Sunday, December 16, 2012

Romantic Comedy #1 - City Lights (1931)

City Lights is a Charlie Chaplin movie, and honestly the most adorable thing I've ever seen. It stars Charlie Chaplin's Tramp, obviously,although I can't figure out if he's supposed to be homeless or just poor. The Tramp falls in love with a blind flower girl, who thinks that he's rich because she heard a car door close when he came up to her. He gets her money to have surgery on her eyes, even though he knows that she'll know he's not rich if she sees him, and then goes to jail for stealing for her. It has an ambiguous, bittersweet ending, because Charlie Chaplin was a troubled man.

It's so cute. This is what people are trying to do when they make romantic comedies, this is the emotion they're trying to create. The Tramp never considers not getting her the surgery to maintain his illusion - He knows that he'll lose her after that, and he's resigned to it. He doesn't want to deceive her, he just loves her. The scene when she realizes who he is sweet and heartbreaking. This is what Charlie Chaplin was really good at - Even though he's well-known for hollow slapstick, he was one of the first film comedians to bring this kind of emotion into his comedies. Granted, he was one of the first film comedians period, but still. My point stands.

Cool thing about Charlie Chaplin - He did everything in his movies - Directed, acted, scored, wrote. And he was crazy. He was supposed to have done one of the scenes 472 time.

I was also very distracted though the whole movie by how spot-on Robert Downey Jr. was in Chaplin. I'm very impressed.

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