Believe it or not, I've really been enjoying not complaining about movies lately. You know, aside from last week. It's been really fun talking about movies I've been enjoying. I don't care if they're older movies, speaking of which...
The Front Page is a movie directed by Some Like It Hot's Billy Wilder and stars Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, if that doesn't interest you, you might want to turn back now.
First I want to complain, I don't like 70s Billy Wilder. He seemed like he was trying to be too edgy to appeal to the younger generation. That said, it's weird hearing Walter Matthau screaming about son-of-a-bitch bastard within the beginning of the film. This is my biggest complaint with the film and I wanted to get that out of the way first. My mom loves Billy Wilder and hates Avanti! for a lot of the reasons I just listed. She hates the swearing and the nudity. Yes, Jack Lemmon shows his ass in Avanti! and it's weird. It's like seeing your grandpa's ass.
That's probably my problem. See, I was introduced to Lemmon and Matthau through my parents. Specifically Grumpy Old Men and The Odd Couple. They were these two old guys my parents really liked and I thought could be charming. As a child, I thought they were the guys Statler and Waldorf were based on.
What the crap am I rambling on about? I'm supposed to be talking about The Front Page, not reminiscing about my grandpa's ass. Anyway, I really enjoyed Fortune Cookie. While it was Matthau and Lemmon's first movie together, the dance they performed was so well rehearsed that they would be performing it the rest of their lives.
If you like them playing off each other as "frienemies," you'll really like The Front Page. Matthau is the head of a local newspaper and Lemmon is his best writer who has decided to quit and go get married. However, Matthau isn't having that. The interactions with Lemmon and Matthau are definitely the highlight of the film, however the slapstick moments are also enjoyable.
There is one thing about this movie that I really liked that has nothing to do with the actors or story. I really like how Wilder chose to convey when the story takes place. So many films opt to just put text on the screen saying "1945" or something. However, Wilder chose to reveal the date through showing the newspaper heading. I know it's a small detail but I really liked it.
Anyone who has seen my films probably knows how much I hate communicating that to my audience. It just feels extremely lazy to put the text on the screen and I think it assumes your audience is a bunch of idiots.
There weren't a lot of shots that I was amazed by, they were very standard Billy Wilder shots. I don't mean Sunset Blvd shots either, they were more like probably something like Double Indemnity. Then again, the best cinematography doesn't draw attention to itself.
If you can get past some of the more risque elements (the swearing and innuendo) and you enjoy Matthau and Lemmon, I would highly recommend The Front Page.