I hate it when my favorite movies are unavailable! Right now you can’t buy They Might Be Giants (the movie) from Amazon. Neither can you get the disc from Netflix nor do the Watch It Now deed with them. You’ll have to try to find it on late-night cable access.
It stars George C. Scott. He’s having fun being a little over the top, yet he gets to show some vulnerablility. The real acting job is from Joanne Woodward. She is sort of frumpy and depressed and pulls off this incredible breakdown as her roast fails to cook properly. It feels very real. I always get embarrassed for her.
It’s sort of a romantic comedy. He’s snapped and thinks that he’s Sherlock Holmes. She’s a shrink named Dr. Watson. It’s much more fun than it sounds. And not as goofy as you’d think. There’s even a food fight near the end… But done in a highly realistic way.
It comes from a play. You can tell. Although shot on location in beautiful downtown NYC, it feels oddly claustrophobic. Made in 1971, it is full of familiar character actors like Al Lewis the guy who played GrandPa on the Munsters, Eugene Roche (you’ll recognize him, he’s been in simply everything — & I think he played a plumber in a series of maybe Drano commercials), Jack Gilford (who was in simply everything too, but not often with Roche) as the Scarlet Pimpernel, and tons of others, including the mighty Rue McClanahan and some dude named F. Murray Abraham.
The title comes from Sherlock’s take on Don Quixote. “He thought that every windmill was a giant. That’s insane. But, thinking that they might be… Well, all the best minds used to think the world was flat. But, what if it isn’t? It might be round. And bread mold might be medicine.” Crazy stuff, huh?!
I should warn you: My Mom hated the ending of this movie. I think she would have preferred the “Love Conquers All” version. But sometimes love must surrender all. The whole movie is leading you to that point. I think that it’s very satisfying. And then you realize that the end title music has kicked in and and your heart just breaks, but in a good way. And it’s over.
Keep an eye out for this one. Let me know if you hear of its return to store shelves. It makes a great graduation or wedding gift. It’s a great way of looking at the future together. And there are so many great characters with swell lines.
As you watch this movie, just keep saying to yourself: “I’m adequate.”