the married FinBurn characters. The leads are, as always, reliable, but the film to me is just a shell--the frosting on an old cake.

For wit+soul, I prefer films such as Kind Hearts and Coronets. Or Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious. Or Donen's Singin' in the Rain. Intelligence without self-satisfaction--that usually makes for a good movie.

With apologies to The Hollies, this Road is long...with too many a winding turn.

I should've taken the last exit.

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