Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Last Holiday


This is a remake of a 1950 British film with the same title, starring Alec Guinness in the part Queen Latifah had in the new one. The original screenplay was by J.B. Priestley. I’d really like to see that one, but it’s not available on DVD. Lady finds out she’s dying, decides to spend all her savings on a last fling, doing the things she’s dreamed about. Of course you know she’s not really dying. From there it shifts to the “innocent good person among the schemers” plot that goes back at least to Nikolai Gogol, as filmed by Danny Kaye in The Inspector General. Other antecedents are It Should Happen to You with Judy Holliday, and Being There. Hollywood perfected this sort of thing in the ‘30s and if you listen you’d swear the incidental music was lifted intact from a Rock Hudson/Doris Day movie of the ’60s, with pizzicato strings punctuating everything, along with lonely little woodwind riffs. It’s 100% predictable, but I guess it’s an okay example of its type. But I swear, if I see the beginner skiing down the mountainside somehow managing to stay upright while doing tricks an Olympic snowboarder couldn’t do and ending up in the village square scene again, not only will I not laugh, I won’t even be responsible for my actions. No jury would convict me.