Panache || Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)

“The course of true love never did run smooth,” or so Shakespeare tells us. In fact, I am one for whom the course of any type of love tends to be shot through with a few rapids. In general, love is a tricky thing, because life is more complicated when other people get involved. There are also many unknowns in love; things that seemed certain and solid can suddenly shift into forms more akin to those squiggly lines from Fantasia.

Fairy tales and rom-coms taught me love was something that I would recognize on-sight (more or less). I’d be unable to keep myself from bursting into song (which is suspiciously how I am most of the time), flowers would smell a little sweeter, and so-on. However, on both occasions when I thought I had stumbled upon my “one,” it turns out that, although it quacked like a duck, and waddled like a duck, it was in reality a confused porcupine. It is fitting then, that one of my would-be-someones first shared with me my favorite cinematic version of Cyrano de Bergerac. As summarized on its IMDb page: “The charismatic swordsman-poet helps another woo the woman he loves in this straightforward version of the play.”

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“Murder is my favorite crime” || Laura

Some films are like coming home; this home sits at the end of a dark, dank alley.

We know the characters so well, they become family; this family is host to a killer.

And the script is imprinted upon our memory until the dialogue drips from our lips without thought, for indeed, they have become our own thoughts.

One of these films for me is Laura (1944). Like the eponymous heroine, this elegantly crafted Film Noir leaves an indelible impression with every viewing. As summarized on its IMDb page: “A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.”

Directed by one of the “Old Hollywood” greats, Otto Preminger, Laura is a classic ‘whodunit’? A beautiful dame has been killed, a gumshoe-with-gumption starts asking questions, skeletons rattle in their proverbial closets, and then the first act ends, and nothing is what it seemed.

Remember, spoilers are tagged in blue.

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