Apr 15, 2014
As promised, here’s the transcript from our recent Facebook Movie Advisory Day conversation with MPR’s Movie Maven and Cube Critic (and all-around movie genius) Stephanie Curtis! (Please note that we’ve removed our patrons' names since the Internet is a bit less private than Facebook.)
On to the recap (complete with convenient links to our catalog)!
Lights, camera, ACTION! Love movies? Looking for your next favorite movie? Join us RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW with the fabulous Stephanie Curtis. Comment on this thread with your favorite film or genre and Stephanie will use her excellent movie knowledge to hook you up!
Ramsey County Library (RCL): Stephanie, while we get ready for the requests to come in--what's your favorite recent movie?
Stephanie Curtis: It's a slow time of year for movies, but what will no doubt be one of my favorites of 2014 is Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson. It's a film that you see and immediately want to see again.
RCL: And it's opening Friday at the Heights Theater!
RCL Patron: Do you have any recommendations for British comedy? I've recently been hooked on comedy shows by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, but haven't yet found a movie of the same style!
Stephanie Curtis: A couple I like from the 80s and 90s that I've found people haven't seen are Hear My Song, A Private Function, and Princess Caraboo. And if you haven't seen it, The Full Monty really is funny.
RCL: Here's a couple more: the Simon Pegg/Edgar Wright films: Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead. TV series: The original The Office series and the IT Crowd (starring Chris O'Dowd).
RCL: For more British comedy, check out the Alec Guinness festival at the Trylon. So many Ealing comedies!
RCL Patron: I love the IT Crowd! Thanks for the recommendations!
Stephanie Curtis: My favorite of the Edgar Wright films is the one from last year: The World's End. Also, I liked the TV show The Book Group.
RCL: The Book Group is genius, and The Librarians is hilarious (on Hulu)--but maybe a little library-specific?
Stephanie Curtis: I haven't seen The Librarians! I need to check that out.
RCL Patron: Oh, goodness! The Librarians is HILARIOUS!! I don't know why more people don't know about it! It's an Australian show. I think it is especially funny for people that have worked in a library before.
RCL Patron: Any suggestions for good rom coms for couples that aren't too girly? We both enjoyed About Time and I love Love Actually.
Stephanie Curtis: I love this question. I am going to recommend my favorite romantic comedy of all time, I Know Where I'm Going. It doesn't have a bland, any-dude-who-looks-good kind of hero. Great script. Great flawed heroine.
Stephanie Curtis: Return to Me. Terrible sounding set up: A woman gets a heart transplant and then meets the man whose dead wife was her donor. But it works. Mainly because it is actually funny and has a great supporting cast.
Stephanie Curtis: Have you seen The Lady Eve? A classic romantic comedy that is more comedy than romance. Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck.
Stephanie Curtis: And Silver Linings Playbook!
RCL: The library owns I Know Where I'm Going! Also recommended from some male colleagues: 500 Days of Summer and Enough Said.
RCL: Ramsey County Library We absolutely second The Lady Eve and a couple of similar charming old films: The More the Merrier, My Man Godfrey and Bringing Up Baby.
Stephanie Curtis: Another one I thought of: Adventureland. It stars Kristen Stewart of Twilight, but don't let that turn you off.
RCL: Another older one: What's Up Doc. Also, possibly not a rom com, but a wonderful and unique film: Good Bye, Lenin!
Stephanie Curtis: What's Up Doc is a great screwball comedy. Streisand at her best.
RCL Patron: Thanks! We've seen a few of these and I'm really looking forward to checking out the rest! Great ideas!
RCL: Ooh, here's another rom com for guys: Fever Pitch! It's got sports!
RCL: Stephanie, it's the 30th anniversary of The Breakfast Club right now. What are your favorite teen movies these days?
Stephanie Curtis: I am soooo the wrong age group for this question. The Breakfast Club was of my generation. But still, the lure of Katniss is strong. I, like a lot of adults, read The Hunger Games and really liked the books. Especially the first two. I thought that the movies have translated well. I've also think there have been strong more realistic films about teens in the past few years. The Perks of Being a WallFlower and The Spectacular Now should both be seen.
RCL: What's the verdict on Divergent? Thumbs up or down?
Stephanie Curtis: I thought the movie was OK. I didn't read the book so I don't know where it's going. I feel like after I see the next 2-3 movies that the first will have been worth it. It wasted a little too much time on dull action scenes. The leads are really good though!
RCL: Theo James. Next big thing?
Stephanie Curtis: Could be. I didn't have the same feeling that I had when I saw Emma Stone in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past or James McAvoy in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I left both those movies wondering "who the heck was that?!" He was good at blending sensitive and ass-kicking. Much better than poor, poor Peeta in The Hunger Games.
RCL: I'd say a recent one for me is Rebecca Hall in The Awakening (a great recent ghost story movie). Good for you on your Emma Stone spotting!
RCL: BTW, I love the idea of a movie list with sensitive but ass-kicking heroes.
Stephanie Curtis: Apropos of nothing, here are the best movies (in my opinion) that were never nominated for Best Picture:
1. The General – Buster Keaton’s comic and action masterpiece from 1927. A man pursues his kidnapped love during the Civil War.
2. Palm Beach Story - The great screwball comedy from Preston Sturges starring Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea. A woman decides to divorce her husband and marry a millionaire. In 1942, the Academy decided it needed to highlight patriotic films like the eventual winner, Mrs. Miniver.
3. Brief Encounter – Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson star in David Lean’s sob-inducing story of a love that can never be.
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey – How, how did this go without a nomination? How, how did Oliver win the statuette?
5. Mulholland Drive – David Lynch’s masterpiece of being lost in Hollywood.
RCL: It's NEVER apropos of nothing. Also, for movie lovers who also love the Oscars, The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards by Steve Pond. SO dishy and fun.
RCL: Hello! It's still Facebook Movie Advisory Day with the amazing Stephanie Curtis! Comment right here on this (NEW!) thread and Stephanie will use her excellent movie knowledge to hook you up!
RCL Patron: Can you recommend some titles for someone who likes Christopher Nolan's movies? Thanks.
RCL: What do you think, Stephanie Curtis?
Stephanie Curtis: Moon! A mind-bender of science fiction film that, like Nolan films, makes you wonder about what makes us human.
RCL: Good answer! Do you think Darren Aronofsky is a good fit?
Stephanie Curtis: Altered States! A crazy William Hurt film from the early eighties about the dangers of scientific discovery.
RCL: Both this and Moon are owned by RCL ...
Stephanie Curtis: Oooooo...also Existenz, a low budget and smart Canadian sci-fi movie from the 00s.
Stephanie Curtis: Not Noah! It's visionary in parts but inconsistent.
RCL: How's Rusty Crowe as Noah?
Stephanie Curtis: One note.
RCL: Oh well. He can't always be Gladiator!
RCL Patron: Great suggestions. Thanks!
RCL: Stephanie Curtis, are there any really good superhero movies?
Stephanie Curtis: Spider-Man...the first with McGuire. Superman! X-Men. The X-Men reboot.
RCL: Which Superman???
Stephanie Curtis: And by Superman, I mean Christopher Reeves. The Dark Knight trilogy was a masterpiece.
RCL: Whew! Man of Steel, yikes.
Stephanie Curtis: How could I forget? Blade! Blade is a great superhero movie.
RCL: Just the first? How about #3?
Stephanie Curtis: You know, I wasn't a fan of the sequels. They got a little too enamored of their own success.
RCL: Not an uncommon thing ...
RCL: Favorite Harold Ramis movie?
Stephanie Curtis: Groundhog Day is a masterpiece. Not just one of my favorite Ramis films; one of my favorite films of all time.
Stephanie Curtis: I also love Meatballs, which he helped write.
RCL: Caddyshack's not too bad either!
RCL: Thanks everyone for tuning into our movie chat! Join us again soon for Facebook Advisory Day! Our very grateful thanks to Stephanie Curtis for taking the time to lend her awesome movie knowledge!