Monday, May 19, 2014

There's Always Vanilla (1971)

Director: George A. Romero

Writer: Rudy Ricci

Composers: Jim Drake, Steve Gorn, Mike Marracino

Starring: Raymond Laine, Judith Ridley, Johanna Lawrence, Richard Ricci, Roger McGovern, Ron Jaye, Bob Wilson, Louise Sahene, Christopher Priore, Robert Trow

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Every woman knows why the wrong man is irresistible!

Plot: A young man returns to his home city of Pittsburgh and moves in with an older woman whom he begins to rely on for emotional and financial support.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I dig Romero's style in the 70s.  It's the way he handled the actors and their dialogue. It's also his editing.  It's different and fresh.  The performances are very good and it's a shame that neither Laine nor Ridley did much acting afterward.  I just didn't dig the film that much.  It's slow and sometimes dull.  93 minutes felt like a lot more.  Maybe it's the bleakness of the relationship or that Chris (Laine) is such an asshole.  Michael Caine was a monstrous asshole in ALFIE (1966) but he was a deliciously nasty cad.  Chris is more laid back than Alfie so that could have something to do with it.  It held my attention so you get points for that.  The commercial shoots were fun and I love that bit of dialogue where Lynn (Ridley) is talking to a producer (I think) on a beer commercial set.  She says something like (referring to the beer), "Isn't that cheating, making the beer look better than it actually looks?".  He goes on about the beer is the reason why she's there, he's there, the crew, and everyone else making lots of money all because of that beer, so yes.  She goes back to brushing her hair and he pipes in with, "Isn't that cheating?".  GREAT scene.  The full movie is on YouTube below and you can find that scene about 7 minutes in.  It's definitely worth your few minutes and it's the best part of the picture.  It might not be that good of a film but Romero made some wonderful moments.

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