Friday, July 15, 2011

'Cupid and Cate' Open Thread

What did you think?

Look over the rest of the photos at the posting at our Movie Club.


  1. I should have my copy Monday. :)

  2. With some of the movies we've watched, I can write up my comments in sections when I have a little time here and there without losing my train of thought too horribly. Apparently that only works with movies I don't need to process very much in order to start putting impressions into words.

    There were a couple of elements to Cupid and Cate that left me feeling a little adrift at first. One was that the movie presents itself initially as a romantic comedy, which it isn't. It has comic moments, and it has romance, but it's primarily a story about family, and the ruptures that occur, and what it takes to make things whole again.

    The other area that baffled me a bit was the father character, and his constant unprovoked hostility towards Cate. Why is he so bitter towards Cate? Cate gives hints here and there -- she's not a great mind like the doctor-sister; she's not a great beauty like the model-sister; she's not a great wife and mother like the perfect-wife-and-mother sister. So, maybe her father is upset that she's wasting her life in work that he doesn't appreciate. But we also learn that Cate can't remember a time that things weren't bad between herself and her father, so apparently it predates her disappointing him as an adult. Or maybe he's just constantly angry because Cate doesn't behave lovingly/respectfully/dutifully enough towards him -- primarily because she blames him for her later mother's unhappiness.

    The mother's unhappiness, and the different perceptions of its cause by the various members of the family, were central to the story, and I thought the movie did a wonderful job of showing how different the "realities" of a family's life can be for the different members. Cate is determined that it was her father's bullying that caused her mother to take refuge in drink; her sister Cynthia idolizes the father she sees as a loving husband defeated by his wife's alcoholism. And their relationships within, and beyond, their family are significantly affected by the very different perceptions of their parents.

    The romance between Cate and Harry was nicely worked, too. I like his respectful honesty when he tells her that he knows she's seeing someone, but he'd like to call her anyway. Each step is like that -- he invites, always open about his interest in her; she accepts, limiting and restricting, while trying to decide whether what she sees in Harry is enough to make her break with the sadly unimaginative boyfriend. (I'm glad they didn't feel the need to make a bad guy of Philip. He's just a passion-less individual, and given the unhappiness that Cate experienced because of the more passionate natures in her family, her attraction to him makes sense.) And I loved the scene when Harry tells Cate that he doesn't want to be a problem for her, that he will leave her alone -- although he is in love with her. Different actor, different director, that could have felt like the biggest con going, but Peter Gallagher made it authentic, and moving. (And of course, she tells him she loves him, as well. Really nice scene.)


  3. Continued:

    And I really liked the treatment of Cate's relationship with her sisters, particularly Cynthia. Cynthia's encouragement and efforts in making-over the shop help Cate believe she can define herself differently (as does her match-making). And her quiet honesty when she challenges Cate's beliefs about their parents is so important to Cate beginning to see her world differently.

    (I really liked that about Harry, too; he didn't confuse dishonest agreement with supporting his wife, but talked to her when he saw her taking a wrong step.)

    When we get to the final dinner party scene, Annette and Francesca are realizing that they can no longer be silent bystanders in the division between Cate and their father, and mount a respectful rebellion around the dinner table. Dominic seems broken -- perhaps the illusion that he could still control his children had allowed him to survive losing the beloved wife he couldn't save. It is Cate who recognizes how profound his distress is, and is moved to follow him in an effort to repair what can be made right. Her apology to him represents her forgiveness of him, as well, and I think they did a very nice job illustrating the way hearts can open fully -- particularly when there is crisis among loved ones -- when there is willingness on both sides. A beautiful final scene for a movie that makes clear there is much story left untold.

  4. Hey -- this is not to rush anybody -- but I think I'm next up, and I cold use something sweet and far-fetched and totally unrelated to real life.

    Could you go for Here Comes Mr. Jordan?

  5. Well, you described everything so well I didn't want to spoil the moment. Those were just lovely comments, Cathy. I really did enjoy this show, and there was so much going on that was fun I could hardly get myself started. Nicely done!

    Now, on to 'Here Comes Mr. Jordan'. Should have it in a couple of days!