Friday, 1 October 2010

Flashback: A Touch of Class

I have a thing for British Films, no significant reason – probably the accents, but I can’t be certain. A Touch of Class is a little British comedy that just so happened to get a few Oscar nominations. I really do like A Touch of Class, it'd probably make my top 150...even though there are actually a few things that I definitely dislike about this movie, I will admit that it’s not the best movies made, but it’s still one of my faves. Glenda Jackson won herself an Oscar for this film, and it serves as proof that when comedies are done tastefully they can be quite successful with the Academy.
First off, I should say that I like George Segal. He was robbed of an Oscar for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, but that’s all old news. He was also robbed of an Oscar for this gem, here. Robbed, I tell you, robbed! I mean Glenda won an Oscar – not sure if she would have gotten my vote – but I didn’t mind. But he was better than her. A Touch of Class is pretty straight forward. While in the park one day a man and woman bump into each other, and for a few days after that this certain man and certain woman keep on bumping into each other until they decide to have a romantic rendezvous, he’s a married American - Steve - and she’s a catty British woman - Vicki. It’s the seventies so extramarital affairs are all fine and dandy. He has this really annoying wife that just gets on my nerves, but eventually he is able to get to the airport to meet the woman. Naturally (because this is a comedy you see) their journey to romanticism (or sex as we know it) is filled with a whole lot of madness – I won’t go into that. Eventually they do have sex and he’s offended when she doesn’t think that it’s the best night of her life. They decide to go home now, they are not hitting off. Eventually (as this is a romantic comedy) they end up arguing which leads to explosive sex and they start to fall in love – but they don’t know it yet. One of Steve’s friends (Paul Sorvino in a very blandly acted part) warns him about these dalliances which only end in heartbreak, but he doesn’t think they will become emotionally attached.
I don’t think you have to be a rocket scientist to realise that they do fall in love and towards the end of the film Steve sends her a telegram ending the relationship. He changes his mind about it, but it’s already been delivered (unbeknownst to him). He goes over to the apartment they share and sees the telegram, puts the pieces together and sees Glenda outside on the sidewalk – he tries to call her, but she doesn’t hear. The film ends with her walking down the street and a taxi stops – a man is going for it and he smiles at her, just like George did, offering to share it. Are you married? She asks. Yes. He says. You can keep it! she replies, and stalks off.

I’m not a sucker for happy endings, but I was so pissed at the ending of this movie. Why did they have to break-up? I mean, okay maybe they wouldn’t have gotten married, but how about a nice uncertain end like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Poor George Segal. I realise I’ve been rambling and you’re probably wondering – Why do I like this movie? Don’t get me wrong – it’s a good movie. Glenda Jackson is great and very hot – and for some inexplicable reason she reminds me of Cate Blanchett – it’s probably the protruding cheekbones, bless them… and George Segal as I said before is a really good actor. He’s really underrated, I mean he’s not good in everything – but when he’s good, he’s excellent., and he was excellent in this. Shame, it's not remembered more often.


Fritz said...

I just saw this movie two days ago, probably for the 100th time. I just love it!

Alex in Movieland said...

I've seen it only once yeaaaaaaaars ago. while I think I enjoyed it and I like Glenda's screen presence in general, I am still confused by the Oscar win. Letting aside the fact that at least 3 of the other nominees had better roles and performances (I've actually seen all, but wouldn't put my finger on a ranking), WHY would American voters decide to give her a 2nd win?
and not to Streisand.
and not a first to Burstyn who leads a box-office hit.
and not to GG winner Marsha Mason.
and not to powerful Joanne Woodward (here I can guess why not, because nobody had seen Summer Wishes...)

why Glenda?! still an Oscar mystery