Archives for posts with tag: Kevin Kline

When I was a kid, I thought Peter Sellers’ films with Inspector Jacques Clouseau were hilarious. By the time Steve Martin’s reboot of “The Pink Panther” came around in 2006, I was grown and physical comedy was – groan. I can’t say I loved all Martin’s slapstick mishaps and flaming mojitos. It’s just too much of a mediocre thing. The basic premise – Clouseau is a good cop despite his clumsiness and has a way of stumbling into success – actually gets treated well by Martin and fellow detective Jean Reno. There were probably more comedically clever ways to make that point, however.

“The Big Chill” (1983) is an interesting setup and a great ending sandwiched around entirely too much tiresome baby boomer midlife crisis self-analysis. That’s why, as a film, this movie is no longer relevant to anyone other than those baby boomers who see themselves in the movie’s characters (with all due respect). However, it remains hugely significant in that its soundtrack of familiar hit songs helped change how music and movies interacted (and were marketed). And the incredibly positive audience response to said music helped inspire a radio format concept (classic rock) that remains popular 30 years after the film.

There’s no quiet like the quiet following a winter storm. I’ve lived through ice storms in the Northeast. They’re not pleasant. Neither is “The Ice Storm,” director Ang Lee’s 1997 meditation on 1970s mores. Groovy, earth-toned freedom is stripped to its decadent core. Then the forces of nature have their way, leaving emptiness. This might be one of the most perfectly cast films ever, from Kevin Kline’s waspy obliviousness to the fumbling, freckle-faced innocence of various teenage boys. And then there’s Joan Allen and Sigourney Weaver, teaching us the difference between the ice that numbs and the ice that burns.