Archive for the ‘Ed Begley Jr.’ Category

Running Mates

18 Oct

Running Mates – Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. Political Comedy 92 minutes Color 1992

* * * * *

Yes, of course you know it’s going to turn out well. All you’re supposed to care about is the cleverness of the array of obstacles to it. Diane Keaton is perfectly cast as the dame off whose tongue gaffes fall trippingly. No one has achieved flusterdom on the screen with such brilliance since Jean Arthur. With Keaton, of course, you cannot do anything but veer toward comedy. She’s never going to play Clytemnestra. Her touch is too light. But she is an actor of genius. She looks like she is making everything up, stumbling along, not knowing which way to turn, and blurting out her lines this way and that. But the fact is every word she utters is scripted, and every move musically right. The same was true of Bing Crosby whom she resembles in nonchalance and aplomb. He never ad-libbed anything. Keaton is 46 here and looks 36, which is the age she is playing, opposite Ed Harris who is butch but with dimples. He is miscast, since he has no sense of humor, but they are very good in their scenes together, and of course it is her you watch. She draws focus even when she doesn’t, because you expect her to. The picture is a good Hollywood political comedy along the lines of State Of The Union with Hepburn and Tracy, good middle-class comedy, well-mounted in all departments. Keaton won her Oscar for Annie Hall which she made when she was 31. The shelf life of pretty actresses is usually not of the duration hers has proven to be. Thank goodness she has never abandoned ship. Comedy is her preservative. Twenty years later she is still before us, and we are blessed to be able to watch her ply her craft, one of the great techniques ever to appear before us on screen. A full body craft. Watch how she makes her exits, if you want to know how an actor of genius gets it done.






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