March 11, 2011

Dishin' DVDs: Days of Wine and Roses

The other night while looking for a great old movie to watch, I came across Days of Wine and Roses starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick. I'd never seen the movie before, but I've long been a fan of Jack Lemmon so I decided to watch it. I had no idea what it was about, and that's probably a good thing. I might not have watched it if I'd known.

Jack Lemmon plays Joe Clay, an alcoholic public relations man who hates what he does for a living. From the very first scene, we're pretty clear on how Joe feels about his life and his career. He mistakes Kirsten Arnasen (Remick) for a call-girl he's arranged to attend a party for clients, and the two of them develop an immediate dislike for each other. Joe later apologizes for his mistake and the two eventually fall in love and get married.

In the beginning Kirsten prefers chocolate to booze, an inconvenience Joe manages to overcome by introducing her to the Brandy Alexander, which is made with brandy and creme de cocoa.

I started the movie expecting a light romantic comedy, but that's definitely not what I got. Note to self: pay more attention to the blurb next time.

Not surprisingly, both Lemmon and Remick are great in the movie. Is the acting occasionally over the top? Maybe. But having lived with an alcoholic in the past, maybe not as over-the-top as some people would like to believe. The heartbreaking thing to me is the fact that these two characters had a child. Watching what they put that child through is painful.

Recommended, but with a caveat. It's a movie you may want to avoid if alcoholism is part of your past.

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