It was the topic of conversation for weeks. I was referring to Michael's Thanksgiving last year. It wasn't similar to "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids", where Wayne Szalinski and his family seemed to have a beef with their next-door neighbors, the Thompsons. Michael had a movie marathon, which his parents didn't mind at all. He had been a film geek, and he had unusual taste.
Michael had a blast watching Albert Brooks's films, which didn't include "Defending Your Life". It was his most popular work, about the afterlife (or so he thought). Mike included "Mother". (An author had a successful literary career, but a string of failed relationship prompted him to live with his mother.) I asked Mike if he considered bad vampire films. My coursemates were surprised by my question, which made me speechless for a moment. (They haven't heard of "Playgirl and the Vampire". I might be the only one in the room who had tacky taste.) I could include "Vampire Lovers", which some film enthusiasts dubbed the "Citizen Kane" of lesbian vampire movies. Orson Welles wouldn't like the description, even if this subgenre of Vampire Cinema had lofty origins. I was referring to Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla".
The subject was movie marathon, and Donald Trump couldn't be passed up. Henry recalled Trump's appearance in "Two Weeks Notice". I haven't seen this comedy, which starred Hugh Grant. Both Trump and Grant seemed to have something in common. (I sensed my coursemates were thinking about the sex scandal.) Henry mentioned "The Associate", where Trump shared the big screen with Whoopi Goldberg. Didn't he go ballistic?
Which stars play against type?
Sam recalled his movie marathon last winter, where he saw action stars playing against type. Arnold Schwarzzenneger was a kindergarten cop while Chuck Norris experienced moments of guilty pleasure in "Dodgeball". I was thinking of Rosie O'Donnell in dominatrix attire (In "Exit to Eden"). Anne Rice may have reservations about her casting in that film. Mike threw us off the curve when he mentioned Brad Pitt, but this was his habit whenever he wanted to change the topic of conversation.
Pitt, whose filmography spanned three decades, could have called it a career. He might not hold a candle to the likes of Clark Gable, but he could be a huge star during the studio days. (Louis B. Mayer would have instructed the spin doctors at MGM to cover Angelina Jolie's divorce from Brad Pitt. And their uncoupling would turn out to be an open secret in Hollywood.) Pitt portrayed a dapper intelligence officer in "Allied", a role that Cary Grant could play with such ease. It was hard to tell if the "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" star would be better off as an unassuming character from the Midwest, yet I suspected that he would want an acting Oscar to be added to his resume. Leonardo DiCaprio's patience was rewarded, and lightning might strike twice.
Henry wondered about black actors in Christmas movies. It was a good suggestion, as only Eddie Murphy came to mind.