During my freshman year of college, my dear roommate and I would shove our beds together and spend many an evening watching our favorite pre-code films projected on our wall with a few friends tucked into our makeshift fort of blankets, quilts, and stuffed animals. I have the fondest memories of the particles of light from the projector raining on my hair, chatting about old Hollywood gossip, and falling asleep to the glow of the Chrysler building in our window. Sadly, I was always "borrowing" my friend's dusty projector that he never used, and the days of watching Guiletta Masina's shadow dance across the wall faded as I poured all of the money I was spending on buying films into buying movie tickets and books.
Easy Living (1937) is without a shadow of a doubt, one of my favorite films, and one I would love to project just about anywhere. Being home for a short while makes my toes itch in anticipation for all of the New York retrospectives, but it also has me thinking about starting my own little picture house of sorts. I am dying to curate my own "Dirty Thirties in the Park" or something of that variety, but more on that later! Anyhow, I was lucky enough to see Easy Living this winter at Film Forum during their Breadlines and Champagne series (I think I saw about twenty-five of them, gee whiz!) and immediately after I walked out into the slushy streets, I was wishing I could just watch it all over again! I think I went straight to Kim's Video and nabbed the sole copy for my collection. Any and every Preston Sturges script is good and I dare-say necessary for the soul! Jean Arthur sails magnificently through the picture with every soft tender line and every physical gag that was never really written for her in Capra's pictures (albeit some of the nearest and dearest films to my heart)! Throw in loads of misunderstandings, the somehow lovable Edward Arnold (he and Charles Coburn always manage to sneak into my favorite films), and one heck of a charming leading man (the adorable Ray Milland, with his hair flopping just-so in his face!), and you're in for loads of magic and plenty of laughs! That was certainly one of my favorite days in the series: sneaking in my complimentary cup of Blue Ribbon's apple cider and chuckling my way through the entire film with one of the best audiences I've ever been in! I cannot recommend this film enough. It brings me such joy and happiness, it truly deserves to be shared and cherished by more than just little ol' me!