When Harry Met Sally (1989), written by Nora Ephron, is a love story
between two neurotic characters adrift in the post-sexual revolution age.
Not much of a comedy, it feels like a bad Woody Allen film.
Harry and Sally have known each other since they shared the trip that
took them to New York, where she planned to become a journalist and he planned
to become a politician (during the trip he warns her that friendship between
a man and a woman is impossible because of sexual attraction).
Years later, they are both successful yuppies renting Manhattan apartments.
They meet by accident at the airport: she has a boyfriend who is an acquaitance
of Harry, but Harry does not recognize her. He does recognize her on the plane
by the pedantic way she orders a drink.
Harry's cynical comments on relationships get on Sally's nerves and she says
Years later, Sally has just broke up with her boyfriend and Harry is going
through a divorce.
This time they become friends and talk about their respective relationships
and about their new single life (at a restaurant she fakes an orgasm to prove
to him that she has experienced great sex).
Eventually they get close enough that, when she is devastated by a news
related to her ex, she calls him to console her and they have sex.
Thinking they made a mistake, they decide to remain just friends and forget
But then they can't help it: during the New Year's Eve party Harry proposes to
Sally and she accepts.
A Few Good Men (1992), the adaptation of a theatrical play
by Aaron Sorkin about military justice, is a pretext for a
(terrible) star-studded blockbuster.
A marine died at a military base when, incited by their superiors,
other marines attacked him to teach him a lesson.
The two marines are arrested and charged with murder.
Attorney Joanne is instructed to assign the case to her subordinate lawyer
Daniel, whose only title to fame is to be the son of a famous lawyer and who has
a reputation for being soft and not creating embarrassments to the navy.
Joanne and Daniel interrogate the two suspects and realize that they are
hiding something. But
the code of honor of the marines keeps them (both proud of being
marines) from talking to the lawyer and incriminating others.
Joanne, Daniel and another lawyer fly to the base and interview the commander,
a disturbing old man who dresses his sweet talk with sexist and racist
Daniel is a practical person, not an idealist, and keeps mediating between the
parties, while Joanne is determined to get straight to the bottom of it.
It is obvious, though, that the two marines were just following orders
originating from the commander in person. The dead marine had challenged the
commander's authority and, after tha hazing incident, the commander had
covered up the beating that led to the death.
The film then turns into a courtroom drama (equally trivial and predictable).
Daniel, finally converted to Joanne's ideals, defends his clients but does not
have witnesses, especially after one of the officers commits suicide.
During a momentous confrontation in court, the commander loses his temper
and confesses that he gave the order.
Daniel wins the trial.
The American President (1995)
Il presidente degli USA, un vedovo bonario, trova tempo, fra le sue mille
incombenze, di innamorarsi di una giovane avvocatessa che difende con
accanimento una causa ambientalista. Lei all'inizio e` turbata e incredula,
e tutti attorno al presidente ostacolano l'idea, politicamente pericolosa.
Il presidente non da` retta a nessuno.
Ma lei non resiste alla tentazione e diventa la sua ragazza.
Per la ragazza si tratta di una responsabilita` enorme:
i giornali si scatenano.
Il suo rivale, che spera di scalzarlo dalla Casa Bianca, alle prossime
elezioni, non perde l'occasione. Scopre che tredici anni prima aveva
partecipato a una manifestazione in cui era stata bruciata una bandiera
americana e scatena una caccia alle streghe contro la donna. Il presidente
rimane indifferente, ma la ragazza non riesce a rimanere indifferente davanti
ad accuse infamanti.
Anche lo staff del presidente sta vacillando sotto i colpi e alla fine lo
convincono a scendere a compromessi per salvare la sua carriera politica.
Ma sono proprio quei compromessi, che la ragazza interpreta come debolezza
ideologica, a costargli lei.
Rimasto di nuovo solo, il presidente ha la sua crisi esistenziale.
E, finalmente, attacca il rivale: tiene una conferenza stampa in cui smaschera
la sua vilta` e la sua ipocrisia, poi obbliga il Congresso ad approvare una
legge ambientalista cosi` come la voleva la ragazza.
Prende un'auto normale e si fa portare dalla ragazza, che ovviamente lo perdona.
Una storia romantica che ripete uno stereotipo millenario (la ragazza semplice
e intraprendente che diventa la donna di un uomo potente). Reiner perde troppo
tempo a descrivere l'attivita` del presidente, rallentando in tal modo l'azione
a livelli soporiferi.
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