Three sentence movie reviews: A New Leaf
Part two of my Elaine May marathon, this movie was both written (adapted from a short story) and directed by Ms. May.* I watched the entire film with a smile on my face, and then spent some time afterward trying to figure out just what made the movie so pleasurable. I think partly this was a dark comedy** filmed with a very light touch and partially because both characters should have driven me crazy*** but instead I found them completely delightful.
Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home
*This is also the film I watched with my mother when it played on TV. I was quite young, maybe six, and felt very grown up to be watching. I have very clear memories of parts of this movie and I’m not sure why, as watching movies was not unusual in my childhood.
**Not laugh-out-loud, but quite amusing, with many chuckling parts.
***Matthau is a spoiled trust fund playboy who has stupidly spent all his money and thus must find a rich women to marry quickly, May is the rich woman who is also a completely spacey Botany professor, who is klutzy and speaks in a high, breathy voice.
poster from: http://www.impawards.com/1971/new_leaf.html
IMP Awards had TWO posters for this film, which is rare for an obscure early 70s film. I also liked this poster because it was pre-Photoshop and it’s fun to imagine Matthau holding up that thousand dollar bill whilst trying to shake hands while May holds her teacup. (An action which her character would not actually be able to do for long.)
Oh gosh, I have a hard time accepting Walter Matthau as a romantic lead. In my head he’ll always be a grumpy old man. I find it interesting that you have such a clear childhood memory of watching it with your mom. It’s funny, isn’t it, the things our minds hang onto?
Well, romantic lead should be in quotes. It’s one of the things that kind of makes the movie awesome.
How fun to rediscover this blast from your past. it is an interesting premise. Doesn’t Arthur have a similar theme?
Yes, although Arthur is a drunk. This guy is just profligate with his money.