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Movie Mom
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I loved “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” one of the most enduring sitcoms from the early days of television. Ozzie Nelson, bandleader turned radio and then television personality, played “Ozzie Nelson,” perpetually genial but often befuddled suburban father. His wife Harriet and sons David and Ricky played not themselves but television versions of themselves. The show ran from 1952-66 and we all felt we grew up with the Nelsons, as Ricky went from cute kid to pop idol to married man. When David and Ricky got married, their wives joined the cast. And the house on television was the real house they lived in. But it was far from a reality series; it was a light but very scripted comedy, with episodes about the usual mix-ups, misunderstandings, and gentle arguments that exemplified middle-class America’s aspirational sense of itself in the Eisenhower era. A baseball mitt that didn’t arrive in time, Ozzie gets a cold, David has a crush on a girl at school — and no one ever figured out what Ozzie did for a living.

David Nelson, who died today at age 74, was the last of the Nelson family. He began producing and directing while still on the show, and continued to work on commercials and in television. He also appeared in John Waters’ “Cry-Baby” with Johnny Depp. He — and the sweetness and innocence of the stories his family brought to us — will be missed.

Director Tom Shadyac directed some of Hollywood’s biggest and wildest and highest-grossing (in both senses of the word) comedies: “Ace Ventura,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Liar, Liar,” and “Bruce Almighty.” He had everything money could buy.

And then he almost lost it all. He was severely injured in a bicycle accident. It made him think that what he had was getting in the way of what he really wanted. So he began to give away his money. And he took a four-person crew on a journey to ask the most thoughtful people he could find to ask them the most profound questions he knew.

I Am features Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and many more with their thoughts on our world and what we can do to make life better for everyone. It opens next month.

The repeat of the duets episode of Glee reminded me of how much I enjoyed Kurt and Rachel singing “Happy Days are Here Again” and “Get Happy.” I wonder how many viewers know that it was inspired by the classic duet with Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand.

Enjoy!

Last summer, I reported that the Sam Mendes-directed James Bond movie with Daniel Craig had been canceled due to the bankruptcy of the studio, MGM. Today, it seems hopeful that it is back on track. Craig’s availability has not been confirmed but apparently Judi Dench will be back as M and there’s an intriguing rumor of Michael Sheen as the villain. MGM plans to have it in theaters in November 2012. Stay tuned for updates!