Tuesday, November 22, 2011
A friend who is a fellow movie lover said she'd never heard the phrase "meet-cute" which I referenced in one of my postings.
"Meet-cute" is a reference to the usually zany, amusing, unlikely ways that a future romantic couple first meet in romantic comedies. We know from the adorable pairing that they are destined to fall in love. The heyday of "Meet-Cute" scenarios was in the 1930's screwball comedies.
My favorite "Meet-Cute" is the one I mentioned in the article: in "Bluebeard's Eighth Wife", Claudette Colbert and Gary Cooper met in a department store and they were at the pajama counter but the store sold only packages of pajamas with the tops and bottoms together. Colbert's character wanted only the pajama TOP and Cooper's character wanted only the pajama BOTTOM! Ernst Lubitsch, the director of the movie is credited with coining the phrase "meet-cute". To be a successful "meet-cute" the male character must be a certain adorable type and the female character must be a strong heroine.
Some of my other favorites:
"It Happened one Night": Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable meet while arguing over the last seat on a bus and she falls asleep with her head on his shoulder.
"Bringing Up Baby": Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn meet when she mistakes his golf ball for her own.
"The Lady Eve": Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda meet when she deliberately sticks out her foot to trip him and then chastises him for breaking the heel from her shoe!
"Mr. Deeds Goes To Town": Jean Arthur meets Gary Cooper when she pretends to faint outside his mansion.
"Singin' In The Rain": Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds meet when he is running away from fans and he jumps over the tops of cars, trolleys, and taxis and lands in her convertible.
"101 Dalmatians": the dog Pongo causes his owner and Perdita's owner to meet by tangling up the leashes and propelling them into a pond.
Some more recent movies have also had some "Meet-Cutes":
"Serendipity": John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale meet when they both try to grab a pair of cashmere gloves at Bloomingdale's.
"The Wedding Planner": Matthew McConnaghey meets Jennifer Lopez when he saves her life by rescuing her from a runaway dumpster.
"The Holiday": Ironically, the Eli Wallach character, a screenwriter, mentions the pajama top/bottom scene but Kate Winslet and Jack Black's characters meet because of trading the London home for the Los Angeles home of Cameron Diaz.