Take 3: Twentieth Century Review

Originally, I was going to write a double feature for The Sixth Annual Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon by reviewing Twentieth Century and Young at Heart. However, due to technical difficulties on my end, I was only able to find the time to publish one review. Because I’ve written about five of Frank Sinatra’s movies this year, I chose to take a break by selecting Twentieth Century. Back in January, I watched and reviewed In Name Only for The Carole Lombard Memorial Blogathon. At the time, it was my first time seeing any film from Carole’s filmography. Despite this, I ended up liking the film! As I have mentioned before, I try to feature movies on my blog that were recommended by visitors and followers of 18 Cinema Lane. Twentieth Century was suggested by Patricia from Caftan Woman and Vincent from Carole & Co.

Twentieth Century poster created by Columbia Pictures.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: In my review of In Name Only, I praised Carole’s portrayal of Julie Eden, as her on-screen personality was down-to-earth and her overall performance contained the right amount of emotion. Carole portrays Lily in Twentieth Century, a character who is very different from Julie in In Name Only. This is because Lily experiences frustration on several occasions. One example is when Lily is forced to stay late at rehearsal because Oscar wants her to scream. Lily’s emotions spill over, causing her to yell and burst into tears because of her pent-up frustration. These emotions were able to be felt through the screen because of how good Carole Lombard’s talents were in this film! Speaking of Oscar, I liked watching John Barrymore’s performance in Twentieth Century! It showed a transition from a theater director who seemed to have his heart in the right place to a man who let power and influence get to his head. After Lily’s first performance on stage, Oscar visits her in her dressing room. The way he speaks to her indicates he is putting all his attention on her. But when you look and listen closely, there are hints of his possessive mentality. A good example is when Oscar tells Lily she was a diamond who needed some polishing.

The set design: While watching Twentieth Century, there was some impressive set design I noticed! Toward the beginning of the film, Oscar’s office was shown. Dark wood walls surrounded the space, with a medium shot signifying the room’s high ceiling. Eye-catching details helped give the space a unique identity, such as the inclusion of a suit of armor and stained-glass windows. Details in other scenes stood out, stealing the show whenever they appeared on screen. Lily’s bed is just one example, a massive piece of furniture that was shaped like a boat. It’s white woodwork and bedding is paired beautifully with dark wood carvings on the bed. On the train, there are sketches of animals located near the ceiling of the sitting room area. The style of the sketches looked like they came from a storybook from Medieval times.

Carole’s wardrobe:  I really liked seeing Carole’s wardrobe in Twentieth Century! However, there were two outfits that were the most memorable! On the night of Lily’s first performance, she wears an off the shoulder sparkly white dress. Despite the film being presented in black-and-white, the sparkly nature of the dress shown through beautifully! The second outfit was a silk pair of pajamas, complete with fine detailing on the shirt. The pajamas complimented Carole very well, highlighting her true beauty!

Masks of comedy and tragedy images created by freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

The mystery: In Twentieth Century, there was an on-going mystery revolving around the appearance of religious stickers on the train. The mystery itself felt randomly placed in the overall story, offering no strong significance within the plot. Had the religious stickers served as a reminder to not lose personal beliefs and values in the quest for fame and fortune, that would have added a meaningful moral to the movie. Sadly, it was a small piece just to keep the plot moving forward. When the guilty party is finally revealed, it seems like the script is providing them with excuses for their destruction of public and personal property. This can be heard through the characters’ dialogue; from the train security saying the guilty party has a “sickness” to describing the guilty party as “a little crazy, but harmless”.

An awful group of characters: I understand characters from any movie are not going to be everyone’s “cup of tea”. However, there is a fine line between personal preference and the characters themselves being awful. Twentieth Century is a perfect example of this, featuring a host of characters that are unlikeable to varying degrees. Oscar treats everyone around him horribly. He “fires” his friends on multiple occasions and he is abusive toward Lily, even after their relationship ends. Despite this, Oscar’s friends still try to help him fix his relationship with Lily, even going so far as to blame her for Oscar’s failures. Meanwhile, Lily turns into a diva after she becomes a movie star. It got to the point where I found myself not caring about the characters’ outcomes because their ugly personalities made me lost investment in them.

Lily and Oscar’s abusive relationship: I briefly mentioned in my previous point that Oscar is abusive toward Lily, even after their relationship ends. In the beginning, when Lily was starting out as an actress, Oscar gives the impression of having her best interests in mind. An example of this is when, after Lily expresses her frustrations over staying late at rehearsal, Oscar reminds her of her dream and how he’ll help her reach that dream. As Lily’s career grows, so does Oscar’s jealousy and obsession. He not only controls Lily’s life, but he also physically harms her, poking her with a pin just to get her to scream on stage. Oscar even goes so far as to threaten suicide if Lily does not stay with him. Even though Lily ends the relationship, Oscar is still obsessed with her. One of his worst actions in Twentieth Century is faking his own death just to trick Lily into signing his contract.

The Sixth Annual Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon banner created by Crystal from In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood.

My overall impression:

Back in January, when I reviewed Marriage on the Rocks, I said the film made me feel uncomfortable because of the movie’s one-sided view on marriage and divorce. Watching Twentieth Century made me appalled for several reasons. The abusive nature of Lily and Oscar’s relationship is just one example, especially since it exists throughout the whole film. It also doesn’t help that Oscar doesn’t face any accountability for his actions and behavior.  Another issue is the characters themselves, as all of them are horrible to certain degrees. Despite being poorly treated by Oscar, Oscar’s friends still support him. They even encourage Oscar to get back together with Lily. According to IMDB and Wikipedia, Twentieth Century is labeled as a “romantic comedy”. I will admit there were a handful of moments I found funny. But the aforementioned relationship, random mystery, terrible characters, and the story being ninety one minutes of those same characters complaining about their personal issues overshadows all of the movie’s strengths.

Overall score: 4.4 out of 10

Have you seen any of Carole Lombard’s or John Barrymore’s films? If so, which one do you like the most? Please let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Finding Forrester Review

One of the available categories for the Leap Year Blogathon was to talk about “any movie or TV show you’ve always wanted to review but never had the chance to”. This is the approach I’ve chosen to take with Rebecca’s event. As I was scrolling through my DVR, I came across a movie called Finding Forrester. Ever since I read the film’s synopsis on BYUtv’s website several years ago, I have wanted to see this movie because the story sounded interesting. I even recorded it on my DVR in the hopes of watching it someday. Well, it looks like 2020 is the time when I’m finally getting around to talking about this film! I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen a lot of Sean Connery’s movies. The Russia House and The Great Train Robbery are the only films I’ve seen with Sean as one of the leads. While I thought the former was ok, I enjoyed the latter more than I thought I would. Now that this is the third picture of Sean’s I’ve watched, it’ll be interesting to see where Finding Forrester ranks among the other two films.

Finding Forrester poster
Finding Forrester poster created by Sony Pictures Releasing and Columbia Pictures. Image found at https://www.sonypictures.com/movies/findingforrester.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Finding Forrester is a story that grounds itself in reality. Because of this, the acting performances in this film come across as realistic portrayals. What this means is all the characters feel like real people. The genuine expressions and behaviors of each character shine through because of the quality of the actors’ talents. How the characters interact with each other is evident of this, especially within the friendship of Jamal and William. Depth was added to the characters because of the interactions they share. The dialogue was well-executed by the actors, causing the conversations to sound authentic. What works in this cast’s favor are the various personalities presented and the character development that takes place. A sense of intrigue is brought forth as a result of all of these elements.

 

The cinematography: Whenever this film’s creative team wanted the audience to focus on a particular person or object, they would adopt medium shots or close-ups to place a greater emphasis on that subject. During basketball tryouts, Jamal was playing against a senior team member from the private school. The rivalry between these two characters is the highlight of this scene, so medium shots are used to present them to the audience. When Jamal is removing his notebooks from his backpack, after the bag was retrieved from William’s apartment, close-ups implemented the importance of writing that serves as a consistent idea throughout the film. In two scenes, the reflection of Jamal can be seen from William’s binoculars. This is meant to foreshadow the connection these characters will share through their friendship. These cinematic techniques helped make the cinematography stand out in this project!

 

The incorporation of knowledge: Like writing, the idea of knowledge is consistent in Finding Forrester. The way it was incorporated into this story was seamless and showed how important it can be to any individual. One example is when Jamal is explaining a brief history of the BMW to William’s acquaintance. This information not only helped Jamal stand up for himself, but it also educated the audience about one of the world’s most iconic car companies. The knowledge that William and Jamal share about writing is another great example. During a debate about the rules of writing, they are able to express their ideas and view the perspective of the other person. This scene shows that, with knowledge, one can be a part of something greater than themselves. It also shows that knowledge can create a connection between people.

Leap Year Blogathon banner
The Leap Year Blogathon banner created by Rebecca from Taking Up Room. Image found at https://takinguproom.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/announcing-the-leap-year-blogathon/.

What I didn’t like about the film:

The lighting: Most of the lighting in Finding Forrester is dim. This allows the overall color palette to appear darker on screen. However, it also makes it difficult to see what is happening in the film. The scenes taking place in William’s apartment experienced this issue. Because of the dimmed lighting, it was sometimes difficult to see Jamal’s and William’s face in these scenes. Half of this movie is centered around Jamal and William’s friendship, which means that half of the overall picture features the dim surroundings of William’s apartment.

 

Scenes that become padding: There are several scenes in Finding Forrester that become padding. One example is when Jamal’s friends are shown spending time together at a restaurant. This moment had no bearing on the story and didn’t progress the plot forward. It also doesn’t have a strong need to exist in the narrative. Scenes like these felt like they were placed in the movie for the sake of satisfying the run-time. If some of these scenes were cut, the film would have been shorter and the script could have been a bit tighter.

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My overall impression:

Someone I know once told me that knowledge is one of the most valuable possessions a person can own. When it’s earned, it can never be taken away from you. This is expressed very well in Finding Forrester, a solid and satisfying picture! While this movie is more of a character study, this concept works in the film’s favor. The delivery of the script and acting performances gave me an opportunity to stay invested in the characters and their interactions. The messages of integrity, self-worth, and knowledge have the potential to be relatable among audience members. They can also inspire people to pursue their talents and believe in their strengths. Finding Forrester is a movie that I’m glad I made the time to see. I’d like to thank Rebecca for giving me this opportunity through her Leap Year Blogathon!

 

Overall score: 8.2 out of 10

 

Is there a movie you’ve always to see, but never made time for? What are your plans for Leap Year? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Platinum Blonde Review + 150 Follower Thank You

Last month, I received 150 followers! But because of how much time and energy was devoted to writing my editorial for Pale Writer’s Gothic Horror Blogathon, I decided to publish this review in early November. The movie I selected, Platinum Blonde, was released on Halloween in 1931. Since I reviewed Vampyr for my previous blog follower dedication review, I chose Platinum Blonde because, based on the synopsis, it gives the impression that it has a lighter tone. It’s also the first movie of Jean Harlow’s that I’ve ever seen. I discovered this actress through The Jean Harlow Blogathon, hosted by the blogs Musings of a Classic Film Addict and The Wonderful World of Cinema. Even though I didn’t participate in this blogathon, I was introduced to Jean and her contributions to the world of film. Before I begin this review, I want to thank each and every one of my followers! I’m not only impressed by how quickly I reached this milestone, but also by your continued support of 18 Cinema Lane!

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Platinum Blonde poster image created by Columbia Pictures. Image found at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PlatBlonde.jpg

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: I was very impressed by the acting performances in Platinum Blonde! This is because all of the portrayals were consistent and expressive. One good example is Robert Williams’ performance. Throughout the film, his portrayal of Stew Smith was charismatic. He almost always had something witty to say and also had an appealing persona. Robert had good on-screen chemistry with both of his female co-stars as well. Jean Harlow had a pleasant on-screen presence while portraying Ann Schuyler. Her personality was charming and she helped create a character that was different from stereotypical expectations. Jean also had a good on-screen relationship with her co-stars. I really liked seeing this film’s supporting cast! Louise Closser Hale was a standout as Mrs. Schuyler! She was very expressive and her performance was memorable from start to finish! This cast would not have been the same without her.

 

The set design: Most of this story takes place in and around the Schuyler home. Despite this lack of variety in locations, the interior and exterior of the house was spectacular! The layout of the entryway and foyer reminded me of Norma Desmond’s house from Sunset Blvd., from the metal gate to the large, curving staircase. Everything in the Schuyler house was massive in scale. This environment represented how larger than life the family is. Even the small details found in the home highlighted this lavish lifestyle very well. One perfect example is the carved artwork on Ann and Stew’s headboard. While the exterior was shown on screen for a limited amount of time, it had a pleasant presence on film! In the scene where Ann and Stew share a kiss for the first time, the backyard appeared as a private oasis. From the lighted fountain to the flower arrangements, this space looked very inviting.

 

The cinematography: I wasn’t expecting anything special in Platinum Blonde when it came to the cinematography. But I was pleasantly surprised by the cinematography I did find in this film. In some scenes, when a character would walk up the stairs, the view from the camera looked down on the characters. This presented an illusion that the environment surrounding these individuals was grand in scale. Another scene that had interesting cinematography was when Mrs. Schuyler and the butler, Smythe, were on the balcony looking down on the living room. Because the camera angle came from a ground level perspective, it gave the audience the idea that most of Ann’s family looked down on Stew, both literally and figuratively. It also alluded to the differences in socio-economic standing.

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Newspaper image created by Zlatko_plamenov at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-psd/newspaper-mockup_1386098.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/mockup”>Mockup psd created by Zlatko_plamenov – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

Under-utilized characters: At the beginning of the film, the character of Bingy Baker was introduced. I thought he would experience one hilarious situation after another while also finding true love. Sadly, this particular character received a very minor role. It also seemed like he was there just for the sake of comic relief. Bingy is an example of how some characters in this movie were under-utilized. If this character were removed from the story, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

 

An unexplained conflict: The start of the film features a conflict about Ann’s brother’s, Michael’s, relationship with a dancer. This is how Stew came to be introduced to the Schuyler family. While the characters kept saying that the situation was bad, they failed to explain why it was bad. With the conflict of Ann and Stew getting married, the audience was given reasons why this was a problem through the visualization of certain events. But this was not the case for Michael’s conflict, as it evidently seemed to be swept under the rug.

 

A somewhat unhealthy relationship: As I already mentioned, Platinum Blonde’s major conflict revolved around Ann and Stew’s relationship. While there were times when it seemed like they cared about one another, there were also times when their relationship came across as unhealthy. For most of the film, Ann and Stew do not make compromises. The audience gets to see them talking to one another, but these two characters don’t communicate about important martial issues, such as which place they will call “home”. At one point, one member of this relationship becomes hypocritical toward their spouse. Even though this film was created in the early ‘30s, I still found elements of this relationship to be kind of concerning.

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Money image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/bills-and-coins-in-isometric-design_1065328.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/business”>Business vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

On Wikipedia, Platinum Blonde is labeled as a “romantic comedy”. But, in reality, the movie is a cautionary “fish out of water” tale. The reason why I chose to review this film is because I thought it would be lighter in tone. However, Platinum Blonde wasn’t as light-hearted as I expected. Sure, there was at least one romance and some humorous moments. But it wasn’t enough to live up to the title of “romantic comedy”. Despite this disappointment, I did like some elements of this movie. One of these was the cinematography. Because of the camera angles, the scenery was not only complimented, but ideas and themes were able to visually present themselves. Platinum Blonde wasn’t the worst thing to be put to film, but it definitely could have been stronger.

 

Overall score: 6 out of 10

 

Are you a fan of Jean Harlow? Which film from the ‘30s do you want me to review? Tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows Review (Rosalind Russell Double Feature Part 2)

When I looked through Rosalind Russell’s IMDB filmography in preparation for The Rosalind Russell Blogathon, I discovered that The Trouble with Angels was given a sequel called Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows. This is a movie that I had never seen or heard of. But, since I haven’t created a double feature for a blogathon since last August, I decided to review The Trouble with Angels and Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows! If you read my review for the first film, you would know that I enjoyed it. The synopsis for the sequel sounded interesting and different from the previous movie. This is what caused me to want to give this project a chance. Was this a complimentary story to The Trouble with Angels? Find out in my review of Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows!

Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows poster
Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows poster created by Columbia Pictures. Image found at http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/95524/Where-Angels-Go-Trouble-Follows/#.

Things I liked about the film:

  • The acting: Like in the first movie, the cast of Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows was good! One of things that helped was having some of the actresses who portrayed the nuns in the previous film return for the second one. This kept a sense of continuity between the characters. Also, like in the first movie, Rosalind shined in her role of Mother Superior! Her performance was very consistent with how she portrayed the character in The Trouble with Angels. It continued to make this character just as likable as she was in the previous picture.

 

  • The inclusion of Sister George: Because Mary Clancy graduated from St. Francis Academy at the end of The Trouble with Angels, Sister George, portrayed by Stella Stevens, replaced her as a counteracting presence for Mother Superior to interact with. Both Rosalind and Stella gave a strong acting performance, which allowed their talents to compliment one another. These characters were also well-written, both of them providing interesting points to their stance. I found this aspect of the film to be the most interesting. Seeing these characters progress as the movie went on was one of the strengths of this story.

 

  • The scenery: I’m glad that the building from The Trouble with Angels made an appearance in the sequel! While there weren’t many scenes that took place inside of the school, a few more exterior shots of the grounds were shown. These outdoor spaces were captured really well on film! It kind of allowed the viewer to explore this location a little bit more. Most of the movie took place on a class field trip, which consisted of traveling through several states in order to reach a peace rally in California. This gave the creative team an excuse of include scenery-heavy scenes in the movie. These scenes were interesting to look at, as they showcased the natural landscapes from each state that the characters traveled through. This was, honestly, one of the more memorable parts of the film.

The Rosalind Russell Blogathon banner
The Rosalind Russell Blogathon created by Crystal from In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood. Image found at https://crystalkalyana.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/announcing-the-rosalind-russell-blogathon/.

What I didn’t like about the film:

  • A weak plot: As I’ve already mentioned, this movie is about the nuns and some of the students of St. Francis Academy going on a field trip to a peace rally in California. Besides the conflict between Sister George and Mother Superior, this story was very weak. A large portion of the scenes in this film consist of the school’s bus traveling through various states. Instead of one overarching story, this narrative was written as a series of short vignettes. Not only were none of these vignettes that interesting, but they seemed to string the movie along just for the sake of keeping this weak plot going.

 

  • Scenes lasting for way too long: Throughout this movie, I found several scenes that lasted way too long. One example is when some of the students from St. Francis Academy attend a party that is hosted by an all-boys school. The scene itself felt like a two-minute music video. It didn’t really add anything to the plot or the development of the characters. The length of these scenes feel like they are trying to make up for the weakness of the plot.

 

  • Charismatic-less characters: Since Rachel and Mary graduated in the first movie, Marvel Ann, portrayed by Barbara Hunter, and Rosabelle, portrayed by Susan Saint James, acted as their replacements. Barbara and Susan tried the best they could with the acting material they were given. But these characters weren’t as charismatic as Rachel and Mary were. Because of this, it made Marvel Ann and Rosabelle seem unlikable. It also made me not care about their story.

 

My overall impression:

I was very disappointed by Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows. This movie had interesting ideas that could have lent themselves to a good sequel. However, all of these ideas were wasted on poor execution. When it comes to fictional stories, I am more than willing to suspend my disbelief. But this movie tried to make me suspend more of my disbelief than I had wanted to. The only interesting aspect of this story was the conflict between Mother Superior and Sister George. This part of the film was not only well-acted, but also well-written. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the rest of the movie. While I would recommend The Trouble with Angels, I would suggest skipping the sequel.

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Colorful travel suitcase image created by Pikisuperstar at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/beautiful-illustration-of-travel_2686674.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/watercolor”>Watercolor vector created by Pikisuperstar – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Overall score: 5.8 out of 10

 

Have you seen any of Rosalind Russell’s films? Which sequel did you find to be disappointing? Tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: The Trouble with Angels Review (Rosalind Russell Double Feature Part 1)

Before signing up for The Rosalind Russell Blogathon, I had never heard of Rosalind Russell. Like I did to prepare for the 90 Years of Jean Simmons Blogathon, I visited Rosalind’s IMDB filmography. After searching this page, I discovered that Rosalind starred in the film, The Trouble with Angels. This is a film that I’ve heard of, but never seen. So, I used my participation in the blogathon as an excuse to watch this movie! I was also aware that Hayley Mills starred in The Trouble with Angels. Before watching this film, I had seen a few of her movies. In fact, I reviewed The Moon-Spinners earlier this year! So, I was looking forward to seeing what her acting abilities had to offer in this production. Was my movie-viewing experience a blessing or a curse? You can fly through my review of The Trouble with Angels if you want to find out!

The Trouble with Angels poster
The Trouble with Angels poster created by Columbia Pictures. Image found at http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/16482/The-Trouble-With-Angels/#.

Things I liked about the film:

  • The acting: I really liked the cast of The Trouble with Angels! Every actor and actress pulled off a performance that not only appeared realistic, but also was effective. Rosalind Russell’s portrayal of Mother Superior was interesting to watch. This character was strict, yet she always had her heart in the right place. I couldn’t help but find Mother Superior to be a likable character. I also enjoyed seeing Haley Mills in this film! Prior to watching The Trouble with Angels, I have seen The Parent Trap (1961), That Darn Cat and The Moon-Spinners. Hayley’s portrayal of Mary Clancy is somewhat different from her roles in those aforementioned films. However, Hayley’s performance had a sense of maturity to it. This particular role complimented both her age and acting abilities. Because of this, it made Hayley’s portrayal of Mary that much more entertaining to watch!

 

  • The set/scenery: The Trouble with Angels takes place at St. Francis Academy. According to IMDB, the building that was used in the exterior shots is a real-life facility in Ambler, Pennsylvania. But the interior shots were filmed in a California studio. Despite this difference in filming locations, I thought the scenery/set was absolutely magnificent! The building itself looks like a castle, the footage of it probably doesn’t do this place justice. There were grounds surrounding the building that I liked seeing as well! All four seasons was showcased in the film, which helped highlight the beauty that these grounds had to offer. The set looks like it would compliment the real-life structure. A combination of stone, wood, and stained glass were appealing to the eye. The location scout(s) and set decorator(s) did a great job with bringing this school to life!

 

  • A sense of humanity: In this story, there were moments where a sense of humanity shown through. This happened through dialogue and situations amongst the characters. One example is when Mary and Rachel (portrayed by June Harding) try to lie to Mother Superior about their whereabouts. When Mother Superior suspects that Mary and Rachel are making fun of one of their teachers, she shares the truth about this particular teacher with them. Another example is when some of the students visit a Retirement Home during Christmas-time. When Mary overhears some of the residents sharing their loneliness with others, it shows the audience that this specific season might not be the most wonderful time of the year for some people. The incorporation of this sense of humanity felt genuine, like the creative team behind this film had good intentions for including it.

The Rosalind Russell Blogathon banner
The Rosalind Russell Blogathon created by Crystal from In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood. Image found at https://crystalkalyana.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/announcing-the-rosalind-russell-blogathon/.

What I didn’t like about the film:

  • A limited amount of humor: While there were moments of humor found throughout the film, I felt like the story favored the dramatic moments more than the comedic ones. These moments of humor seemed far and few between. Most of the film’s humor came from the pranks and mishaps that are caused by Mary and Rachel. Even though The Trouble with Angels would be classified as a comedy, this movie feels more like a dramedy (a mix of comedy and drama).

 

  • Mostly static characters: The Trouble with Angels is primarily about the characters of Mary and Rachel. This story follows them from the beginning of their freshmen year of high school to their graduation. In that time-frame, however, Mary and Rachel didn’t really seem to have that significant of a transition of rambunctious youngsters and responsible young adults. For more than half of the film, Mary and Rachel were static, continuously pulling pranks and despising their peers and teachers. It wasn’t until they joined their school’s band when these characters started to grow as individuals. This part of the story feels a little bit rushed, like the creative team behind this movie was trying to make up for lost time.

 

  • Little emphasis on academics: In movies that take place in a school setting, there is usually an emphasis on either an important teacher or an influential school assignment. But that wasn’t the case for The Trouble with Angels. Instead, the story focused on the character development of Mary and Rachel. There were moments that showed these characters in the middle of a school lesson, such as when Mary and Rachel were trying to avoid their swim tests. But these moments didn’t last long enough to have a large impact on the narrative.

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We interrupt this movie review to give you a moment to appreciate Rachel’s hat. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

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This is, honestly, the coolest pill-box hat I’ve ever seen in my life! Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

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As soon as I saw this hat, I knew I had to have it in my life. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

My overall impression:

The Trouble with Angels is a fine film. This story had more heart and soul than I expected, especially due to the sense of humanity found within the narrative. While this movie could have been stronger, there were elements about it that made the project enjoyable. Rosalind and Hayley definitely helped carry the film! Though these actresses were at different places in their careers, their acting abilities complimented each other. When it comes to films about teenagers, The Trouble with Angels is one of the better ones. The story primarily focused on Mary and Rachel. But, with the incorporation of the teachers and Mother Superior, the best intentions for the students could be seen throughout the story. That’s how I would define this movie; the creative team making this film with the best of intentions.

 

Overall score: 7.4-7.5 out of 10

 

Have you seen The Trouble with Angels? Which movie of Rosalind Russell’s would like me to watch next? Please tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen