Smile Towns in the movies

Bookworm's essay Friday on idyllic portrayals of small town life in the movies of yore drew some interesting comments on the site Bookworm Room. Patrick O'Hannigan pointed toward a favorite movie of mine, Tremors, a monster movie in which townspeople (not really much of a town, actually) fight together against fierce giant underground reptiles that pop out of the earth to devour humans. (It is actually very witty and well—made, believe it or not. The star, Fred Ward, is a master of deadpan humor. See also Remo Williams and Miami Blues*)

Commentor Stephen pointed to Doc Hollywood, a movie which could fairly be said to celebrate, albeit with an indulgent wink, a small Southern town. The original book and screenplay were authored by Neil B. Schuman, who was a physician in Atlanta, and it may in part be a gentle rebuke to Northern prejudices about the South, as well as urban prejudices against small towns, so often seen since the Sixties. A very sweet movie.

*Miami Blues is a must—see, if only because Alec Baldwin is cast as a violent sociopathic moron, and the role doesn't seem to require any stretching at all. The definitive Alec Baldwin role. Jennifer Jason Leigh also delivers a superb performance as his foil, an addled hooker longing for domesticity with the wrong man.

Thomas Lifson   4 30 06

Bookworm's essay Friday on idyllic portrayals of small town life in the movies of yore drew some interesting comments on the site Bookworm Room. Patrick O'Hannigan pointed toward a favorite movie of mine, Tremors, a monster movie in which townspeople (not really much of a town, actually) fight together against fierce giant underground reptiles that pop out of the earth to devour humans. (It is actually very witty and well—made, believe it or not. The star, Fred Ward, is a master of deadpan humor. See also Remo Williams and Miami Blues*)

Commentor Stephen pointed to Doc Hollywood, a movie which could fairly be said to celebrate, albeit with an indulgent wink, a small Southern town. The original book and screenplay were authored by Neil B. Schuman, who was a physician in Atlanta, and it may in part be a gentle rebuke to Northern prejudices about the South, as well as urban prejudices against small towns, so often seen since the Sixties. A very sweet movie.

*Miami Blues is a must—see, if only because Alec Baldwin is cast as a violent sociopathic moron, and the role doesn't seem to require any stretching at all. The definitive Alec Baldwin role. Jennifer Jason Leigh also delivers a superb performance as his foil, an addled hooker longing for domesticity with the wrong man.

Thomas Lifson   4 30 06