Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cary Grant vs. King Kong

Tonight's Essential on TCM is An Affair to Remember, at 8:00 PM ET. Sources usually say it's a remake of the 1939 classic Love Affair, but take a minute to think of it as a remake of King Kong instead....

Grant and the big ape are both characters who aren't entirely a part of society; Grant as a playboy who does whatever he wants, and the big ape terrorizing whomever he sees fit.

Grant and Kong both come from places far away by boat to New York City, and both fall in love along the way. In Grant's case, it's with Deborah Kerr; for Kong, it's Fay Wray.

Both of them cause quite the stir. Kong is declared the eighth wonder of the world; Grant, as the most eligible bachelor, is the subject of intense media scrutiny.

Both Grant and the ape end up quite lonely at the top of the Empire State Building; Kong because he has to worry about those damn airplanes trying to shoot him, and Grant because his idiot girlfriend got herself run over.

Granted, that's about where the similarity ends, as An Affair to Remember veers off into weepy chick-flick melodrama. But if anything, it's just the 14375074329865th example that Hollywood has always been derivative. If you've been watching TV lately and seen those ads for the new movie Gamer and thought to yourself, "They've remade Tron!", just remind yourself that there's nothing new under the sun in Hollywood, and hasn't been since at least the silent era. And even then they were busy doing adaptations of books and plays.

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