TV film fare -- week of July 31, 2022
NEW YORK (CNS) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of July 31. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence, and sexual situations.
Sunday, July 31, 10:03 p.m.-12:01 a.m. EDT (Lifetime) "The Proposal" (2009). To avoid being deported back to Canada, a hard-driving New York book editor (Sandra Bullock) coerces her browbeaten executive assistant (Ryan Reynolds) into getting engaged, but the hostility underlying their charade of love mellows during a visit to his parents' (Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson) Alaska home for his grandmother's (Betty White) 90th birthday. Brief interludes of questionable humor and a largely predictable plot aside, director Anne Fletcher's effervescent romantic comedy is mostly a valentine to family affection and against-the-odds ardor. Implied premarital sexual activity, fleeting nudity, some sexual humor, a couple of crude and a dozen crass words, at least two uses of profanity. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Tuesday, Aug. 2, 5:45-8 p.m. EDT (TCM) "You Can't Take It With You" (1938). Solid adaptation of the George Kaufman-Moss Hart screwball comedy about an impoverished family of eccentrics whose daughter (Jean Arthur) falls for a rich man's son (James Stewart). Directed by Frank Capra, the zany guests of the wacky household come and go as the family's head (Lionel Barrymore) tries to convince the rich man (Edward Arnold) that happiness has nothing to do with money. That sentiment may seem less convincing today than in the Depression but the cheerfully uninhibited antics of this house of sage fools are still very funny indeed. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-I -- general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Wednesday, Aug. 3, 3:50-6 p.m. EDT (Showtime) "Vertigo" (1958). Fine suspense thriller from Alfred Hitchcock in the tale of a retired detective (James Stewart) called back for a private investigation of a seemingly shady lady (Kim Novak). Naturally they fall in love and land in high danger. Jimmy gulps and stammers a lot, Kim just smolders and Hitch masterfully pulls the strings. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. (Beginning of a marathon of six Hitchcock films, concluding with "Frenzy" (1972) 2:15-4:15 a.m. EDT, Thursday, Aug. 4.)
Saturday, Aug. 6, 2-4 p.m. EDT (TCM) "Two for the Road" (1967). Producer-director Stanley Donen's saga about a modern marriage on wheels that skids dangerously but doesn't quite crack up, teams Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney as the troubled couple. By following the pair on their various jaunts through Europe, Donen provides both a fluid vehicle for narrative development as well as strikingly scenic backgrounds. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Saturday, Aug. 6, 8-9:40 p.m. EDT (HBO) "Belfast" (2021). Writer-director Kenneth Branagh uses the perspective of a 9-year-old boy (Jude Hill) living in the city of the title to examine the effects of the sectarian strife that swept across Northern Ireland at the very end of the 1960s. As the lad's father (Jamie Dornan), who journeys back and forth to England for work, resists pressure from the ruthless leader (Colin Morgan) of the local Protestant extremists to join in the violence, his mother (Caitríona Balfe) struggles to keep him and his older brother (Lewis McAskie) safe and morally grounded. Though emigration seems the best option for the family, it would mean separating themselves from the grandparents (Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds) with whom the youth shares a close emotional bond. A sensitive exploration of the plight of decent people surrounded by malignant bigotry, this moving drama is also a celebration of romantic love, ranging from the protagonist's shy affection for a classmate (Olive Tennant) to two examples of enduring marriage. The film's artistic merit and ethical surefootedness will probably outweigh its occasional verbal defects in the minds of parents judging its acceptability for older teens. Some stylized violence, a few instances each of profanity and milder swearing, fleeting rough and crude language, at least one crass expression. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.