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10 Poster

Your July 2008 UMC Results Are In!

Tagline: A temptingly tasteful comedy for adults who can count.

Preshow Entertainment: None.

Maybe "10" doesn't go to 11, but compared to most comedies...it's definitely one louder.

RMC Anniversary Cake
It was our 9th Anniversary so instead of ordering pizza we went out to Little Toni's, as we did last year. It was a large turnout and a really fun dinner. Afterwards, we all met back at The Nathanson Compound for Random Movie Club cake and the movie "10". I chose "10" to mark the beginning of our 10th year.

RMC started out on July 9th, 1999 with the Orson Welles/Claudette Colbert movie TOMORROW IS FOREVER and has gone through very few changes since then. In 2005 we added a second monthly screening which we called RMC LITE. It was the same as RMC, but no Preshow Entertainment and no pizza. We just watched the movie. It was a nice try but it didn't really feel right. There's something about RMC that's just perfect. Arrive, pay $5, select the pizza at random, watch some Preshow Entertainment, and when the pizza arrives...watch the random movie.

In 2006 we got our HD TV, and that's when we realized that all the movies we screened at RMC were VHS dubs made up to 25 years ago, sometimes on the slowest speed. So we created a second monthly screening called Unrandom Movie Club (UMC). It's exactly the same as RMC but you know in advance what movie you're coming to see. And it's always either in HD or upconverted DVD.

Between RMC, RMC LITE, and UMC, we've had 154 screenings and hundreds of different guests.


You think you know who John Hancock is, right? Well maybe you got the wrong guy. The John Hancock I'm talking about was a relatively unknown actor. With close to 80 credits to his name, including playing the same judge on both L.A. LAW and COP ROCK, he never really broke big. Even his role in the movie "10" went largely unnoticed, which is unfair since he's the one who asks Dudley Moore, "On a scale of 1 to 10..." We may have Blake Edwards to thank for writing the line, but let's also give John Hancock his due.

I went into this evening thinking "10" would be a dated movie, but it wasn't. It holds up very well. And perhaps the reason is its timeless theme. With all the Transformers and super heroes combating crime, it's hard to find a movie with a human story these days. The studios' demo is clear, and I'm not in it. They don't make movies with Adam Sandler doing a split while holding a hair dryer for me. So to find a movie like "10" today is not easy. They're out there, sure. But I haven't seen one in a long time. I guess the closest they've come is

And really, is there a movie out there that explores a man's mid-life crisis better than "10"? No. And that's why it works so well. It's really a serious story dressed up in comedy. Sometimes it's overdressed and sometimes it's as naked as Bo Derek's Coppertoned ass.

Dudley Moore plays George Webber, a Bacharachian songwriter in his 40s. A rich guy who has everything - loving girlfriend Samantha (Julie Andrews), a career so good people recognize him by face, a Rolls-Royce and a house in the Hills. So why is George so sad? You know why.

As if walking around in a mid-life crisis isn't bad enough, the first scene pummels it in his face with a surprise 42nd birthday. The cake says "Happy Birthday," but all he sees are an infinite number of candles.

George can't go anywhere without looking at younger girls. On the beach. In his rearview mirror. Jogging down the L.A. streets. But he's stuck. He uses a telescope to spy on the hedonistic neighbors, who seem to be having non-stop orgies. He looks through that telescope as if the life on the other side of the fence is as unattainable as Mars. So George is sad. That is until...

On the way home from his lyric-writing partner's house, George spots Jenny (Bo Derek) in a back seat of a car, on the way to...her wedding. Nowadays, it would be really easy to stalk her using the internet, but in 1979, when they didn't even have things like Call Waiting, George had to do things like crash her wedding, pay a visit to the reverend (Max Showalter, 16 CANDLES' Grandpa Fred) who performed the service (only to endure his endless, awful song on the church organ), and even go to
Jenny's dad's dentist office where he gets 6 teeth worked on at once. Her dad informs him that his daughter Jenny just went to Mexico on her honeymoon. George decides to go. We're not sure what he'll do there, and I guess neither is he. But he's going and so are we.

The second half of the movie is George trying to come to terms with who he is. He gets some help from the open ears of Don (a young, if you call 41 young, Brian Dennehy), and Dee Wallace (who in 2008 has 14 things either filming or in production) as a not so happy-go-lucky woman, a little lost and broken herself. But George doesn't have the wherewithal to approach Jenny, even as she lies on the beach alone, six feet to his left. Instead, he finds himself standing waist-deep in the ocean talking with two middle-aged, poochy men on either side of him.

George eventually gets his wish and does meet Jenny. So what happens next? Does he steal her from her husband? Does he chicken out? Does he get caught? It's a comedy...you figure it out. All I will say is that this movie was responsible for sales of Ravel's "Bolero" going to the moon and back.

Though technically she was in the movie ORCA two years earlier, this was Bo Derek's first movie, and it was one of the biggest breakouts ever. What's so amazing about this rise to fame is she's hardly in the movie. In fact, her total screen time is maybe 15 minutes. Perhaps Warhol was right after all.

Again, the secret to "10"'s success is that underneath the comedy is a real crisis. But let's not dismiss the comedy here. There are moments that are, and I don't say this often, uproariously funny. We all laughed hard when the bee stings George's face at Jenny's wedding, and at his silent movie slapstick as he tries to walk the hot sands of the beach (I actually remember laughing at that in 1979) ulimately getting a humiliating piggy back ride into the ocean by a hotel employee. Then there's the screamingly hysterical Mrs. Kissel, the reverend's ancient housekeeper carrying her tea service. It was funny enough when she walked slowly and cautiously, but when it cuts to a medium shot of George and the reverend, and Mrs. Kissell re-enters the frame in the foreground, well, that's just genius. I am going to steal that idea one day.

Personally, I lost it when the taxi cab driver in Mexico stops short in front of the hotel, causing a barely conscious George (okay, a Dudley Moore stunt double) to nearly sail into the front seat. This is followed by his entrance to the hotel. He can barely walk, and his shirt is awash with gigantic armpit sweat stains. And him waking up to a loud mariachi band, then taking the rope bridge is poetry. Don't ever underestimate Dudley Moore's performance. It's so perfect. He really makes you feel like these things are happening to him. He never hams it up. You hear me, Jack Black?

Writer/director Blake Edwards made "10" after most of his
PINK PANTHER movies, and from here he went on to make S.O.B. (A/K/A MARY POPPINS GONE WILD) and VICTOR VICTORIA. He obviously had his PINK PANTHER star Peter Sellers in mind for George, but Sellers turned it down. George Segal was next, but he left after one day of shooting. So in stepped Dudley Moore. This is the role that launched him into superstardom here. And as unlikely as that sounds, NATO voted him the Male Box Office Star of 1983. NATO being the National Association of Theater Owners.

Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews were, and still are, husband and wife. There's a scene where George starts to undo Samantha's shirt. I could just see Blake Edwards calling out direction on the set - "Okay, now Dudley? You slowly unbutton my wife's shirt. Yeah, that's it, nice and slow..."

We had a large group tonight, and we all seemed to really enjoy watching "10." So thank you Bo Derek (born Mary Collins), Julie Andrews (born Julia Wells), Dee Wallace (born Diana Bowers), Blake Edwards (born Bill Crump!), and of course, the late Dudley Moore (born...Dudley Moore).

Oh, and for you women out there, lest you think this is a purely male film, you get to ogle Dudley Moore's bare ass. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to play an mp3 of "Bolero."

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