Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Can She Bake a Cherry Pie|
Actors: Michael Emil, Karen Black, Michael Margotta, Martin Harvey Friedberg, Frances Fisher
Director: Henry Jaglom
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Michael Emil and Karen Black play people that fall into a very unlikely, funny and touching relationship.
DB | Carson City, NV USA | 05/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One critic commented (I paraphrase) about another Henry Jaglom film that "most films try to lift your spirits by cheering you up. This film tries to lift your spirits by telling the truth." This applies perfectly to "Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?" As romantic comedy, it's everything "Notting Hill" is not, and (aside from being clever and funny) nothing that it is. The characters are ordinary in their life circumstances--utterly un-glamourous. Their sole distinction is in their neuroses--Eli is an obsessive rationalizer and Zee is not a little paranoid. They also happen to be very dear and decent people, which is why it is absolutely delightful to see each one weighing in and trying to correct the other's excesses. Eli tries, with little success, to get Zee to stop smoking and to chill out about being "followed"; Zee tries to get Eli to look and listen to the world about him. Their differences, of course, amount to the stereotypical male/female rational/emotional split, which director Jaglom plays off wonderfully throughout the film. The theme music ("Can She Bake a Cherry Pie" played by a rootsy New York street band) occurs to highlight the Mars/Venus conflict, and the "Scheherezade" theme also recurs with hilarious effect. The plot resolution is an absolute triumph of high cuckooheadedness. If you like humane, intelligent, outside-the-box comedy, don't miss this. (And don't be put off by the packaging--that too is part of the game.)"
Karen black probably can't
Peter Shelley | Sydney, New South Wales Australia | 09/03/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of writer/director Henry Jaglom's earlier efforts, indicative of his cinema verite style of film-making. Unfortunately it has poor sound quality, and is ponderous. Michael Emil and Karen Black play people that fall into a relationship, which seems to work inspite of them being emotional opposites. He's mind and she's spirit. Jaglom credits himself as the writer but the dialogue seems improvised, with Jaglom salvaging the "best" in the editing room, "best" being subject to one's patience. Emil improvises longer than Black, amd Jaglom throws the focus on his character when we see home movies of (presumably) his relatives, though this is unclear. He sometimes resembles a beagle, as an everyman with combed-over hair, and his hanging upside down a la Richard Gere in American Gigolo gets a laugh, as does the pulse meter he attaches to his ear during sex. Black has always been a highly idiosyncratic actress, probably best served by Robert Altman in titles like Nashville, and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean. Here she wears a funny haircut and plays a little-girl voiced ditz. Her best scene is where she has a paranoid rift of fury at a pigeon, though we do get to see her sing 3 numbers at a club. Jaglom includes TV footage of Orson Welles as a magician, and has music overlapping scenes. The use of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade nearly ruins the climax of the film where Emil and Black confront infidelities. Of note is Michael Margotta as the owner of the homing pigeon. The metaphor of the pigeon falls a bit flat, but it's amusing to see how Margotta's womanising comes around to the central couple."