Wise: Happy New Year, Werth!
Werth: Any fun plans for New Year’s Eve?
Wise: I’m coming to your house to watch your favorite New Year’s movie.
Werth: I know! I just love hearing you say it.
Wise: Between the curry-rubbed baked brie and the copious amounts of mid-level champagne, what will we be watching?
Werth: Well, Wise, you are really in for a treat, because my favorite New Year’s Eve movie is 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure.
Wise: You mean the re-make?
Wise: Sounds like a dud way to start 1973.
Werth: Indeed. But as the Academy Award®-winning theme song says, “There’s got to be a morning after.” The rest of the film follows a small group of survivors as they struggle to climb to the bottom (now the top) of the ship to escape certain death by drowning and or/fiery explosions. Based on the exciting Paul Gallico book of the same name, Allen really makes some fun design and special-effects choices. When young Robin Shelby (played with borderline annoying juvenile pluck by Eric Shea) goes to the men’s room and stares hopelessly at the ceiling where the toilets hang with their lids open, we get a real sense of the pickle these people are in.
Wise: Please don’t ever use the words “pickle” and “men’s room” in the same sentence again.
Wise: Please tell me Shelley lives.
Wise: Sounds like the perfect way to start 2011.
Werth: I mean, as long as you’re not trapped in a capsized luxury liner, you’re doing better than these folks, right? So if after the stroke of midnight we’re still sober enough, what would be your pick for a follow-up New Year’s flick?
Werth: I love that movie. Tell the New Year’s connection!
Wise: A small but pivotal scene takes place on New Year’s Eve, but the majority of the film feels autumnal. Julianne Moore plays the apotheosis of the 50s housewife struggling with the dawning knowledge that her seemingly ideal, ad executive husband, played by Dennis Quaid, is actually gay.
Werth: That makes him more ideal in my book.
Werth: It’s so dramatic!
Werth: Elmer is my favorite of the Bernsteins.
Wise: I should also mention how great Patricia Clarkson is as the neighbor and best friend and the fantastic Celia Weston as a pernicious gossip. Even the child actors seem perfectly cast, screeching and stilted and interchangeable with the onscreen children of Lana Turner and Jane Wyman.
Werth: Is there anything not to like about this movie?
Wise: Not really. It’s kind of a perfect film.
Werth: Amen. So, dear readers, from both of us here at Film Gab, may your 2011 be as perfect as The Poseidon Adventure and Far From Heaven—
Wise: Minus the drowning and the heartbreak.
Werth & Wise: Happy New Year!