Published on: August 17, 2018
Been running around a lot the last week or so, and really haven’t had time to get to the movies. But Netflix streaming is a wonderful thing, and so I’ve caught up with three things that I might otherwise never have watched. Interestingly, they all ended up having something in common … and even offer a business lesson.Like Father
is an original Netflix movie, a slight little trifle about a young woman, Kristen Bell, who is stood up on her wedding day, which also happens to be the day that her father (Kelsey Grammer) shows up, having abandoned his family two decades earlier. There’s no connection between the two, but that doesn’t stop them from getting drunk one night … and the next morning, they wake up on a cruise ship, in the cabin that she was supposed to be sharing with her husband. (It isn’t as weird as it sounds.)
The movie is devoted to these two alienated people, who are more alike in their misplaced priorities, finding a way to get along and maybe even like each other. That’s not easy, especially since almost the entire movie takes place on a cruise ship, which from my experience is more likely to be a place where hostilities arise, as opposed to subside. But while this is a movie in a minor key, it is completely sold by the two leads; Bell and Grammer are consummate professionals, and they know how to take small moments and make them sing, and then underplay the big moments for greater effectiveness. The whole thing sort of works, aided by Seth Rogen in a small supporting part (no doubt doing the part because his wife, Lauren Miller Roger, directed and co-wrote the movie).
I’ve always been a Burt Reynolds fan, though I’d be the first one to say that his was a career weighed down by bad choices and then worse choices. He had Clint Eastwood talent as a director and certainly was a better actor, but Eastwood simply chose better movies to make. That said, it is fair to say that Reynolds made some very good movies when he was young - Deliverance
and The Longest Yard
(the original, natch) are genuinely great movies, and he also made some very good films, such as Starting Over
. And so I was intrigued by a new independent film in which he stars, called The Last Movie Star
Reynolds plays an aging, near-forgotten film star who is lured to Nashville to attend a film festival at which his career is to be celebrated, though he is chagrined, to say the least, when he finds out it is a dicey operation being run out of a bar, albeit by two young men completely devoted to his career. Reynolds is angry, frustrated, sad and sentimental in the role, which has him mostly on the road visiting the haunts of his youth, even as he is visited by his youthful self (shown via film clips from his career).
It is sad to see young Reynolds and old Reynolds side by side, but again, he totally sells it - he seems to know that his life has been defined by missed opportunities, and he seems focused on not missing any more, even at this late date. The only thing that he can’t sell is the damned toupee, which seems as fake and annoying as it always has.
And then, there’s “Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest of Your Life,” which is a two-man show featuring the two legendary comedians who also happen to be old friends and occasional movie co-stars (Three Amigos
, Father of the Bride
). All I can say is that it is really, really funny … laugh out loud funny in many spots, as these two guys delight in each other's company and prove to be delightful company for the audience. Some of it is jokes, some of it is reminiscences, and some of it is musical … but it is all first class stuff.
So what did all these have in common? People, in every case, transcend the material. And that’s what every business needs to know - that great people have the ability to get you through the tough times, and when things go right, they can be sublime.
I have a terrific wine for you this weekend … the 2017 Albarino d Fefinanes, which is yet another terrific Albarino, a Spanish white that is wonderful with seafood. I opened it to go with my “Shrimp It’s All Greek To Me,” one of Mrs. Content Guy’s favorite dishes.
That’s it for this week.
Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.