I made an executive decision not to do something, and suddenly I am feeling far more sanguine about life.
I watched Twentieth Century
with my sister today. It was surprisingly cynical: you keep waiting for some softer emotion to emerge from the flinty surface, for the male protagonist to reveal some redeeming feature, for the heroine to betray some willing complicity in her subjugation. But no! John Barrymore is exquisitely awful, but he's somewhat hard to stomach in the movie's first half, when Carole Lombard is still playing a trembling innocent. (Things go down easier in the second half, which reveals her to be just as theatrical and egomaniacal as he.) Given Howard Hawks' other screwball features -- Bringing Up Baby
, His Girl Friday
, and Ball of Fire
-- Twentieth Century
is unusually unflinching
. On a second viewing, I may find it refreshing. ( Regency Buck, Whose Body?, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets )