Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Man of the Century

Johnny Twennies, columnist for the New York Sun Telegram, wears a fedora, sends telegrams, whistles for taxis, and he thinks his girlfriend is just swell. Of course, after 27 dates Samantha's still wondering when she's going to get kissed. Johnny is a man of his times. His times are the late 1920's, even though he's living in 1990's New York. Cheerfully oblivious to the coarse, cynical and sexually liberated modern world, Johnny refuse to see the ugliness or surrender to the unhappiness around him. He woos his girl, does his job, teaches the bullies a lesson, shows the mob who's boss, and shows himself a hero, all without breaking a sweat.

This film is a welcome treat. The writing is witty. The story works just fine as either farce or straight up. Double entendres and screwball comedy abound. Frank Gorshin (TV Batman's The Riddler) and famed Manhattan night club performer Bobby Short play small roles. The black and white cinematography lends to the atmosphere and allows of certain artful touches. The period piece musical scenes are delightful. This film is a cult favorite, and bears repeated viewing. It should have won its star and co-writer Gibson Frazier and its director an co-writer Adam Abraham an award. It's a great date movie. Rent it today. Here is a trailer from YouTube:

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