Monday, July 16, 2007

Romancing while stoned

Scenes we'd like to see department

Since July is fast turning out to be movie month on 2x3x7, I figured I'd keep the ball rolling by throwing in a post about remakes of five romantic classics that I'd like to see:

1. The Snows of Manhattan

Scene opens with Isaac Davis, divorced 40-something Manhattan dweller, making his breathless way downtown in order to stop his high school sweetheart, Tracy (not his sweetheart from high school, you understand, his sweetheart who's currently in high school) from leaving for England. He arrives at her apartment just as Tracy is leaving for the airport, escorted by her grandfather. Isaac realizes that all this while he's been banging Hemingway's granddaughter. Hemingway realizes that a bespectacled little git has been banging his underage grandchild, and reaches for his combination harpoon-cum-elephant gun. Isaac manages to lose Hemingway in the subway system by pretending to take the N train when he's really taking the Q (a move he's perfected through years of playing competitive Scrabble) but Hemingway eventually manages to track Isaac back to his apartment, mostly because it's the only bachelor apartment on the Upper East Side with a split-level living room and four bedrooms, each one the size of Grand Central. Isaac makes a desperate run for the savage wilderness of Elizabeth, New Jersey, but Hemingway gets a hook into him as he's crossing the turnpike and proceeds to reel him in in an epic forty-five minute struggle that leaves Hemingway, as well as his readers, with aching arms and bloodshot eyes. Hemingway then tries to take Isaac's corpse home to frame above his mantelpiece, but on the way the body is nibbled away as tips by cab drivers, so that by the time the old man gets home he has nothing to show for his pains but Isaac's spectacles.

2. Before Midnight

A remake of Before Sunrise starring Julie Delpy as Cinderella and Ethan Hawke as Rat-turned-Coachman. Cinderella is on her way to the ball to meet Prince Charming when The Rat points out that once they get there he doesn't have, like, any plans or anything, and will just be goofing about being human, etc. so maybe the two of them could, you know, hang out together, because well, at some point in history they must all have been part of one soul, see, but now...At this point Cinderella (thankfully) shuts him up by saying yes, after which the two of them spend two supremely blissful hours wandering about Fairy Tale City, where none of the other two-dimensional cartoons notice them, because they fit in so well. Through a series of long rambling conversations about death, relationships, and (in his more poetic moments) cheese, they discover that they are made for each other, since she's an insecure neurotic pretending to be a romantic while he pretends to be a cynic but is secretly a rodent. As midnight approaches Cinderella gets all mournful, thinking that she'll never see Rat again, but he promises to stay in touch provided she gets rid of the cat and stops putting down traps. Eventually, they have sex, mostly because as Rat points out, his chances of ever getting any girlie action once he's gone back to being a scabby rodent are nil, and because the way he nibbles at her ear makes Cinderella swoon (though it could be just her complexion - it's hard to tell in the moonlight). Afterwards, he recites Auden, taking care to skip over the odd stanza or two, while she tries to retrace their steps to the carriage by looking for the crumbs they scattered on the way there, until she realizes she's in the wrong fairy tale. Finally, the happy pair promises to meet in ten years or whenever the director manages to raise enough money for a sequel, whichever comes first, after which he vanishes with a squeal while she walks home thinking about how much fun the ugly sisters are going to make of her.

3. Gone with the Surge

Remake of Gone with the Wind where the South wins the war. The black people's struggle for life, liberty and the right not to talk in phony accents is ruthlessly crushed. Ashley becomes a nationally acclaimed war hero and eventually goes on to become President, with Melanie as gracious First Lady and Rhett Butler as a cynical Vice President who answers all allegations about alleged leaks by his aides and missing WMDs with the line "Frankly my dear Senate Commission, I don't give a damn!". Scarlett ends up with the loser she married before the war, but is rescued by Rhett, who has been impressed by her singular courage in shooting six Democrat volunteers when they came to Tara with a petition for gay men's right to have abortions. Rhett takes Scarlett's husband out on a hunting expedition and accidentally blows his head off with a shotgun. Rhett and Scarlett get married and have a good life together, until one day Rhett buys their daughter a pony despite Scarlett's protests, and the girl, in trying to jump her horse over a fence, turns lesbian. The grief of this drives the couple to drink and Rhett eventually leaves to go invade a faraway desert country while Scarlett returns to Tara where she is seen jumping up and down on her father's grave, cursing Melanie for having made it to the White House with Ashley (oh Ashley!).

4. A Taxi Fare to Remember

Nickie Ferrante (Cary Grant) and Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) meet on a Transatlantic cruise and fall in love. Arriving in New York they agree to meet six months from the day at the Empire State Building if they still feel the same way about each other. Nickie spends every day of those six months going to the Empire State Building in the evenings and staring dreamily up at it. Terry, on the other hand, has a terrible accident at her hairdresser's the next day and spends the entire time trying to get her hair back to that impossible shade of red. When they finally meet, she tells him that she's not in love with him anymore, while keeping her hair entirely covered. Nickie is heartbroken, but eventually realizes that something is wrong and manages to trick Terry out of her burkah, at which point the whole terrible secret is revealed. Nickie assures Terry that he loves her anyway, and doesn't mind that she's now a blond, but breaks up with her when he realizes she wants him to move to Boston, which he refuses to do because in the six months he's been waiting he's secretly fallen in love with the Empire State Building and can't bear to leave Manhattan [1].

5. When Harry Sallied Through The Met

Remake of When Harry Met Sally set in an alternate universe where every New Year's Day 10% of the population is randomly reassigned to different life situations, their memory of their previous lives completely obliterated by a special brain scanning device brought down to earth by aliens who bear a striking resemblance to Jim Carrey. Movie approaches grand finale. Harry gatecrashes party and makes big speech: "I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees outside, I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a skim milk latte and then you have to go back to the counter because you forgot to ask for decaf, I love that when you crinkle up your nose to tell me that I'm nuts I can totally see your nose hair sticking out and it makes me feel so well-groomed...and it's not because it's New Year's Eve and it's not because it's in the script and they're paying me money to say it, though actually, it is, and it's not because this is my last shot at being taken seriously as a romantic lead before I end up starring in City Slickers two years from now. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." Sally looks at him all teary-eyed and says "Oh, Harry!". Band strikes up tune to Auld Lang Syne. Then just as they're about to kiss *poof!* Harry disappears and is replaced by his fellow Oscar host, who then enters into an hour long debate about whether it is ever possible for a woman to be just friends with another woman when one of the women in question is Ellen DeGeneres.

[1] Alt take: Remake of Affair to Remember starring James Gandolfini as Nickie and Paris Hilton as Tracy. Nickie and Tracy meet on a transatlantic cruise in the summer of 2001 and fall in love when Tracy sees Nickie whack his gracious, eighty year old grandmother. The two have wild sex on the boat and put copies of it on the Internet, then decide to meet six months later at the top of the World Trade Center, if they still feel the same way about each other. Movie ends with shot of Tracy (Ms. Hilton) crying because she can't figure out how to get to the WTC and everyone she asks just glares at her.


Anonymous said...

my absolutely normal day is ruined.

Mo said...

Oh you are evil!

rs said...

as usual the footnote is the best

kbpm said...

hats off.
footnote.. is way too good.

??! said...

oh much applause.
much, much applause.

oLi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Black Mamba said...

fun! Gone with the Surge would have made such a good movie - not much fun in reality, as we can see. Much like Wag the Dog - can't really laugh, depresses one.

Isaac's spectacles - very nice. They are as iconic as Magritte's bowler hats for sure :)

PS: had to ride the tail of the Magritte fever, didn't I.

Space Bar said...

PS: had to ride the tail of the Magritte fever, didn't I.

Ah yes. Thoughts arise of Paris Hilton in a bowler hat and coat tails and a walking stick, singing "bye bye mein lieber herr" with Ground Zero just outside the frame.

Cheshire Cat said...

Mmmm, Paris... I wish there were 2 or 3 things I knew about her.

Falstaff said...

anon: Really? Why?

mo: Oh absolutely *evil laugh*

rs: thanks

kbpm: thanks

??!: thanks

BM: Ah, Magritte fever. But the question is are those spectacles really spectacles?

space bar: Brilliant. But could we have an apple blotting out her face?

cat: No, no! After I worked so hard to resist making that joke in response to the comment about Paris to my last post. sigh.

Cheshire Cat said...

What can I say, I just love ruining other people's unmade jokes...

tusharika said...

bloody BRILLIANT !!!!