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John Tells Liz What Happened In “Endless Love”

Dear Frank,

endless-love-poster01Look who’s back! That’s right, our dear friend John Ross is back to continue his anthropological survey of what teenage girls seem to be into these days. His dedication to science is a blessing to us all.

Love,
Liz

Dear Liz,

Scott Spencer, the author of the novel Endless Love, really, really regrets selling the movie rights to his book.  In this devastating op-ed in The Paris Review, he equates viewing Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 movie adaptation to being stabbed in the heart, and predicts that the 2014 remake will be a “Valentine’s Day massacre.”

My reaction to the new remake was somewhat similar in that it also involved stabbing.  That is, during the film, I wanted to stab myself in the eyes and ears, and when it was over, I wanted to go to a crowded place and see how many people I could stab before the police shot me.  That might maybe cancel out the experience of watching the new Endless Love remake.

Spencer himself describes the book as an “unhinged novel about the glorious destructive violence of erotic obsession,” and from what I’ve read of it, that sounds about right. Read the rest of this entry

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Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Arthur” (Not the Remake)

Dear Frank,

So there’s often talk, when an older movie gets remade for modern audiences, if said remake is unnecessary or “too soon” — the answer usually being affirmative on both points. But what a remake does give its source material is some additional awareness– what I’m saying here is that I wouldn’t have watched the original 1981 Arthur this weekend if some Hollywood duder hadn’t said “Original scripts are lame! Let’s insert Russell Brand into some old movie! Are there any classic comedies where the protagonist has a substance abuse problem?”

For the moment, let’s leave the issue of the remake aside; the important thing is, I watched the original. And I enjoyed it! Arthur is, simply told, the story of a very rich guy who’s known nothing else — his name is Arthur, and his tale is told to the soothing beats of Mr. Christopher Cross’s classic tune “Best That You Can Do (Is Fall In Love).” Frank, let’s make this an audio-visual experience today, shall we? Play the below YouTube video so that you can listen to the theme from Arthur while we discuss it. Read the rest of this entry

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