IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES
1984, Paramount, 113 min, USA, Dir: Charles Shyer

Caught between her movie director father (Ryan O'Neal) and writer mother (Shelley Long), both of whom are more focused on career than family, Drew Barrymore tries to divorce her parents in this underrated comedic gem. Both Long and Barrymore earned Golden Globe nominations for their performances, and the flashback-driven script, penned by the PRIVATE BENJAMIN team of Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers, offers a perceptive take on Hollywood as well as an affecting look at stressful relationships. With Sharon Stone. “One of the funnier and more intelligent movies of 1984. … This movie has been written with so much wit and imagination that even obligatory scenes have a certain freshness and style.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.


MELVIN AND HOWARD
1980, Universal, 95 min, USA, Dir: Jonathan Demme

Years after Melvin Dummar (Paul Le Mat) rescues a bedraggled old man (Jason Robards) stranded in the Nevada desert, his kindness is rewarded when he is named a beneficiary in Howard Hughes’ “Mormon Will” in this acclaimed film based on a possibly true story. A spot-on portrait of blue-collar American dreamers, MELVIN AND HOWARD earned Oscars for its original screenplay and for Mary Steenburgen’s beguiling performance as Dummar’s wife. “This lyrical comedy, directed by Jonathan Demme, from a script by Bo Goldman, is an almost flawless act of sympathetic imagination. … This picture has the same beautiful dippy warmth as its characters; it's what might have happened if Jean Renoir had directed a comedy script by Preston Sturges.” – Pauline Kael.


DINER
1982, Warner Bros., 110 min, USA, Dir: Barry Levinson

This nostalgic, funny, highly personal memoir spends the last week of 1959 with the guys who hang out at a local diner in Baltimore. As they eagerly await the world championship football game between the New York Giants and their own Baltimore Colts in a golden week, they enjoy their final fling before becoming adults. The top-flight cast includes Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Kevin Bacon, Steve Guttenberg, Paul Reiser, Daniel Stern and Timothy Daly. “A wonderful movie. ... Written and directed by Barry Levinson, DINER provides a look at middle-class relations between the sexes just before the sexual revolution, at a time when people still laughed (albeit uneasily) at the gulf between men and women.” – Pauline Kael.


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