DVD Review: An Affair to Remember

Once upon a time Leo McCarey made a movie. It did very well. 18 years later he remade it, and it did even better. 37 years later it was remade again …and sucked. I guess I can’t really say it sucked, I never watched, but I heard bad things [editor’s note: yes, it sucked]. It went: Love Affair (1939) Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer; An Affair to Remember (1957) Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr; Love Affair (1994) Warren Beatty, Annette Bening.

(Oddly enough Cary Grant and Irene Dunne did a couple cookie cutter “Romantic Comedies” together. Movies that were basically the same: guy and girl, same girl and other guy, first guy and other girl, first guy and first girl cannot live without each other, the end [or Fin]. They just changed the circumstances a little bit.)

For the original remake Leo McCarey got Cary Grant. Ah, Cary Grant. Cary Grant can make even the fluffiest tear-jerker good. Well, except Penny Serenade (also starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. See Above), which wasn’t so much a fluffy tear-jerker, as much as it was a “depressing, stab you in the heart, confirmation that the humanity is doomed, so what’s the point in trying”-er. I felt like the writers said, “Hmm. This isn’t depressing enough; what else can we heap on this poor couple?” Think of a summer Hollywood action movie where each stunt and/or explosion is more spectacular than the last; now replace stunts and/or explosions with depression.

BUT this is about An Affair to Remember, and not Penny Serenade. The first half of An Affair to Remember is actually a pretty good romantic comedy. The second half Is actually pretty damn good too. Is it a chick movie? Heck yeah. But a chick movie with Cary Grant in it.
The story goes: Grant and Debrah Kerr meet on a boat ride to America, where they are both set to marry their respective significant others, and fall in love (with each other). Lamn the duck! Wait I mean, damn the luck. Blah, blah, then something happens. There is laughing, there is crying (not necessarily in that order).

The new release has several good bio-mentaries on the the two leads, the director, and the movie itself. I say go buy it, if you like Cary Grant or good love stories. If you don’t like Cary Grant, go buy Arsenic and Old Lace, North By Northwest, His Girl Friday, To Catch a Thief and The Philadelphia Story. If you still don’t like him after watching those, you need to go to the doctor and make sure you’re still alive. (As Groucho Marx said: “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?!”).

Randy Otteson
For more reviews from Randy, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.