I haven't made it to as much of Not Necessarily Noir III as I intended, but I did make it to this double feature on Saturday. And, of course, it was great.
SOMETHING WILD I had seen before, but not in about 10 years. A funny, sexy, and ultimately pretty violent romp. "Closet rebel" Jeff Daniels is seduced by Melanie Griffith and taken on a road trip that turns from crazy to strangely quaintly romantic. And it was already a pretty wild ride when Ray Liotta shows up at his crazy psychotic best (with those psychotic eyes!) And, despite some snide comments when the film broke for just a minute, I think the drawn out ending is perfect.
But what interested me the most was Melanie Griffith's character. Before I had seen it and sympathized with Jeff Daniels--how would I react if I was drawn into this crazy world by some hot seductress. But this time I noticed her character arc more. When we first see her, she's reading a biography of Frida Kahlo. She's also dressed in a Louise Brooks wig and calls herself Lulu. Later she's reading book on Winnie Mandela. I'm sure there are other references I missed, but she's absolutely obsessed with strong women. She desperately wants to be one, and despite some mistakes in her past she effectively is one (or pretends to be one. The facade falls at times.) That's why [SPOILER ALERT] when Jeff Daniels rescues her from Ray Liotta she's so angry. She tries to make it about how he lied to her about being married (not that way--she thought he was married but his wife had recently left him.) But really she's upset because being rescued by a man violates he 'I'm a strong, independent woman' fantasy. [END SPOILER.]
Then the second movie was KISS KISS BANG BANG, which I had never seen. It's sort of the perfect pairing with SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS out now. They're both highly meta Hollywood satires in the guise of an action flick. Robert Downey Jr. plays a New York thief Harry Lockhart, who accidentally runs into an audition and nails it. So he's brought out to Hollywood where he's told to take lessons in playing a private eye from "Gay" Perry (Val Kilmer.) But their mundane stakeout turns into something big, Harry runs into his old childhood crush Harmony and tells her he's a private eye. Two cases turn out connected, wacky violence occurs, Harry loses a finger, etc. It's actually pretty funny, if you're a fan of meta-humor. I know a lot of people tire easily of that stuff, and I can understand that. But I still like it.
Total Running Time: 216 minutes
My Total Minutes: 301,588