No room for these guys…
We’re not going to lie, here in the luxurious Interestment offices, we are big fans of romantic comedies. We like to mix laughter with crying as much as the next man/woman, hence we decided that it was high time we compiled a list of our favourite films that throw jokes and romance into a massive bowl and mix them around with a metaphorical wooden spoon. It was a very emotional process, and popular favourites like Pretty Woman, Love Actually, and anything starring Renee Zellweger were dismissed within seconds. In Zellweger’s case, it was because she always looks like she’s about to say something really mean for no apparent reason. Hugh Grant also missed out, leaving these ten giants amongst little people…
1. Groundhog Day
We’re big Bill Murray fans, we loved him in Ghostbusters, Stripes, Caddyshack, and the one about trying to get off with Scarlett Johansson on holiday. But his greatest turn comes in Groundhog Day, a film that couldn’t even be ruined by the looming presence of Andie MacDowell. He plays the part of a grumpy weatherman going through the same day over and over again, slowly wooing the aforementioned MacDowell, and as romantic comedies go, it’s basically the best one, which – somewhat ironically – we could watch repeatedly.
2. Annie Hall
It was a tight call for Woody Allen, with both Hannah and Her Sisters and Manhattan almost barging in, but Annie Hall just nicks it. Allen plays his usual bumbling neurotic, who somehow always manages to punch well above his weight, and Diane Keaton – who, by the way, was in practically every single film released in the 1970s – is the object of his lust and affection. It’s quite bittersweet, and features a classic Christopher Walken cameo, playing a total nut-job. Eagle-eyed viewers might even catch a glimpse of a young Jeff Goldblum and Sigourney Weaver.
3. Coming to America
Whether Murphy’s depiction of an African prince is anywhere close to the reality is debatable, but you can’t argue that the film was probably the last of the great Eddie Murphy turns. The premise finds him pretending to be skint in order to snare a woman who will love him for his spellbinding personality, as opposed to his phenomenal wealth, and the barber shop scenes find the comedian playing about four different characters at once. Here at Interestment, we’re particular fans of the Soul Glo family, featuring the guy from ER.
4. Chasing Amy
He’s gone a bit rubbish in recent times, that Kevin Smith. But for a brief period in the 1990s, he was like the old Judd Apatow, churning out little diamonds like Clerks, Mallrats, and this – the story of a heterosexual man falling madly in love with a complete lesbian. Jason Lee – now a very active Scientologist– puts in a great performance as a gobby best friend called Banky, and Smith even managed the miraculous feat of making Ben Affleck come across as likable. Cracking movie, if a little bit rude.
5. The Seven Year Itch
The oldest film in the list, this one features Marilyn Monroe at the very height of her gorgeousness. It includes the famous scene where her dress blows up, and everyone can see her boxers shorts. It’s the story of a husband alone-at-home, desperately fighting the urge to have a great big affair with the sexy model renting the flat upstairs. Cue numerous fantasy sequences, and a man driven to the edge of insanity by the insatiable rumblings in his underpants. A great afternoon watch.
One of the most touching films about wine ever made, Sideways is something of a middle-aged, middle-class road movie. Two best friends go on a stag weekend, one who can’t quite let go of his former relationship, the other who fancies jumping a few more bones before entering into holy matrimony. Then they meet a couple of dreamy young women, and it all takes a rather interesting turn. Gently funny, and sometimes a little bit moving, Thomas Haden Church is particularly good as the randy groom-to-be.
7. When Harry Met Sally
The one with that scene – you know, the one where Meg Ryan fakes the orgasm, then the old woman orders whatever she just had. Which would be very upsetting for the old woman’s equally elderly and female lunch partner if she were to have to endure watching her friend of fifty years reaching a magnificent over-the-top climax right in front of her. Nitpicking aside, it’s one of the great romantic comedies, mainly thanks to sterling work from Billy Crystal, who squeezed this one in during the short period at the beginning of his career when he wasn’t unbelievably annoying and Hollywood.
8. Knocked Up
The best of the Judd Apatow movies so far, although it was run pretty close by The 40-Year-Old Virgin, this finds a stoner accidentally impregnating a successful career woman during a drunken one-night-stand. Like with all of Apatow’s movies so far, the real romance – or, as it’s now known, bromance – takes place between Seth Rogen and a whole host of male counterparts, including the guy who went out with Phoebe in Friends.
9. High Fidelity
John Cusack has been painted as thinking woman’s crumpet, and here he’s a rather bitter commitmentphobe with a humungous record collection. He has starred in other decent rom-coms, like Grosse Pointe Blank and The Sure Thing, but this one trumps both of those, mainly because it’s a little bit better. Jack Black, who tends to split the consensus as an actor, puts in the performance of his damn life – excluding School of Rock, and Nacho Libre.
It was a very close call, coming up with the final spot on the list, with The Wedding Crashers, Some Like it Hot, and even Hitch starring Will Smith all very nearly muscling their way in. But in the end, we knew we’d have to go with a Tom Hanks vehicle. After all, he was the romantic lead of choice for much of the 1990s – Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Philadelphia – but in the end we went for his 1984 classic, Splash, the story of a man with love issues going out with a mermaid. Great special effects, Daryl Hannah, and a wonderful turn by the late, great John Candy.
Not including this classic…
As always, it’s with a great big handshake, back pat, and toothy smile that we hear from Interestment favourite, Oliver – our fashion expert. Today he thought he’d cast a very intense eye over the world of famous women and their hair. He had this to say…
Hair is great stuff. It keeps your head warm, members of the opposite sex can run their fingers through it, and it’s great for flossing your teeth if you’ve stumbled onto astonishingly hard times. It’s also the head’s natural equivalent of a hat. With that in mind, we thought it time to doff a furry cap to our favourite womanly haircuts from years gone by…
1. The Bob
A tricky one to pull off this, but the Bob – named after the way is gently bobs around a lady’s jawline – is a stone cold classic. Posh Spice and the one that’s married to Tom Cruise have both tried it out, both bringing it a spot of demure sensuality. But we really like it on Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction… even if she did rudely steal her date’s smack, bleed everywhere and nearly die.
2. The GI Jane
In terms of aesthetics, this one is a strong, vivid, almost furious look. Hence, usually a hair don’t reserved only for the brave or mental. Britney Spears did it herself, and freaked everyone out, Miss Sigourney Weaver looked like Mr Sigourney Weaver with hers. And, yet, the troubled Irish singer Sinead O’Connor made having not much hair to speak of look magnificent. And did you know that Sinead is actually an anagram of Skinhead?
3. Massive Look-at-me hair
Big drama-hair can set flashbulbs going like fire crackers at a teenage French boy’s virginity losing party, and the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Pammie, Jane Fonda in Barbarella and Farah Fawcett have all worn magnificent hair. Sadly they are all just dusty hair clippings on the floor of life’s salon compared to the queen of the silver screen – Marilyn Monroe. Her hair was actually made by hobgoblins using angel pubes. Or so legend would have it.
4. Pretend Hair
Wigs are basically lies for your head to deceive the world. Fine if you are bald, ill, or a man, but it’s still a bit like getting big fake boobs done, then pretending that you always had good knockers. No one will ever honestly believe you. Still, we like the things, and the finest wig ever can be found eclipsing Natalie Portman’s natural barnet in the naval gazing tale of unfathomable idiots, Closer. She wore a bubblegum pink wig whilst pole dancing, bless her.
Some absolute gems didn’t quite make it…
Ahhh, the 1950s. Everyone rode up hills with loaves of bread in their bicycle baskets, or glided around diners in rollerskates, trying to balance a milkshake on a tray. Then in the evenings, kids with slick back hair would head up to a spot overlooking town to tongue kiss a cheerleader, whilst adults sat at home listening to news about atomic bombs. Really great times, such fond memories. Can you tell that we weren’t there? Either way, movies from the 1950s still stand up nearly sixty years on, and coming up with the four best was a tearful, moving task. Just slipping the net were Rear Window, Singin’ In The Rain, Seven Samurai, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and On the Waterfront (pictured)…
1. Rebel Without a Cause
We might now be used to naval gazing films and television shows about teenagers not getting along with the older generation, and that’s all down to this film. Dean plays a problematic teen who doesn’t respect his dad, which inevitably spirals the main character into a world of fighting, car races, snogging Natalie Wood and a strange young man called Plato. The film made James Dean a star, and inspired Marty McFly to have a real problem with people calling him chicken. Brilliant movie.
2. North by Northwest
Quite possibly Hitchcock’s finest hour, this is a bit like The Bourne Identity, only much older, and probably a bit better. It stars Cary Grant as a man on the run, having fallen victim to a very unfortunate case of mistaken identity. For scenes of a grown man being chased by both a plane, and a massive truck, you just can’t beat it. It keeps Rear Window off the top four.
3. Sweet Smell of Success
The first of two Tony Curtis classics in the top four, this also stars Burt Lancaster as a terrifying journalist called J.J Hunsecker, who is planning a smear campaign against a jazz musician who has eyes for his sister. Cue fast talking, passive aggressive dinners, and the subtle planting of reefer. Enormously quotable, and possibly Lancaster’s finest hour and a half.
4. Some Like It Hot
Another on-the-run film, this one featuring Tony Curtis doing an impression of Cary Grant – so it’s a bit like two of the top three mixed together. Only it’s funnier than the rest of them, and it also stars Marilyn Monroe as Sugar Kane, and Jack Lemmon as Daphne. Dragged up comedies about transvestites running away and hiding from gangsters have never been funnier. And that includes Nuns on The Run.
That’s right, a serious fashion piece…
It’s never anything less than brilliant to hear from a member of the growing Interestment flock, and today Oliver – a tall man who specialises in fine cloth and outlandish shoes – thought it important that we learn a little bit about the iconic Frenchwoman, Coco Chanel. He had this to say…
With the imminent release of the biopic Coco Avant Chanel and Johnny France going totally Chanel-mental, we thought it high time we gave this angular fashion woman the attention she demands. Some might argue that she invented fashion. They may or may not be right. Either way, here’s four things that the crow-faced madam deemed fit to pass onto the great unwashed and downright smelly…
1. No 5
The first perfume to ever have a designer’s name slapped all over it, this was sprayed into public nostrils back in 1921, when hardly anyone had cars. Legend goes that it was the fifth bottle from ten when seeking out the perfect scent to mask the strange pong rising from The Seine, making Paris smell like a fisherman’s underpants. In the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe famously said that it was all she wore to bed, causing a massive worldwide erection epidemic.
2. The Chanel Suit
Some may argue that Chanel‘s Slutty Black Dress was her most generous gift to boyfriendless women, but I disagree. And before you try jabbing me in the face with your shiny high-heeled shoes, just look at the classic box jacket and knee length skirt suit. Go on. Look at it. Anyone from a demure old women with dusty hair, to a podgy little KFC oik would look amazing in this. You might even end up doing it with both of them.
3. The 2.55 Bag
The original and only true It bag in my humble opinion. Bored of carrying her bag and desperate to free up her oily hands, Coco designed the 2.55 – named after the date of its creation on February 1955 – and a legend was born. For those not in the know, it’s quite small and very portable. Like a giant’s wallet.
Yes, that’s right, pockets. Big bloody pockets. Ladies, next time you’re stood at a party where you don’t know anyone, you’ve given up smoking, you haven’t got a drink yet, and your hands are just flapping around at your side like eels in a fishing net, thank Ms Chanel for giving you somewhere to store your embarrassed limbs. She was obsessed by the little blighters. Back in the 30’s, her jackets caused near riots because of their conspicuous pockets. What one earth did women need pockets for? As it turns out – miniature Tampax.
This column is in no way sponsored by Chanel, but any freebies should be sent to Oliver c/o Mr Interestment at The Internet, London, UK.