You all seemed to really enjoy my Cary Grant round-up, so I figured I'd give it another go. Plus, today seems an appropriate time to give a little love to NYC. These are some of my favorite New York-centric films:
Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart are... well, their charming selves in my personal favorite Hitchcock murder mystery, Rear Window (1955). Though a homicidal neighbor may not be standard (or maybe it is, I don't know), the irresistable passtime of people watching and close living quarters are definitely qualities of a quintessential Gotham life.
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan capture the ever-present tension of "authentic," "independent" New Yorkers versus the corporate interlopers in a The Shop Around the Corner (1940) homage, You've Got Mail (1998). It's not the most sophisticated film in the world, but I think the scenery and general attitude make it a shoe-in:
A group of rag-tag pseudo-scientists take on the supernatural emotional baggage of our not-so-fair city in Ghostbusters (1984, and Ghostbusters II, 1989). Can you really resist the laughs? No. And it captures the gritty spirit of the city in the 80's like no other. You love it. Don't lie.
I'm fairly certain that Metropolitan (1990 - on Netflix Instant) was an inspiration for "Gossip Girl." The cast of young adults (provoked by a young Chris Eigeman, who you may know as Jason from Gilmore Girls) spend their debutant party season engaging in heady debates, gossiping about each other, and generally placing the jaded over-familiarity of upper-crust New York society on full, unedited display. From the verbal swordplay to the early 90's preppy fashion, what's not to love here?
Speaking of "jaded," Big (1988) can relate. I think we've all had co-workers that act like they're 11, but here Hanks' character brings a much-needed jolt of joy to one of the most competitive environments in the world. Plus, the scene where Tom Hanks and his boss, Robert Loggia, play "Heart and Soul" and "Chopsticks" on the floor piano in F.A.O. Schwarz is legendary.
I recently discovered Robert Redford and Jane Fonda's Barefoot in the Park (1967 - on Netflix Instant). Let's just say we start off in the Plaza Hotel (always a good sign) and spend the rest of the movie watching the newlywed couple take on their Greenwich Village 6th-floor walk-up. Hilarity ensues, trust me.
Surely you all know Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961 - on Netflix Instant), which exudes a similar sense of humor towards New York City living. And Holly Golightly could teach us all a thing or two about living... As for When Harry Met Sally (1989)? Well, "I'll have what she's having."
So, what are your quintessential New York film favorites? I'm banking on some votes for Annie Hall or Manhattan...