Movie Mom

Movie Mom


What’s Up Doc?

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:One mild joke as Eunice tells the judge she "They tried to molest me," and he replies "That's...unbelievable."
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:None
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:1972

Plot: “Once upon a time there was a plaid overnight bag,” this movie begins. But actually there are four, identical on the outside, but with very different contents. One contains a set of rare rocks on their way to being presented at a conference of musicologists. One contains a very valuable collection of jewelry. One contains top secret government documents. The last one contains nothing more than a change of clothes. All four bags converge in a large hotel to provide the framework for an affectionate valentine to the classic screwball comedies of the 1930s. Like “Bringing Up Baby,” this centers on a madcap young woman (Barbra Streisand), Judy Maxwell, who decides to show her appreciation for a shy professor in spectacles (Ryan O’Neal), Howard Bannister, by disrupting his life as much as is humanly possible and then some. The attempts by a spy to steal the bag with the documents and a thief to steal the bag with the jewels help to make things a bit more complicated.

Professor Bannister is at the hotel to present his findings about the musical qualities of rocks used by ancient societies as primitive instruments. He is accompanied by his stuffy and overbearing fiancée, Eunice (Madeline Kahn). He hopes to get a research grant from wealthy Mr. Larabee, who will be attending the conference. Judy, who came to the hotel to cadge a free meal, is drawn to Howard, and stays on to be near him. She impersonates Eunice at the opening dinner, utterly captivating Larabee. She then proceeds, as Howard says, to “bring havoc and chaos to everyone,” including the destruction of a hotel room (and Howard’s engagement), and a wildly funny car chase through the streets of San Francisco, before it all gets straightened out.

Discussion: This movie is a lot of fun, but it does not come close to meeting the standards of the movies it is trying to emulate. The main flaw is that Judy and Howard (and the actors who portray them) are simply not as appealing as their prototypes in classics like “Bringing Up Baby.” For example, as we meet Judy, she is stealing a meal from a hotel, something which may have had more appeal in the “anti- establishment” early 1970s, but which now seems less than charming. The big laugh line at the end of the movie, a poke at O’Neal’s overwhelmingly successful previous movie, “Love Story,” will not mean anything to today’s kids.

Questions for Kids:

· What do you think about the way Judy behaved? Did she ever think ahead, or did she just do what seemed right at the moment?

· Eunice tells Howard that she does not want romance because she wants something stronger — trust. What is the point of view of the movie about that? How can you tell?

· Which is the funniest part of the movie? Were there any parts that were supposed to be funny that you did not think were funny? Why?

Connections: See “Bringing Up Baby” and compare it. Some of the other classic screwball comedies are “My Man Godfrey” and “The Lady Eve.”



Previous Posts

What's Up With My Family? -- App Helps Middle Schoolers Navigate Life
Middle School Confidential™ 3: What’s Up with My Family? is a new IOS app, the next installment of the series for tweens and teens. The third edition continues the story of Jack, Jen, Chris, Abby, Mateo, and Michelle—a tight-knit group of friends in middle school—who are realizing that growi

posted 3:59:49pm Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

The Simpsons Binge Watch: Every Episode Plus the Movie
Get your food delivery menus ready.  Unplug your phone.  All 552 Simpsons episodes will be broadcast in order, starting tomorrow. They include scenes cut in syndication that have not been on television since the original broadcast. And of course they include some remarkably prescient moments tha

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Bo Svenson
Bo Svenson is an actor, writer, director, judo champion, and, as I was lucky enough to find out, an enthralling guy to talk to, turning an interview into a wide-ranging conversation. Svenson was

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Tribute: Don Pardo
Don Pardo's face was not familiar.  But his voice was instantly recognizable.  We mourn the loss of one of the great announcers in broadcast history, who died on Monday at age 96. The cast of "Saturday Night Live," where he served as announcer from the beginning, celebrated his 90th birthday.

posted 12:44:03pm Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Gayle Forman of "If I Stay"
Gayle Forman is the author of If I Stay, the source for this week's movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz as Mia, a talented young cellist in a coma following a car accident.  As she hovers between life and death, she remembers incidents from her life with her family and with her rock musician boyfrie

posted 8:00:16am Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.