Here are two films we’ve seen recently in our Sunday morning Cinema Club which have (young) love as a central theme, one of which belongs on a ‘to see’ list when it hits the theaters shortly.
Young Goethe in Love **1/2
As far as I can find out, this film is based on actual occurrences in Goethe’s life, although there is some dispute about many of the details.
It follows Goethe when he fails his law exams and is sent by his father to a small town to work and to correct his slothful ways (wanting to write poetry). He starts off well, working in a law office, but when he falls in love with a Lotte, who unbeknownst to either of them, has been promised by her father to another, his life is turned upside down.
Our movie club gave this film a positive rating (excellent + good) of 89.9%, and these folks fancy themselves good judges of film. We thought the film was nothing special and, in fact, seemed a bit corny and trite. But our fellow film folks thought it was a good, old fashion love story, from another time, that was quite entertaining.
Let readers know what you think if you see it.
My Week with Marilyn *****
I doubt we would have seen this film if it had not been one of our Sunday morning club films. But it’s definitely one to put on your list to see.
Similar to the Goethe film, it is the story of a 23 year old English lad (Colin Clark) who wants to be something other than what his father wishes him to be; in this case, it has to do with following his interests in the film industry. He gets an opportunity to work on a film that is in production starring Sir Laurence Oliver and Marilyn Monroe, who had recently married Arthur Miller.
What transpires comes from Clark’s diary, published many years later. And it is only partially a love story as Clark falls heavily for Monroe who is struggling with both her acting and with the recent knowledge that Miller thinks she’s a fool. Improbably, but apparently true, Monroe and Clark spend a week together when Miller is not there.
For the young Clark, it is a love story.
For the aging Oliver, tho he’s continually frustrated by Monroe’s lateness for rehearsals and need to be encouraged every other minute, he too falls in love, albeit at a slight distance.
For Monroe, it’s another time when she is struggling with all the insecurities that life and her beauty have brought her.
Michelle Williams as Marilyn is simply fantastic. With a good script and with her ability to become Marilyn, it feels as if you’re watching ‘The’ Marilyn Monroe.
Eddie Redmayne is also terrific as Clark, and there are other good performances as well.