Monthly Archives: May 2012

Cinematherapy Rx: Happily Ever After Movie “Pillow Talk”

Take a break from the uncertainty of life with a Happily Every After movie that promises that every conflict can be resolved and every loose thread tucked away in a seamless story of perfect boy-meets-girl, boy marries girl, and they lived happily ever after. Check out this Cinematherapy Happily Ever After

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Pillow Talk (1959)

Stars: Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall.

Director: Michael Gordon

Writers: Stanley Shapiro and Maurice Richlin, based on a story by Russell Rouse and Clarence Greene

From the moment those credits roll, with Doris and Rock gaily tossing pink and blue satin pillows in the air while Doris’s honey-smooth voice sings “there must be a boy, must be a pillow, must be a pillow talkin’ boy for me,” you know you’re in for one surreal romp. Originally billed as a “sexcapade,” Pillow Talk is a bizarre little gem from an era before Vidal Sassoon, Clairol Herbal Essence Shampoo, the short and sassy look, or that stuff your hairdresser gives you to “scrunch” with for a natural look. Doris Day plays Jan Morrow, a freckle-nosed, no-nonsense career girl in a silver helmet wig, the hairs of which wouldn’t dare stir even in nuclear blast. Smooth talking Brad Allen, a lothario who shares her party line, is determined to get Jan to let her hair down in more ways than one. The boundaries of her conversations violated by the vagaries of 50s era telephone technology, Jan is determined to retain her dignity, her privacy, her flawless ‘do, and her virginity, which makes sense given her options for risk management in the pre-Pill, pre-feminist era.

Now, Jan knows how to handle a man who is all hands and cheap pick up lines but of course, a gal can’t find happiness in the pre-free-love era without a plotline that promises hot sex forever after—at least, once the ring is on her finger. With the help of a friend (Tony Randall) who just so happens to know Jan, Brad plays a mischievous game of multiple personalities, teasing Jan into pondering whether it’s possible that underneath that playboy exterior beats the heart of a sensitive soul with a penchant for interior design and recipe collecting. Then again, maybe under that sensitive soul exterior beats the heart of someone keeping a major secret from the movie going audience for the sake of better lead male roles…

Next time you’re seeking simple solutions and unwilling to look too far below the surface, slip into some pink pajamas, curl up with a few fluffy pillows, and pour yourself a nice grasshopper or pink lady to sip while you enjoy this frothy little piece of Americana.

World Class Wrecks

“Mr. Allen, this may come as a surprise to you, but there are some men who don’t end every sentence with a proposition.”—Doris Day as Jan Morrow in Pillow Talk

“I look upon Brad Allen like any other disease. I’ve had him. I’m over him. I’m immune to him.”—Doris Day as Jan Morrow in Pillow Talk

“You listen to me. No alcoholic beverage, no drug known to science, no torture device yet devised could induce me to stay married to you!”—Doris Day as Carol Templeton in Lover Come Back

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Cinematherapy for When You’re Feeling Bullied and Pressured to Conform: 12 Angry Men

At home alone, looking to be inspired? Try a POWER OF ONE Movie. Tonight on Turner Classic Movies, you can catch 12 Angry Men. Here’s a Cinematherapy take:

12 Angry Men (1957)

Stars: Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, John Savoca, plus another five angry men to round it out

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writer: Reginald Rose

This classic courtroom portrays just how hard it can be to achieve justice when the deciders are locked in a claustrophobic jury room on a muggy summer day, with a broken fan that serves as a reminder of how the inconveniences of life can render us prisoners of our lower selves. Let’s face it: It’s hard to be patient and compassionate when you schvitzed through your starched white collar shirt and tie before you even got out of the courtroom. Clearly, this jury could’ve used some tank tops and muscle shirts along with ice water and racial and gender diversity, but then, it’s a story set in an era when 12 white men in suits weighing whether a poor Hispanic kid would be found guilty of knifing someone wouldn’t make a judge blink.

Unbeknownst to the defendant (John Savoca), he is within a whisper of being sentenced to the gallows because of the frustrations of a bunch of fellows longing for casual Friday wear and a decent ventilation and a/c system. Fortunately, one man—juror number 8 (Henry Fonda)—isn’t willing to ditch his duty for a quick escape. Despite his fellow jurors’ flaring tempers, racist speeches, and impatience with logic and facts, juror number 8 insists on exploring the evidence and testimony in further detail. As the afternoon wears on, we recognize that each man has an insight rooted in his personal experience which, collectively, will flesh out the picture of what happened that fatal night and allow the truth to emerge. But will the desperate need for a cold drink and a gentle breeze thwart juror 8’s efforts to bring out the best in his fellow anonymous peers?

When you’re feeling under pressure to cave in to the majority, 12 Angry Men is a refreshing reminder that democracy doesn’t mean the bullies get to rule and the quiet guys have to conform. Its eloquent portrayal of acting from courage and conscious will inspire you to believe that you, too, can keep your head while those about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, to quote Kipling, simply because their Arrid solid stopped working.

–Nancy Peske

Cinematherapy for when you’re feeling bullied: 12 Angry Men is a Power of One movie

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Cinematherapy: Identical Cousins Nancy Peske and Beverly West Are Back!

USA Today dubbed Cinematherapy “a cultural phenomenon…” With over 340,000 copies in print of all editions of our Cinematherapy books (including Bibliotherapy), we have to say we never quite expected just how much our fun and inspirational guides to movies for every mood would resonate.

We’ll be adding reviews and other fun movie stuff to this blog to help you find the medicine you need whether you’re suffering from the Bad Hair Day Blues or a full-fledged identity crisis. We know just what you need: CINEMATHERAPY!

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Cinematherapy for Lovers

Cinematherapy for the Soul

 

Cinematherapy Goes to the Oscars

 

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