Friday, October 22, 2010

Classic Movie of the Week: The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

I’m feeling quite colorful this week, so I thought this week’s movie should be in color or at least mostly in color.

The Purple Rose of Cairo is the story of Cecilia (Mia Farrow), a waitress in the Great Depression who tries to escape the horrors of her daily life by going to the movies. After a particularly bad morning, Cecilia goes to the cinema and watches the same movie, The Purple Rose of Cairo (a fictional black and white film), all day until one of the lead characters, Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels) announces his love for her and leaves the screen to be with her. This causes all sorts of chaos: the other characters are stranded in the middle of the film because they cannot continue without him, other “Tom Baxter”s begin to attempt to leave the screen at other cinemas nationwide, and Gil Shepherd (the actor who plays Tom Baxter) may no longer have a career because producers worry that his characters are too real for the big screen. And it looks like Cecilia is the only one who can save the day and convince Tom to return to his world. But does she want to?

The Purple Rose of Cairo is a Woody Allen film, but is it is definitely not as famous or critically acclaimed as Annie Hall (a film that will most likely show up here soon, once I get around to re-watching it) and some of his other films. Still, I’m featuring it here for two reasons. The first is that it is a great Woody Allen film for people who don’t like Woody Allen films. What I mean by this is that if you don’t like watching Woody Allen act in his films, this is the perfect Woody Allen film for you because Woody Allen is not in it. Thus, the comedy in the movie is much more situational and not created by him in accordance with his sense of humor (which I personally love, but I know that there are people out there who don’t). Second, the ending to this film is AMAZING!!!! It’s one of those endings that stayed with me weeks after I watched the movie and still comes back to haunt me. It’s just so thought provoking and emotional and fitting and brilliant! It’s as good as cotton candy and that is definitely saying something.

You can watch the trailer here.

Side Note: I promise I will start featuring movies that are not romantic comedies next week. I just have a thing for romantic comedies…

The Purple Rose of Cairo can be watched instantly and rented through Netflix. The full movie might also be on YouTube… In Spanish…

--Lolita De Palma '14

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