Tom and I were really busy with work over the holidays—I’m talking November 2015 till now—but there were special days to relax and have a films-and-feast night. Thanksgiving—always a special day. Tom’s birthday on December 5—really a special day. Then the Winter Solstice, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. I also celebrate the first full moon in January, for no particular reason. Oh, wait. There is a reason. That’s the day I received the check Universal Studios sent me for “Tomorrow’s Child.” Special, special day.

So we did kick back a couple of times and here’s what we saw.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Insurgent
His Girl Friday
Ex Machina
Babadook
Ant-Man
The Jane Austen Book Club
Love & Mercy

I’m going to start with His Girl Friday. A neighbor with whom we trade magazines—Frank subscribes to the Time Literary Supplement, I receive a free subscription to The Hollywood Reporter, he loves movies, I love books, so that works out well—gave us his DVD of this film, starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, directed by Howard Hawks, based on the stage play, “The Front Page,” and released in 1940. My video guide rated it five stars as a “madcap, screwball comedy.”

It’s set in the high-stakes world of newspaper publishing, the Internet of its day, and I was really looking forward to it.

Well, maybe.  I’d seen another Howard Hawks “screwball comedy,” “Bringing Up Baby” with Cary Grant as a dizzy professor and Katharine Hepburn as the socialite who schemes to steal him away from his fiancée just because, well, she wants him as a trophy. Cary is handsome. Good puma, bad puma notwithstanding, I really hated this movie. I didn’t like Hepburn—and I liked her in “The Rainmaker”—and I didn’t find the premise funny at all. Julia Roberts took a stab at it in “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Didn’t work there either.

How comedy has changed.

I was very disappointed with “His Girl Friday.” Now it’s the woman who’s engaged and her ex-husband persuades her away from her new guy. A bit more palatable, maybe. But mostly I found the film sexist, racist, ethnicist (remember when people were discriminated against for being Italian, Irish, Polish?), and just cold-hearted. A young woman commits suicide by jumping out of a window, and the film shows her lying dead on the street below. But the characters keep stepping all over each other’s lines and ignore what’s just happened in front of their faces. This is supposed to show what absurd workaholics they are. Just not funny.

The screwball comedy is still with us but in addition to the actors stepping all over each other’s lines, they’ve added nonstop profanity. I thought “The Hangover” and “Hot Tub Time Machine” had funny moments, but I wanted to take a hot shower after seeing those films. I don’t know why anyone thinks nonstop profanity is funny. I haven’t seen “Bridesmaids” or “Trainwreck.”

A well-chosen, strategically placed profanity can be very funny like in “Bruce Almighty,” a very funny sweet comedy. There’s no profanity at all in “Some Like It Hot” or the classic “The Producers” and those are very funny films that have stood the test of time (tinges of sexism linger, but I’m willing to let those go).

So there you have it, my friends. What’s funny to you?.

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From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love
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The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
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Strange Ladies: 7 Stories
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Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by Tom Robinson, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

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