Tagged: movies

A troubling plot hole in a classic

Headley and Caine meet for the first time

Made a disturbing realization recently with Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

So, in Act II of the movie, Janet meets Lawrence for the first time at the casino (above). In this scene they are playing roulette and Lawrence is being friendly toward Janet.

A minute or so after this happens, Lawrence spots Freddie in his military uniform and fake wheelchair, and Freddie rams himself in between them. Janet helps Freddie place a losing bet, then follows him out in pity. They start talking, and Freddie tells Janet he needs to meet Dr. Emil Schaufhausen.

A few minutes later in the film (it’s the next day, or is it?), Lawrence begins to pretend to be Dr. Schaufhausen–in his clipped little West German accent. Lawrence meets Janet again in the lobby in this outrageous chair.

Janet meets Dr. Schaufhausen in the lobby.

Janet says, “Oh it’s so nice to meet you! I recognized you from the casino!”

But here’s the problem. When she sees him in the lobby, he is doing the German accent. But when he was in the casino, he did not yet know about his own Dr. Schaufhausen cover story–because he did not even know yet that Freddie was going to show up in the wheelchair. So if he talked to Janet at the roulette table, he would have been doing it as himself: Lawrence Jameson, the ambiguously European prince with the English accent.

Wouldn’t Janet have detected the switch in accents and personae from one day to the next? I’m troubled and this movie is obviously ruined now.

Sidebar: The 1980s version is a remake of an earlier version of the same movie. Having seen the older one, it’s awesome–because some of the exact dialogue is the same.

One more thing lost

I’m watching The Pelican Brief (and I’m only 20 minutes in).  Two things stand out.  First of all, Cynthia Nixon played one of Julia Roberts’ law student friends, which is kind of hot.  I guess she got her Sex and The City J.D. by having a part in this film.

Second, I loved — as I always do — the library scene where Julia Roberts rifles through countless dusty old law books, trying to figure out who might have killed the Supreme Court justices.  You can feel the drama.  Then I thought about it: in the digital age, there is no dramatic dusty old book scene.  There’s just Julia Roberts, staring slackjawed at shitty old Westlaw.  Hollywood is never going to put together any frantic iPad research sequence.  (“Turn it to portrait orientation!  Hurry!”)  I hate the iPad and all it is doing to the death of print.

Flight of the penguin

I saw the “cute penguin movie” today (March of the Penguins).  Rather than bore you with the details (cute movie; Emperor penguins are remarkable creatures), I’ll skip right to the funny part.  I noticed in the credits the following three people listed consecutively: pianist, bassoonist, accountant.  My mind immediately fluttered to two courtly musicians and a guy with a giant calculator.