First movie of the Official Movie Challenge 2010 was “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. And what do you know, but NetFlix sent me “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” Boo. Already off to a bad start. Nevertheless, I pushed through and decided I will just watch what I got and go from there. Soooo….Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
One word review: Tense.
I mean, take three of the greatest actors and put them together with a controversial subject matter and bam, instant, palpable tension. It was like Daddy hit Mommy at the dinner table and we kids just have to sit there silently eating our mac and cheese.
It’s tense to watch because it’s such an outdated notion. Bi-racial relationships that is. I mean, isn’t it? I guess it seems that way now, in 2010, with our country’s first African American President that this shouldn’t still be an issue. But I am afraid that it very much still is, at least with some people. I come from a bi-racial marriage so I can’t relate to the disapproval of Joey’s family, their housekeeper, played by Isabel Sanford (holla- Weezy!!) or Dr. Prentice’s family too– but I can see where the problems would arise in the late 60′s when interracial marriages were still illegal in some states.
I feel weird talking about this. I feel like that episode of Seinfeld where they try and determine whether Elaine is dating a black guy. Like the subject of race is so controversial that any statement could possibly get you flamed.
But maybe that was the point, no? To start a conversation about race relations and show both sides of the coin. This movie was an eye opener to say the least. That these were issues that really needed commentary and attention to show the ignorance of our Country at that time. It both fascinated me and disgusted me. And then it reminded me of when Brokeback Mountain first came out and how outraged the general public was with it because it dared to call itself a “love story”. (I know, some have issues with it because of the adultery and not the homosexual aspect but please…let’s be real here.)
And I feel like there is no way that this movie could be made today. Not with the in-your-face-shocking-no-holds-barred statements that are made throughout this movie. Some lines really and truly had my jaw dropping. We would have to dumb it down and be all PC about it…oh wait…we already did that:
Not saying that “Guess Who” isn’t funny but definitely not a social commentary on race relations. But isn’t that the American Way? Make it funny. And sarcastic. But let’s not get too serious…we could offend someone.
But enough on that…back to the movie….
As for the performances itself, well, what can I say but that three Academy Award winners all showing us how’s it really freaking done. In. Every. Scene. I was mesmerized with Spencer Tracy. The body language, the facial twitches, his responses to his co-stars– all amazing. He was absolutely brilliant in what would be his last film ever. (He died seventeen days after filming of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner finished.)
All in all, a very successful start to the Challenge. I feel like I should have some sort of rating system or something. Like two thumbs up, but way more rad. Maybe I will come up with something as I continue with this thing.
Until next time, where hopefully it will be “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. ::fingers crossed::
Have you ever scene “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” What did you think of it? How do you feel about watching it in these present times?