Monday, 6 December 2010

Frank Capra - You can't take it with you

I always shied away from watching IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE because everyone said it was too schmaltzy. So the first Frank Capra film I've ever watched, therefore, is YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU - a warm, fun version of Romeo and Juliet where a non-materialist eccentric family is conjoined with a banking dynasty through the love of their children.

I must say - it's brilliant. I now have a major crush on the sleepy-voiced young James Stewart. The eccentricities of the family are adorable, genuinely subversive and stand the test of time.

The wit and farce in this movie are sublime - maybe not entirely modern, but well-crafted and had me in stitches more times than when I watched DUE DATE - which, to be fair, I also enjoyed.

This movie dragged its heels a bit when Capra felt he needed to say something about the collapse of Wall Street and the Great Depression. The social comment was already there in the comedy premise, and leaving out the bankers' collapse could have knocked at least 15 minutes off a two hour movie that didn't need the padding.

Having said that, at the time of release the bits that felt slow and messy to me would have felt cathartic to the audience. So get hot, Mister Capra - you're a good egg!

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