Saturday, October 28, 2023

French Kiss


In one of the five greatest romantic comedies of all time, Meg Ryan is traveling by train through what is presumably Provence, and she says something like "Beautiful, beautiful. It's all so beautiful!" And then she eats a bunch of cheese even though she's severely lactose intolerant.

Despite this being one of the five greatest romantic comedies ever made, I could not credit it particularly on the writing, or the plot, even if both, roughly, have their moments. It is so bizarrely great because the performances of our two leads are on a level rarely achieved in any genre of any movie ever. This is Meg Ryan's greatest romantic comedy performance, and the Academy's credibility will never recover for not even nominating her for best actress, let alone begging her to accept the award. The fact that Kevin Kline (miles better than award winner Tom Hanks as a mannered Forrest Gump in the repulsive movie of the same name) is nearly as good despite having to play a pathetic rapscallion, makes for the greatest one-two in a romantic comedy since Moonstruck, or, even, and I can hardly believe I'm saying this, possibly the best ever.

I sometimes refer young people to this wonder of the genre and they come back mildly unimpressed. Whatever. They get caught up in the implausible, almost silly plot and lack of commitment to reality, like so many do with romantic comedies, and lose sight of the charm and unearthly abilities of the leads. The higher things.

But I digress.


Because all I wanted to say is that the way Meg Ryan reacts to France, which is so beautiful that all sense and proportion turns off, exactly expresses the beauty of Saint Minneapolis right now, in the two precious weeks of Autumn we are lucky enough to experience here.

Should I be out photographing this fleeting and astonishing wonder?

Sure, but it's hopeless. I have taken a few pictures, spiced them up with Fox and Skunk, and am always happy to trot them out for you, but it's all a facsimile. Even the lowliest neighborhood out here is beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. More beautiful than words or pictures. Which is what Meg Ryan managed to convey, and Kevin Kline managed to agree with, even though there was no dialogue to that effect.

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