Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Caught a part of this 1958 flick the other night:"Houseboat" isn't a very good movie - it's too long, it's not very well written, and especially in that it has all the usual lame Hollywood tropes on display: the handsome-but-aging male lead as the love- and lust-object of the young and beautiful female lead (and Cary phones it in, as if he's mildly embarrased at his pursuit of a woman likely to be his long-lost eldest daughter); the horrendous moppets whose every rotten trick is excused as the result of being "troubled"; the confusion of "loud and stupid" with "funny". But it does have one thing going for it:Sophia Loren was beautiful in ways that I see in a very, very few of the actresses active today. Of course, she was that unusual in her day. When you stand her next to a 21st century ingenue her combination of physical grace with that heavy, languid sensuousness that we seem to have abandoned for...a complete lack of body fat?...makes her seem like a rich meal alongside a slice of Melba toast. Throw in that fierce intelligence and her earthy sensibility...there were, and are, very few actresses like Sophia.