26 June 2017

Racing with the Moon

Racing with the Moon 1984
  • Director: Richard Benjamin
  • Based on the book: no
  • Cast: Elizabeth McGovern, Sean Penn, Nicholas Cage, John Karlen, Rutanya Alda
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Sean Penn – The Tree of Life, Milk, The Assassination of Richard Nixon, 21 Grams, Mystic River, Pauly Shore Is Dead, I Am Sam, Before Night Falls, The Thin Red Line, The Game, She’s So Lovely, Dead Man Walking, Carlito’s Way, Shanghai Surprise, Fast Times at Ridgemont High
    • Elizabeth McGovern – Downton Abbey, If Not for You, Ragtime
    • Nicholas Cage – Matchstick Men, The Family Man, Bringing Out the Dead, Face/Off, The Rock, Red Rock West, Wild at Heart, Moonstruck, Arizona Junior, Peggy Sue Got Married, Rumble Fish, Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  • Why? Elizabeth McGovern, Sean Penn
  • Seen: Once before. Now 23 June 2017      

       Long before she became Mrs Downton Abbey, Elizabeth McGovern was in a very funny sit-com that I believe was called If Not for You. This film is another of her obscure gems. That is, she’s a gem. The film isn’t, if I remember correctly.
       Christmas, 1942, California. Seventeen-year-old Henry (Penn) is a reluctant classical piano player. He prefers jazz. He works in a bowling alley, risking his hands in resetting the pins. He gets into fights with snooty rich kids at the bowling alley.
       He falls for Caddie, the girl who sells movie tickets and works in the public library. Because she lives in a mansion he believes she is rich, but she’s the daughter of the maid.
       They fall in love. What a surprise. It’s not much of a story and the characters aren’t very interesting. Henry’s friend Nicky (Cage) is simply obnoxious. Henry and Nicky are due to ship out with the marines in a few weeks but it’s hard to be worried.
       The film tries but the result is banal, pretentious and clichéd. Young Penn and McGovern rescue it from complete oblivion.

2 * of 5  (Hal gave it 4)


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