Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut…..

October 18, 2006

You gotta hand it to Frank Capra, he knew how to make a screwball comedy. Now, You Can’t Take It With You isn’t one of my favorites of the genre. The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby, The Lady Eve: those are gold standard screwballs, You Can’t Take It With You is more silver, but it’s a really nice silver. A silver you’d buy from Tiffany nice. And I’m absolutely flabbergasted that the Academty had the good goshdarn sense to bestow two best picture awards on this genre. It seems so unlike them: Their record on snubbing animation and film noir stands for itself.

Things we want to remember:

  • Jean Arthur was a treasure
  • We ate our dinner off of Blue Willow china, just like the Sycamore/Vanderhof family. That was really some classy serendipity.
    • After seeing this movie and being familiar with other Capra movies (i.e. It Happened One Night,  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington , It’s A Wonderful Life) we’re picking up members of Capra’s stock company—Lionel Barrymore , Edward Arnold, Charles Lane, H.B. Warner, Samuel Hinds,  that Jimmy Stewart guy : I could play at the IMDB all day with this. Trust me, Capra used the same actors in a lot of films.
  • Harry Davenport did a best picture winner hat trick–he was in Emile Zola, You Can’t Take It With You, and we’ll see him next week in Gone With The Wind.
  • Why are bankers always the stuffy guys?

For dinner I tried to be as irreverant and unconventional and screwball as possible. But it is just food. I used other people’s recipes, but I made them my own way. For instance we had as a main course a dish called Everything Lo Mein from Rachael Ray (I know, I know, she’s got the taint of Oprah on her, but I still like her despite of that). One of the things I like best about Rachael Ray’s recipes is that she doesn’t want you to measure things exactly. So you feel free-er to experiment; and you don’t feel bad about omitting things, like the egg part, because that seemed unnecessary, or adding things like chopped cashews, because the nuttiness kinda went with the theme of the movie. But this is a fun recipe and its very delicious. http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_32953,00.html

For dessert we had pound cake (from a mix but I added almond extract and lemon zest–seemed appropriate) with strawberries and cream and nuts on top. The pound cake also symbolized the Kirby family money. Get it? pound = money. Lame, yes but tasty nevertheless.



  1. I had no idea You Can’t Take it With You won an Oscar. I haven’t seen it in years so won’t comment on the silver/gold thing, but I will agree that Jean Arthur is great fun to watch. One of my all-time favorite screwball comedies is The More the Merrier with Jean Arthur, Charles Coburn, and Joel McCray. I think it’s one of Arthur’s best, and I’ve seen a mess of her movies. I’ll watch her any time.

    I’ll have to order this from NetFlix sometime soon and introduce my wife to it.

  2. By the way – I like the new look. Very classy, for classic movies.

  3. You should definitely put this one on your Netflix list. It’s like watching a Broadway show. So funny. And I’m totally ashamed of myself, I’ve never even heard of The More the Merrier. What an *amazing* cast! Its been Netflixed, and how!

    I’m rather taken with the new look myself . It’s so much easier to read!

  4. This week’s “Entertainment Weekly” (I probably shoulda mentioned I have a tendency to read craptastic magazines in my “About” page) has an article about a new boxed DVD Frank Capra set. One of the “5 Things You Didn’t Know” (but I suspected) they mention is “Bankers compose the bulk of Capra’s villains, courtesy of a bank kicking the director and his family out of their house following his father’s death.”

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