Movie recommendations

by Rocky Mountain Stepmom

I just finally got around to seeing “Date Night” with Steve Carell and Tina Fey. It was really cute, and it moved right along. There wasn’t too much embarrassment humor ( I HATE embarrassment humor) and really, you could watch it with kids over the age of 10 without too much cringing.

I do love a good romcom, and by “good”, I mean not sappy or horrifying or grotesquely embarrassing.

I guess some of my other romcom go-tos include “L.A. Story”, “It Happened One Night”, and “Philadelphia Story”. I think I have “Philadelphia Story” memorized.

What are your movie recommendations? What genres are your go-tos? What
have you seen lately that you recommend?

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171 thoughts on “Movie recommendations

  1. I don’t know if I would specifically recommend this to someone who wasn’t looking for something to watch with children, but we saw Beauty and the Beast recently in the the theater, and I really enjoyed it. They enhanced some plot points, and they also went a little deeper to address questions like

    1) why do the intellectually frustrated and lonely Maurice and Belle remain in this “poor provincial town”?

    2) why does Belle fall in love with the Beast? Is there anything deeper there than the cringeworthy fact that he stopped acting abusively?

    And a few extra songs. Plus Cousin Matthew Crawley as the Beast.

  2. Milo – was Beauty & the Beast scary? I would like to see it (as far as kid movies go), but al of the little people in my house were kind of scared of the Beast when we ate at his castle in DW.

  3. Philadelphia Story – One scene struck me the one involving the wedding gifts. They were mostly sterling silver and they were all displayed on a long table unwrapped. It stuck me as odd that things were done that way back then.

  4. I have only seen kids movies lately – really loved Moana. The music is amazing and fun (and written by the Hamilton guy).

  5. I *loved* Date Night — it’s the first (and last) romcom that DH enjoyed as much as I did. Perhaps because we were basically at that same point in childrearing when it came out. I have never seen him laugh that hard at a romcom before. Or since (all subsequent efforts have been total flops).

    @Milo, I had exactly the same reaction to Beauty and the Beast; I truly never liked that story, because just as you said, the biggest thing you could say in favor of the beast was that he stopped being an abusive bastard. So I guess if your other choice is Gaston (who never stopped being an abusive bastard) well, then, sure. But it didn’t seem much like something to actively wish for, given that most fairy tales aren’t really about the joy of choosing the lesser of two evils. I really, really liked the actual character development in this one, especially for the beast and Gaston.

    I also loved “We’re the Millers” [or “Meet the Millers”??], the Jennifer-Aniston-and-what’s-his-name-and-RV-full-of-pot one. But that is oh so definitely not family-friendly.

  6. Kate – he’s loud and roary in the beginning, and the producers build in some scary’ish suspense to that effect as he stalks the disoriented and wandering Maurice. Put that in the movie theater with loud Dolby 9.1 “Alllll Arrround Youu Youu Youu!” then they may not like it. The wolves are also vicious, and the Beast has a funny but violent flying takedown of one of them when he rescues the fleeing Belle from their attack.

    But I think if you wait for the DVD, they’ll enjoy it.

  7. I thought Manchester by the Sea was incredible. It affected me more than any movie I’ve seen in years.

    Lark, I didn’t get Arrival at all. I didn’t dislike it, but it just kind of baffled me. Perhaps that was the point?

  8. 10:39 is North of Boston. Not sure why I get a different name when I post from my phone.

  9. We saw Beauty and the Beast and liked it pretty well, although I didn’t care for Emma Watson’s singing and thought the new songs were far inferior to the rest. ;) We also saw Ghost in the Shell (DH liked based on his history with the anime; I didn’t, too slow) and Logan (great, but we like violent superhero movies).

    Arrival – meh. I didn’t like it because of the sad ending/beginning – I don’t go to movies to fight tears in the first minute of the movie! – but I did enjoy listening to the music and figuring out how they were using half steps, 7ths, 5ths, etc. to create the programmed mood of the moment.

    For Beauty and the Beast, our 4yo (almost 5) was fine, but she has a really short attention span and paid more attention to the snacks than the movie. :) Also, we were concerned about #2 seeing Rogue One for his birthday (7), but he was totally fine and didn’t mind all the violence and good guys dying.

  10. I really love Sliding Doors (w/Gwenth) and IQ (w/Meg Ryan). Those movies really make me happy.

  11. I thoroughly enjoyed Beauty and the Beast, which is notable because I rarely enjoy movies. But I love the songs and spectacle. Plus I have a strong nostalgic attachment to the cartoon movie because of my kids. It did not hurt that we went to one of those dine-in theaters, which makes even mediocre movies bearable IMO.

    Because of a comment here I have been turning on TMC when sit down in front of the TV. Thus I found and watched almost in its entirety Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt and I liked it a lot. Generally I’m more apt to like old movies instead of recent ones. It’s the same with TV shows.

  12. CoC (and others) – if you like British cops shows and mysteries, you can stream a lot of them (Grantchester, Inspector Lewis, etc.) for free with an Amazon Prime membership. Same with shows like Upstairs/Downstairs.

  13. Arrival was the best adult movie that I’ve seen in awhile. We’ve been watching some classic ones with DS – Holes, Goonies, The Sandlot, etc. We all liked Hidden Figures quite a bit, especially DS although he said he wished they had “less mushy stuff” and more math. I do not see a lot of movies though.

  14. RMS – Have you seen Holiday with Hepburn and Grant? It is a little more poignant than The Philadelphia Story, but really good.

    They are not new but I always recommend the 1985 Persuasion, Lars and the Real Girl, The Secret of Roan Innish, and Inside Man.

    In the not great category but fun to watch: Denzel in The Equalizer and Unstoppable.

    And Rear Window, one of my all time favorites, in case anyone hasn’t seen it! The lit cigarette in the dark always makes me gasp.

  15. Forgot two more, both old and with George Sanders (fabulous in both in a supporting role): Rebecca and All About Eve.

  16. NOB – Manchester by the Sea affected me as well. Similar to Leaving Las Vegas (not in plot terms just how it affected me), I’ll never watch it again but will always remember it.

    I recently saw The Zookeeper’s Wife with my movie club, which was about the invasion of Poland and how the Nazi’s were treating Polish Jews. I hadn’t read the book but those who did said the book was better.

    In December, we saw La La Land, which I thought was good but it didn’t live up to the hype of the best movie ever. By the time the Oscars came around, I think it others agreed.

  17. I have Philadelphia Story on the DVR. It’s next up on my movie watch list after Blazing Saddles.

    One of my favorite movies is Heaven Can Wait, the Beatty version.

  18. RMS – “Go away, Amanda” – +1

    Finn – I love Heaven can Wait, too. Again with the supporting actors, Dyan Cannon and Charles Grodin making it so much fun!

  19. Standby options:

    Blazing Saddles for sure [top 5 all-time favorites for sure; depending on day, it may be #1]
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail
    Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
    His Girl Friday
    Clueless
    Zombieland
    Dogma
    Much of the classic Bill Murray oeuvre — Stripes, Ghostbusters, etc. There is just something about the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man that I will never get over.

    I ended up watching Easy A sort of by accident, and it was surprisingly good — I didn’t know anything about Emma Stone at the time, and the plot was far more nuanced than I expected based on the described plot (of course, that may be because my expectations were so low, too).

    I’m sure there are more. I have a weakness for clever (I enjoyed Arrival because it took me most of the movie to figure out the trick, which is rare), but clever-funny is best, especially of the smart-ass, ironic, or completely absurd variety.

  20. “the little people in my house were kind of scared of the Beast when we ate at his castle in DW.”

    We really enjoyed our dinner at the castle, but the littlest person in our group had just finished 6th grade.

  21. “Because of a comment here I have been turning on TMC when sit down in front of the TV.”

    TCM (Turner Classic Movies, as opposed to The Movie Channel) is also good, especially if you like old-time romcoms.

    “I’m a sucker for Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy movies, Bringing Up Baby being a favorite.”

    TCM fan?

  22. Used to Lurk gave words to my reaction to Manchester by the Sea. Casey Affleck’s performance was technically phenomenal, and much less method-y than Nic Cage’s in Leaving Las Vegas, but the overall effect of the movies was the same. The scene on the street between Affleck and Michelle Williams ranks up there with David Mamet for dialogue, and unlike Mamet one of the participants is a woman.

    Since DH can’t really hear dialogue well enough to go without subtitles, we wait for streaming. I didn’t like the Memento style twist in Arrival, but did enjoy Amy Adams and the glorification of linguistics and the puzzle solving itself. I loved Dr Strange, but I am an Marvel junkie from my college days. I could have used some chemicals to enhance further the appreciation of that one. Looking forward to Logan. Saw John Wick (the first one) recently and really liked it as an action picture – reminiscent of John Woo Hong Kong movies. Rogue One this weekend when DD goes out and we can snag the big TV. I get to see kid movies with the grandkids at their house. I liked Moana, the 3 year old adores Trolls and I think it is cute, I couldn’t stand Sing.

    Philadelphia Story is a top ten for me. The line when Mike says he did not take advantage of Tracy’s inebriated state should be on the wall of every fraternity in America.

    You were extremely attractive, and as for distant and forbidding, on the contrary. But you also were a little the worse – or the better – for wine, and there are rules about that.

  23. I loved Rogue One. I still need to see Fantastic Beasts, Arrival, La La Land, Hidden Figures and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

    I also want to see The Accountant, because, how many times does my profession get a movie?

  24. RMS – YES. Hate Amanda. I really liked Inspector Lewis (Hathaway – yum!) but Grantchester has a little too much self-destructive behavior for me.

    I also forgot, Meme, we saw John Wick II and liked it, especially for a sequel. We like all the action-violence-superhero movies, even Suicide Squad. I also can’t wait for Furious 8 to come out. :D

    DH doesn’t like old movies, but when my parents visit I like to put on one of the classics like His Girl Friday etc. I showed the kids Monkey Business (Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe) which I thought was *hilarious* when I was about 10, but they were not impressed.

  25. Philadelphia Story is a favorite here too! And I agree with Mene re: Mike’s quote. I plan on teaching that to my sons.

    We also love IQ. We always talk about Operation Red Cabbage a lot.

    This house watches a lot of movies. I can’t define go-to or favorite movies because it really depends on genre. We watch the Uninvited (1940-something version) for a good ghost story, Down Periscope or Ghostbusters for inane comedy, Fool’s Gold or IQ for rom com, and any Katharine Hepburn for good movie. Desk Set is a favorite of her’s.

    I’m glad Moana is getting good reviews. We were going to buy it to add to the Disney collection.

  26. “I also want to see The Accountant, because, how many times does my profession get a movie?”

    It’s awful. And worse, the accounting is bad. ;) I mean, I guess it was semi-enjoyable, but the plot does not make sense or hold up at the end when the “twists” are revealed.

  27. Accountant could have been so much better. But I just watched it for Ben Affleck really. Still haven’t seen John Wick 2. I may have to just rent it online. Our house also likes superhero movies, but for some reason, DH is not into wolverine, so we havent watched Logan yet. I love to watch the mission impossible series. Was watching Blade yesterday, which we enjoyed again.

  28. that is as shame about the accountant, but I’m sure it will be worth one viewing for Ben Affleck

    the KY CPA society rented a movie theater for a showing of it, sounded so fun but couldn’t make it that night

  29. I love super hero movies. My favorites tend to be sci-fi, comedy and drama.

    The movies I get the most excited about are books I’ve read being turned into movies, but when they change to much they piss me off

  30. we are streaming 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, anyone else watching it or read the book? about a high school girl’s suicide

  31. we are streaming 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, anyone else watching it or read the book? about a high school girl’s suicide

    That’s just the kind of thing I would never, ever watch.

  32. RMS, it is really good. The book of course made me cry. I read it a couple years ago so I’m not able to remember every detail the show changes.

    It is about how your actions and words matter, and can snowball until Hannah didn’t see another option. I think it is important for teens to think about. Part of me also thinks these stories glamorize suicide though.

    But, at the end of the day, the awareness is needed for teens, parents and teachers.

  33. As for comedies, I think my favorite of all time has to be This Is Spinal Tap.

  34. One of my favorite comedies is The Burbs with Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher. I watched it shortly after she passed away, it had been way too long since the last time

  35. There were no typos in Lark’s post, but I still read “Arrival on a Plane” and was trying to remember anything about that movie.

  36. I love Inspector Lewis, Grantchester, and Endeavor (a young Inspector Morse). And I agree that Amanda needs to go. I love British tv shows. On Netflix right now there are episodes of “Escape to the Countryside” (I think that is the name). It’s sort of like a House Hunters showing 3 houses in the countryside but the people never buy one and the show also highlights some local custom. It is complete house porn.

    We rarely go to movies and when we search for movies on Netflix and Prime and never find anything interesting. I appreciate the recommendations.

  37. you all might have discussed on a day I wasn’t around, but I really enjoyed the netflix show The OA

  38. Finn, I meant TCM channel NOT TMC. You may have been the one who mentioned it here, but thank you to whoever did!

  39. Wine – I started watching 13 Reasons Why. It kinda reminds me of My So Called Life, which was excellent. I just started it, though, and no Jordan Catalano, which is a shame.

  40. tcmama – Endeavor is my favorite of that genre. And ITA with everyone’s views on Amanda.

    Wine – Ben Affleck, really? Never been my cup of tea.

  41. I love Ben Affleck! Except that he was terrible to Jennifer Garner (who seems like a totally normal person). The Accountant wasn’t very good, though.

  42. What was the movie where Ben Affleck was dating a lesbian but didn’t know it at first. Yuck. Yeah, for some reason just not a fan. I liked him in Argo though.

  43. @tcmama — wait, they never buy one? So what’s the point? That’s like . . . well, never mind.

    Speaking of house porn, I like “Live Here, Buy This” on Travel Channel. Premise is some Canadian family wants to escape high prices and cold winters, so they identify two homes in each of three “dream” locations, and then the couple picks which one they’d move to. Of course, it’s completely ridiculous, because the reason you can afford that $850K 3Br/2Ba you are currently in is because you are in Toronto, where the ridiculous RE prices are offset by high salaries; so if you’re 38 and tired of the rat race, don’t expect to move to the Dominican and buy an $850K house on your local salary. Personally, I’d love a variant of the show that says, ok, you have a net worth of $1.4MM, so given the cost of living in your chosen localities and the 4% rule, you can afford to buy this $350K home here, that $250K home there, or this lovely studio apartment over here + supplement your income with a part-time job.

    But, yeah, way too wonky, and not nearly the fantasy.

  44. Not political, but related to last night’s air strikes, this is an older video of how a cruise missile launch looks and sounds from the deck of a destroyer.

    The target package is programmed elsewhere and downloaded prior to launch. The people on the ship may not necessarily know or care where the missiles are specifically headed. They’re just a delivery platform. It’s an interesting arrangement, and ripe for philosophical musings.

  45. Kate – yes.

    BTW Kate – I saw your post earlier this week on how you think feminists don’t like/approve your choice to be a SAHM. That is not my view of feminism at all. If you and your spouse decided that you would SAH, and it wasn’t simply the default societal expectation that you would do so, I think that is a valid choice that should be respected. My concern arises when I hear the husband (and I’m basing this on a real life conversation with a co-worker) say “of course” his wife stayed home with the kids. A lot of judgment in those two little words.

    I also get annoyed with my SAHM friends who say things like “I decided not to work so I could be the mom” (again, real life example). Well I work outside the home AND am the mom.

    (Sorry if I’m banging on about things we’ve rehashed before, but your post the other day took me by surprise.)

  46. Yeah, I like TCM a lot. A lot of great old movies (and some not so old movies), without interruptions.

    Every few weeks or so I go through their schedule and program the DVR to record whatever movies look good. I’ll record and watch just about anything with Cyd Charisse, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, or Eleanor Powell.

  47. Kerri – Not to worry. I am ok with the judgment! Feminism is about giving women = power to men. Sitting home on my duff eating bon bons doesn’t really advance that goal. Most days I don’t much care, as my life is pretty nice and I am comfortable with my choices.

  48. There is not a damn thing wrong about butt-sitting and bonbon-eating, as long as the right to do so is not exclusively reserved to women. :-) And I’m totally with Kerri on the judgment thing.

  49. With all the old movie shout-outs, I’m surprised no one before me mentioned The Lady Eve.

  50. We’ve watched just the first episode of Grantchester. So, I guess Amanda does not improve, huh?

  51. I posted on the gender thread this morning:

    a true feminist respects that any choice with regards to a mom choosing to work outside the home or be SAHM or a dad choosing to work outside the home versus be SAHD is a valid choice

    also, my DH is a SAHD and my BIL is a SAHD

  52. I was trying to think what I’ve seen recently, and realized it’s all been live shows, so I’m no use for this. I think the last movie-in-theater I saw was Fantastic Beasts! We’ve been watching some tv shows, though. We’re enjoying White Rabbit Project on Netflix.

  53. There are certain movies that I can watch over, and over such as the Sound of Music, When Harry Met Sally, Rudy, The Godfather, Shawshank, Pretty Woman, Working Girl, A Few Good Men, Apollo 13.

    We haven’t been to the movies since Feb, but I did like Lion, Hidden Figures and Fences. I sort of liked La La Land, but I didn’t love it. We do watch a lot of musicals because DD loves Hairspray, Grease, Mama Mia and a few others. She will watch some of the musicals over, and over because she doesn’t get bored.

    I want to see Beauty and the Beast, but I am struggling to find the time to get to the theatre.

    I just finished watching Big Little Lies on HBO. I think it is like watching a 7 hour movie, and I really thought the performances were great. Nicole Kidman and Reese Weathersoon were excellent, but many of the actors gave wonderful performances. I loved the music and I just thought it was really well done.

  54. “We’ve watched just the first episode of Grantchester. So, I guess Amanda does not improve, huh?”

    Safe to say consensus is no.

  55. “There are certain movies that I can watch over, and over”

    Yeah, a lot of the stuff I record and watch from TCM falls into that category.

    With which movies have you gotten to the point of saying the lines along with the actors?

  56. LfB – the buyers say wHicham house they liked best and say something like they’ll arrange a second showing. Most of the houses are super old and have layouts and kitchens and bathrooms that American buyers on House Hunters would say “hell no”. It is our current show when we want to zone out and watch something mindless.

    The talk about old movies reminded me of something I forgot about. As a preteen I was obsessed with classic movies and would watch AMC all the time when everyone else my age watched MTV. I was super cool. I even paid my own money to subscribe to the AMC magazine which basically told stories and gossip about movie stars from the 30s-50s. And I read a bunch of biographies about the actors – Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Ginger Rogers. I watched all the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire movies. I was obsessed with Gone with the Wind. Funny I haven’t thought about my old movie obsession in a long time.

    Lauren – I could watch a lot of those movies over and over again. I also love Love Actually, Good Will Hunting, and You’ve Got Mail. DH and I went to movies a lot late 90s/early 2000s but the last time I saw a movie in the theater not kid related was Sherlock at Christmas in 2009.

  57. I also get annoyed with my SAHM friends who say things like “I decided not to work so I could be the mom” (again, real life example). Well I work outside the home AND am the mom.

    My favorite comments are the ones like “my wife is staying home because we don’t want to have our kids raised by strangers.” So does that mean you’re not raising your kids because you’re still working?

  58. A few months ago i was being “interviewed” by DD’s class and they asked me what was my favorite movie. I answered Good Will Hunting, which only drew blank stares. DH said Goonies and the class cheered. You’ve Got Mail is a good one, as is Sleepless in Seattle. Unfortunately those didn’t age well.

    I recently introduced the kids to Hook. They love it and have been requesting at every weekend.

  59. So my housekeeper and my Au Pair are in some kind of more that they would like to drag me into the middle of. The short version is that the housekeeper doesn’t clean the au Pair room, and views her as also “the help” The Au pair is lazy and not as good as a Latina child care provider. My tote bag problem of the day is that this makes for like 15 good Facebook updates. However, you cannot complain about your housekeeper and Au Pair fighting on Facebook unless you want to look like the worst human being in the world.

  60. Tcmama, I watch Love Actually and You’ve Got Mail all of the time. I tried to get DD to watch You’ve Got Mail with me because it reminds me so much of the time period when I met my husband. I had a dial up AOL account, and he couldn’t reach me by phone if I was using AOL because we didn’t have cell phones yet.

  61. Meme, that is a great line and I agree should be on the wall of every frat and every dorm room. Make and female. Will tell college DS.

    Because we are Down Under, the Aussie movies “The Dish” and “The Castle” come to mind. The Dish is based on a true story of the role of the satellite dish in the tiny town of Parkes during the Apollo 11 mission. A rare adult movie that can also be enjoyed with kids of any age. My boys loved it and we watched it multiple times on family movie night. The Castle has some bad language in some scenes (one involving a malfunctioning copy machine) but the hero is a lawyer and the story has a happy ending. Then-unknown Eric Bana has a small part.

    L, as a choral music person you should check out The Choir, a lovely French movie about well, a choir. I got the boys to watch by promising them that we could turn it off after 30 minutes if they didn’t like it. Even with subtitles, it was a hit.

    Waking Ned Devine is another good one to watch with kids.

  62. I can watch the Bourne movies anytime, anywhere. The real ones with Matt Damon, not that other fake one without him. If I see them on cable when flipping, I always get hooked. Same with the Taken movies. They aren’t high art, but they are entertaining as hell.

    I feel like it has been forever since I saw a really great comedy.

  63. Milo, how low do the Tomahawks fly? How many can a destroyer carry. Last night there were 57 or 59 launched. Would they have come from one ship?

  64. DS enjoyed Searching for Bobby Fisher because he is really into chess & the kids are in his age group. He rolled his eyes at the awful “chess dad” parents.

  65. With which movies have you gotten to the point of saying the lines along with the actors?
    Philadelphia Story, Airplane!, Casablanca, To Have and Have Not (“what are you trying to do, guess her weight?”), The Big Sleep, The Band Wagon. There are more, I’ll remember them later. Oh, the very first Star Wars.

  66. Ada, http://www.techrepublic.com/article/when-to-step-in-if-employees-are-fighting/ if that helps.

    If you do get dragged into it, I suppose the party line could be you expect the housekeeper to clean the house, which includes all bedrooms (provided that bedroom residents are doing their part by keeping tidy), and you expect the au pair to keep the children out of the housekeeper’s hair while she does it. Squabbles about status and personal characteristics seem like they’d be seriously nothing you want to hear about or comment on.

    I’m so full of advice on this problem I have no experience with! ;->

  67. I don’t watch many movies but we just watched “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” and the boys loved it. They might be close to ready for “October Sky.” For chick flicks, I like “The Cutting Edge” and “Contact” with Jodie Foster. Thanks for all the comments and ideas for future family movie nights.

  68. For romantic comedies we love Notting Hill. We constantly say “I’ve always been a bit of an ass.” I also loved Clueless and You’ve got Mail – that one makes NYC look so great!

  69. Also, Ada- your housekeeper is right! I’ve never had an Au pair but it would be crazy for the housekeeper to clean the nanny’s room.

  70. I’m so full of advice on this problem I have no experience with! ;->

    But you’ve seen Downton Abbey, and maybe Upstairs Downstairs, and you’ve read lots of Victorian and Edwardian novels about how hard it is to get and keep good help. Oh, and you’ve probably read about Virginia Woolf’s fistfights with her maid.

  71. Louise, didn’t you say that back home when you were growing up, your mother had to adjudicate fights among the staff quite frequently?

  72. @Hm – oh! I don’t really want to solve it. Au Pair doesn’t understand that her concerns are moot as she has the shorter tenure. The real problem is that I can’t document the hilarious antics in the war of the Mexican Matron and the Entitled German Millennial.

  73. “Philadelphia Story, Airplane!, Casablanca, To Have and Have Not (“what are you trying to do, guess her weight?”), The Big Sleep, The Band Wagon.”

    How about The Maltese Falcon?

    I have The Band Wagon on the DVR. Sometimes if I have just a few minutes, I’ll just watch the Dancing in the Dark sequence.

    For those of you who don’t have in on your DVRs:

  74. The banter in The Big Sleep is one of the best things about it, along with the Dorothy Malone scene.

  75. For those who haven’t seen the Philadelphia Story, here is the dialogue Meme is referring to:
    (Mike [Jimmy Stewart] and Tracy [Katharine Hepburn] are facing down Tracy’s ex [Cary Grant] and her fiance [John Howard] and Mike’s sometime girlfriend, Liz [Ruth Hussey], after a drunken midnight swim that looks “very rooty-tooty”, to quote Tracy’s little sister. Tracy doesn’t remember anything, but Mike does, and he is defending her. The following is edited for brevity.)

    Mike: I deposited Tracy on her bed in her room… and returned down here to you two, which doubtless you’ll remember.

    Tracy: Why? Was I so distant, so forbidding or something?

    Mike: You were extremely attractive, and as for distant and forbidding… on the contrary, but you also were a little the worse… or better… for wine, and there are rules about that.

    Tracy: Thank you, Mike. I think men are wonderful.

    Liz: The little dears.

    Honestly, after multiple viewings, I just wait for Ruth Hussey’s bone-dry delivery of “The little dears”.

  76. RMS – if both were worth keeping my mother would praise each one, tell them how wonderful they were and tell each to ignore the other’s sniping.
    If it got to be too much, my mother would decide whom to fire. She would lean on the side of the cook/housekeeper and get a new nanny.

    Movies – there was one romantic movie that Milo recommend, I saw it, liked it but can’t recall the name.

  77. I give up. Go to youtube and search for The Philadelphia Story (9/10) Movie CLIP – The Whole Affair (1940) HD

  78. The real problem is that I can’t document the hilarious antics in the war of the Mexican Matron and the Entitled German Millennial.

    You can always share them here. We’ll file them with the “L’Abbey” stuff.

  79. How about The Maltese Falcon?

    Oh, for sure.

    And the banter in the Big Sleep better be good, because the plot is incomprehensible. There’s a funny story about Howard Hawks calling Raymond Chandler because they couldn’t make sense of part of the plot, and Chandler not being able to figure it out either.

  80. The Lady Eve is also a good one for banter. Oh, and The Awful Truth, of course. Theodora Goes Wild is good that way too as I recall.

  81. HM: yes yes! The Lady Eve is awesome.

    And if you like this stuff, you MUST watch Palm Beach Story. LOOOOVE Palm Beach Story.

    “Gerry Jeffers: I might marry again and I might not. Maybe I’ll become an adventuress.
    Tom Jeffers: I can just see you on a 26 foot boat.
    Gerry Jeffers: You’re thinking of an adventurer, an adventuress never travels on anything less than a 300 foot long yacht with an 80 man crew.”

    “Wienie King: Cold are the hands of time that creep along relentlessly, destroying slowly but without pity that which yesterday was young. Alone our memories resist this disintegration and grow more lovely with the passing years. Heh! That’s hard to say with false teeth!”

  82. “Wienie King: I’m the Wienie King! Invented the Texas Wienie! Lay off ’em, you’ll live longer.”

  83. Yeah, it seems like every time I really watch The Big Sleep, I figure out something about the plot. Given my tendencies to take everything at face value, there’s a lot of figuring to do with that movie, which makes it interesting to watch over and over.

  84. WCE, I’ve never watched it all the way through. And I haven’t noticed it on the TCM schedule in a while.

  85. DH likes “Daddy Long Legs”, but I think the age difference between Astaire and Caron is creepy. And it doesn’t get less creepy just because the characters occasionally say “But that’s such a huge age difference!”

  86. You’re sending me to Google, PTM. My memory is not that good.

    Cruise altitude is supposedly 50-100 feet (avoid radar detection).

    A Burke destroyer has 90 vertical launch cells. If that is, indeed, what they used, then it could have come from a single ship.

  87. Ah, yes, Finn, one of the “take off your glasses and let down your hair” and you’re beautiful!

  88. Have you seen “Kiss Me Deadly”? Give it a try! Turns out you can avoid the effects of a nuclear explosion by diving 3 feet underwater. Good to know! And it has the first answering machine!

  89. Brooklyn is a delightful movie, and acceptable for kids. My husband typically dislikes relationship movies but he watched this with me twice.

    Secondhand Lions is a great movie with kids. I love Robert Duvall.

    Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is apparently coming out soon. The first was a movie I saw with my kids that I really liked. Great soundtrack, too

  90. Milo, I knew they flew low, but I didn’t know that low! Thanks for the information. Can they be fired from subs?

  91. Finn (and really anyone) – if your travels take you to Princeton, NJ for college looking or any other reason, I recommend Teresa Caffe for dinner and Halo Pub just down the block for ice cream and coffee. Did just that tonight. Excellent all around.

  92. Based on recommendations here, we watched IQ tonight. DH’s review was, “Amusing, but terrible.” I thought it was cute.

  93. HM, thanks! That was my favorite for years. Last time I watched it, it was in little sections on youtube, with German subtitles that my kid and I read. I’ve watched the original more than any other movie.

  94. Ada, this is the Au Pair from a non-Latin American country, because you were afraid the housekeeper would look down on her otherwise? Ain’t life grand?

    Kate, yep, pretty horrid. How many hits has that disaster porn gotten by now?

  95. Anon, I got 6. I listed all the possible pairs and then narrowed down based on which pairs had a unique number (e.g. if your number was 18 you’d know the other person had 1 because only one pair had an 18 in it). This was definitely a pen-and-paper one for me!

  96. I was the anon. I got 3 and 6, but maybe I got the order wrong (which person was the loser). First person has a 3, thinks other person can have a 5 or 6. Second person has a 6, thinks other person can have a 2 or 3. First person realized second can’t have a five (or would have known that their number was unique). First person has a 3, second has a 6 and 6 is the loser.

    I was very close!

  97. The Lady Eve is on TCM soon. I was scanning the other day and noted it. Barbara stanwyck is also in two of my favorite B movies. Ball of Fire, a screwball comedy with Gary Cooper and a plot involving mobsters and encyclopedia editors. Double indemnity is the quintessential film noir, co-starring Fred MacMurray.

  98. PSA – and non medical advice. If you have an intorelerance (not allergy) to dairy and bread/baked goods as well as some other foods look into Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I.B.S. symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, nusuea and vomiting.
    These symptoms may be worse in the mornings. Stress, caffeine and alcohol also aggravate these symptoms. It is a manageable but ongoing condition.
    I thought I’d mention it because regular posters seem to be tweaking their gluten, lactose intakes via specific diets when it is quite possible they have this condition.

  99. Ok, I have to say one more thing about this in-home staff situation- I know people don’t like to talk about their staff situations because it seems – i don’t know- to blow our image of ourselves as middle class? However, keep in mind this is these people’s job/profession/ livelihood/what they have to do every day. We as their employer should be mindful of creating a good work environment, fair pay and CLEAR job descriptions. Also we should provide constructive criticism and not allow fellow employees to harass and belittle each other. Imagine there was a guy at your office who said you should be making coffee for him because of your status- and your boss thought it was amusing….

    I’ve had a lot of staff, the horror stories I hear about how seemingly nice people handle them are crazy! We only had two full time nannies- each lasted 9+ years with us, moving with us, etc, because they were so happy with us. They are each still part of our sons’ lives.

  100. Mafalda +1. I learned a great deal from my mom, who was a single parent and worked full time during my childhood, about how to treat a domestic worker. In my day and region she did not live in and was called a maid and did everything. This served us both in good stead when in late life she needed help of the most intimate kind from another generation of workers. Even though she was one of the least well off residents at her fancy assisted living, she received some of the best care. I can only hope my children havery absorbed the same lessons.

  101. And a good accountant movie is Midnight Run. The accountant is the good guy.

    The Shawshank Redemption is the best accountant movie.

  102. I cannot believe I forgot Spinal Tap. And thanks for the Waking Ned Devine reminder – definitely one I think kids will enjoy. Also Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

    I can watch Mamma Mia over and over. Same with Ironman and the first Avengers movie. Ironman and Thor: ’nuff said.

  103. Lauren, I’ve just been reading more about the Wade quadruplets. They are from maybe 15 miles away from where the guy discussed on here recently who has made his name for growing up in Appalachia and still being a human being grew up. They seem to have found more in that area than he did. They are a great musician, an intern in bio medicine who shadowed doctors at local hospitals, recipient of a state dept grant to study Arabic in Morocco, and a track and field star.

  104. Do the Minnesota people have an opinion on St. Olaf College? I know a young person who will go there. I’d never heard of it but it looks decent.

  105. Jumping in late (was at a conference the last few days).
    I saw Beauty and the Beast with 2 of my kids 2 weeks ago. I did not care for it at all and neither did my son (the middle kid), but my daughter liked it it well enough. I found it bland and corporate, kind of punch in the numbers. Lots of eye candy but no soul. Part of the problem was that we had watched Cocteau’s classic version from the 40’s 2 nights earlier. That is an almost diametric opposite – dark and brooding instead of cute and perky, gorgeously black and white instead of eye popping color, and completely reflecting an artist’s vision rather than a corporate brand. And thankfully, no poppy songs.

    So my big movie recommendation: La Belle and le Bete, Jean Cocteau, 1946
    http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-beauty-and-the-beast-1946

  106. St Olaf is a prestigious small liberal arts college, nationally known, similar to places like Bowdoin, Wesleyan, Trinity. Also a topnotch hockey team

  107. First college tour down. Went to SUNY Albany, which we consider to be a safety. Did the stock 2 hour tour, led by a perky Homeland Security major. Hit all the standards – the entrepreneur lab, the fountain where supposedly everyone hangs out although I did not see a soul, the financial lab with the giant stock ticker (yeah, we have one too, and our campus tour stops there too), the dorm cafeteria, a lecture hall, etc. Similar to SUNY Purchase, the whole thing is laid out on a giant raised platform, with a covered walkway going around the entire thing and aforementioned fountain in the middle. The dorms are 4 20 story towers at each corner of the rectangle. There is also a tall clocktower in the center of the campus. My son said it looked like a 1960’s modernist take on a castle. The campus was clearly built about the same time as that Empire State Plaza in Albany, where our lovely state government resides.
    It was also clear from the line of Trailways buses at the entrance, with students with overnight bags getting on, that this is a school where everyone goes home on weekends (we were there on a Friday afternoon). The school where I got my PhD was similar, with the same line of buses on Friday afternoons.
    We also met with the program director for computer science. They have a computer science and applied math program that looks promising – all the computer science plus extra math, allowing the students to take courses in advanced topics like machine intelligence. The CS department is in temporary digs which I did not like since the building was way off the central podium. But as I said, this is a safety

  108. The other really fun movie I have seen recently: Lego Batman. I wish all superhero movies were so great. Completely infectious silliness.

  109. I know that he might not end up at Albany since it is a safety, but many of my friends went there and they didn’t come home on the weekends. I do think that A LOT of kids are going home this weekend because it is Passover. We have cousins that recently graduated from Binghamton and Albany. Many of the SUNYs close for Passover, so this is essentially a four day weekend for every student that attends Albany. I am not surprised that you might get the impression that kids go home on the weekends, but I don’t think that is as common as you might think on a two day weekend,

  110. My favorite stag statue would have to be the one that stood at the Hirschhof in Berlin in a back courtyard that was a gathering point for “alternatives” and opposition before and after the wall fell. I don’t think it’s there anymore, but for a while I had some friends who had been in the opposition in the GDR, and I went to a few good reggae concerts there. http://www.tagesspiegel.de/images/heprodimagesfotos86220150718hauswald1-jpg/12075156/3-format6001.jpg

  111. RMS – that review made me laugh !
    I would come away hungry because although there are plenty of courses the portions are a single bite, if that.
    My favorite line….

    “A main of pigeon is requested medium, but served so pink it just might fly again given a few volts.”

  112. St Olaf is a solid LAC. It’s a beautiful campus & great connections if one wants to stay in Minnesota. Known for the music programs. It is on the liberal end of Protestant. I’m surprised MM says it has national renown because that is not my experience in the corporate world (but it is a feeder to lots of good grad schools). InMyDay, the hockey team was terrible, as were all the other sports!

  113. Well, I don’t live in the northern midwest, and I don’t keep up with small private schools in general –
    lots of small schools are mentioned on this list that I have never heard of – but I have definitely heard of St Olaf.

  114. I echo everything Ivy said about St. Olaf – great LAC, excellent music programs, and very strong alumni/name recognition in Twin Cities. I think it has better name recognition in MN than the other college in town.

    Pretty much everyone I know who went there really liked it.

    Ivy – the New York Times had an article about St. Olaf’s hockey coach this winter. He used to coach at Wisconsin.

  115. St. Olaf hovered into my radar screen a few years ago because they used to offer generous merit aid. I haven’t checked lately if they still do.

  116. Okay, thanks for the information. I am now impressed with St. Olaf.

  117. On financial stresses, private schools, and mortgages:

    Mr. Murphy made several million dollars a year at Paulson, a person close to the matter said. His compensation had been rising in recent years, though the firm performed poorly of late.

    People around Mr. Murphy told him he needn’t worry about money, but he worried nonetheless. Mr. Murphy had a $12 million mortgage on his Upper East Side home, according to public records. Two of his youngest children attended private schools; two more from his first marriage were in college.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/wall-street-made-charles-murphy-successful-and-rich-but-happiness-eluded-him-1491764063

  118. @Rocky — Ditto the other comments on St. Olaf; especially known for its music program. The town is so idyllic for a college town it almost qualifies as its own stereotype. But winter is like 6 months long, and it’s not as lovely as CO winter, so you need to be ready for that.

  119. But winter is like 6 months long, and it’s not as lovely as CO winter, so you need to be ready for that.

    Fortunately I’m not the one going, but I think most kids who change states for school have a major adjustment ahead of them regarding weather. I learned about North Carolina summers. My high school friends learned about Ann Arbor and Ithaca and so on. Part of the process.

  120. Depression is an evil disease, Milo. One of DH’s long-time friends at the firm took his own life last month. Simply awful.

  121. @Rocky — True, but if you deal with SAD etc., it can be a big adjustment. For me, it wasn’t just the cold, it was the unrelenting never-endingness of it, which can breed claustrophobia, and when you combine that with the pressures of pending finals etc., March can really suck (and lead to lots of escapist behavior of the self-destructive kind). The saving grace for me was the brilliant clear days, even though those were also the ones that seemed to approach absolute zero, because at least you could go outside and see sun.

  122. Milo – I read that article. The first thing that struck me was that house and the mortgage. They made that decision when they returned from London.
    Then everything else just piles on the lifestyle, schools, cars….

  123. Rocky – It struck me that the WSJ was quick to jump on “financial troubles” as a cause, when the issue seemed deeper.

  124. Louise – That’s also true. If his net worth was in the “10s of millions” range, and his house was around $40M, that could be tight.

  125. Milo – we discussed this over the past couple of posts, the pressure to keep performing at your job to meet those expenses is immense. You can’t have a bad stretch, slow down or retire.

  126. RMS – did you stay in NC during the summer ? Did you not back home ?

    This was graduate school, so often I taught summer school to make enough money to eat and pay rent. I’d usually go home for a few weeks.

  127. St. Olaf has J-term, and I don’t think students have to take a class every year. It’s a popular time to go on a short study abroad program or have a longer break away from the winters.

    DH suffers from SAD. Every year I sort of forget and want to kill him by the end of March because he’s so grumpy. The sun has been out more the last week, and he is doing much better. I should buy one of those sun lamps or something to help him or book a trip somewhere sunny for March.

  128. Fun little article about money management in the WWI era, taken from the book Betsy’s Wedding, part of the Betsy-Tacy series (which isn’t remotely like Nancy Drew, Laura, jeez. It’s more like the Little House series; it’s a fictionalized account of Maud Hart Lovelace’s childhood and young adulthood in Mankato, MN.) As Honolulu may remember, I have a family connection to Maud Hart Lovelace. ANYway, I am now moved to re-read Betsy’s Wedding.

    https://thebillfold.com/what-childrens-literature-teaches-us-about-money-maud-hart-lovelace-s-betsy-s-wedding-83504e428fd8

  129. @tcmama – I can’t believe I never saw that article! Thanks for pointing it out.

    I didn’t mind the winter so much because everyone just hunkers down and bundles up. Plus, as tcmama says, a lot of people chose to do special classes for J-term, sometimes in combo with other schools. To stay busy there are lots of winter-centric intramurals like broomball, boot hockey, etc. And always sledding down the hill with trays stolen from the cafeteria. That said, when the sun is out, and the wind is whipping, the trek to the library/class/dining hall can be pretty brutal! But that’s also why you see people wearing shorts when it finally hits 40. LfB is right though that March is when it really hits – when it is STILL cold and the snow STILL hasn’t melted.

  130. Mafalda – so basically completely avoid the Jeff Lewis (Fipping Out fame) approach to managing staff? Then again, he does pay for their therapy sessions.
    =)

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