Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lazy Movie Weekend: Why are there madeleine pans?

Something I never thought would happen has happened. No, Pumpkin did not learn how to open a locked bathroom door and save the day. This would require her to focus on something for longer than two seconds. She only has that level of commitment to napping.

The impossibility that has become reality is this: I love summer movies again. I know, I didn't think it could happen either. I love going to the movies but the last few summers have left me feeling a little off. I would see a movie here and there but haven't been truly excited about summer movies in forever. I've only seen three movies in the theater since summer movie season officially started (although I did see one of the movies twice) but I have multiple weeks planned out from now until the end of August to bask in the glow of action and comedy movies, animated gems, and some random dramas and indie films thrown in for good measure. I also joined the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse movie club so I can see the couple I missed from early May. This is how I plan to see Furious 7. The pass was $30 and I can watch a movie per day for an entire year (and drink beer while doing so if I am so inclined). Glorious.

There are probably lots of reasons that this summer's movie schedule is resonating with me. Could it be the abundance of strong and interesting female characters across multiple genres? Maybe it's the fun of animated films and oddball comedies that I'm reacting to. Or maybe it's the summery feel I get from so many of the trailers. But it's not. Despite the fact that all of these statements are true none of them are what brought me back to summer movies. The real reason that I love summer movies again?

Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham.

How perfect are they together in Spy? Every scene they share made me laugh more than I expected and in unexpected ways. I thought that Melissa McCarthy's Susan Cooper would be the plucky comic relief in this movie but no, she is the straight woman to Jason Statham's bumbling Rick Ford. I imagine when Paul Feig was writing the film he thought to himself, "How can I create a character that should be all the suave and sophisticated cool of James Bond but is in fact a moron with a gun? And wouldn't it be awesome if Jason Statham agreed to play him? I'm brilliant!!"

I've always been a Melissa McCarthy fan. Sookie St. James was one of my favorite characters on Gilmore Girls and she's had amazing roles in Bridesmaids, Tammy, and St. Vincent. As for Statham, I've seen all of The Transporter movies, and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Given what I know of Statham's more popular films, I figured he'd be the tough guy agent and not have any bit of a sense of humor but it turns out he's wicked funny and the dynamic between him and McCarthy is amazing. They throw zingers right and left and what's even better is that Susan Cooper does not let Rick Ford take over the mission. The world needs both of them to save the day.

One of my favorite exchanges:

Rick Ford: We have to stop the sale of a nuclear bomb. They send in someone who looks like Santa Claus' fucking wife!
Susan Cooper: Uh, did you forget? I am undercover because you are not supposed to be here!
Rick Ford: Well I make a habit out of doing things that people say I can't do: Walk through fire, water ski blindfolded, take up piano at a late age.

What Spy really made me realize is that I need more McCarthy and Statham, as a duo, in my life. Yes, I could just watch all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls again or count the times that Frank Martin uses his clothes as weapons in The Transporter movies but it won't ever be the same. I've heard that Spy is potentially going to be a franchise so we could see more of Susan and Rick (and Nancy and Aldo; I adore them too) but it's not definite. I need definite. I need to know when the next movie is going to come out and how many scenes they'll be in together and whether or not the end of the first film will be addressed (I won't ruin it for you). I need answers.

More importantly, I need more of them together. I don't think more Spy movies will be enough. What we really need is a McCarthy/Statham television show. Originally when I thought about this I settled on buddy cop dramedy (that's totally a thing; think of it like a mix of Law & Order and that Andy Samberg show on Fox) but then I realized we'd have to figure out how to make Statham American and I can't have any of that. The accent is a requirement. Or there would have to be some weird plot device/complication that explains why a British guy is an American cop or that there's some sort of country collaboration happening. The complication of those plot elements don't sit well with me. I don't want to serialize Spy because it's definitely better as a big screen movie (an event if you will) so the CIA, FBI, and any other spy organization is out. I wouldn't want to watch a show set in a hospital or school (too many of those already anyway).

And then it came to me: rival chefs.

I'm not saying that Sookie St. James needs to get her own show but I can see these two as rival chefs who duke it out for culinary superiority in a small Midwestern city (maybe Cincinnati or Detroit or Milwaukee). Maybe there's some sabotage or restaurant themed hijinks. Think of all the awesome supporting characters too; maybe a Kirk-like character who works at both restaurants and some busybody regulars who try to get them to fall in love (which they never do by the way). Maybe Jason should be a single dad with an ultra sassy daughter who hangs around the restaurant saying really sassy things (for a 10 year old). I don't have a title yet but I'm working on it. Clearly Amy Sherman-Palladino should be involved and we could get this on ABC Family (they took Bunheads away so they owe me).

I would also be able to ask Jason Statham the question that needs to be answered and yet no one has ever asked: why does Frank Martin have a madeleine pan and the ingredients to make madeleines in his home but serves Lai instant noodles The Transporter? Why? I assume it's because writer Luc Besson figured I would be paying attention to the number of times Statham is shirtless or uses his clothes as weapons (this happens constantly in the entire franchise) rather than this weird baking scene. However, I find the madeleine scene distracting. Why is it there? I bake all the time and I don't own a madeleine pan so it seems weird that Frank Martin, a man that transports illicit goods, would have this in his kitchen. Is it because the movie takes place in France? I hope this isn't the answer because that would be lame and a bit of a generalization of the French people.

And maybe it's in this question that we've found our opening sequence. In one kitchen, Melissa makes a her famous lemon madeleines as a new dessert offering for her restaurant's summer menu. In the other kitchen, Jason, on a whim, decides to make lemon madeleines too (they happen to be his sassy daughter's favorite). Restaurant goers can't get enough and so our rivalry is born.

It needs some work but I think I've found our answer to what to do between now and the next Spy movie (if there is one; I hope there is one). Anyone want to help me think of a title?

Next up on the Island: Chris Pratt can have Jurassic World; I'm going on a Winosaur Adventure! What's a Winosaur Adventure? Check out next week's post to find out (hint: it may or may not involve wineries and roadside attractions).

Shaken, Not Stirred
Susan and Rick 
Quotes from IMDB

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