Woman of the Year
Am I the only soulless person who doesn’t see anything between Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy? I do have faint recollections of “Pat and Mike” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” and I suppose watching those again will help me back on their team. They’re always the standard, and when some godawful movie coupling like Gerry Butler and Jen Aniston sears our eyes, we all chant “Tracy and Kate both make a good date!” or something like that. The Bryn Mawr alum and the stocky shape shifter are awesome individually, as I’ve previously written. But together?
And as their characters Tess and Sam, they have nothing in common. Couples don’t have to be each other’s mirrors, but they at least need one thing. One thing. That they both write for the same newspaper isn’t enough. Go on your own floor. Sam likes a challenge like Tess – he’s probably attracted by her intelligence and wants her not to be Tess Harding nor Mrs. Sam Craig but Tess Harding-Craig. But why would he emasculate himself?
This emasculation happens in Tess’s parties, which is what I would imagine a bar in Quebec City would feel like. Everyone speaks in a different language than English, and two of the party goes that did switched to Spanish to alienate him. In the beginning of the scene, Tess speaks French and passes. Then she speaks Russian and bombs it. Meryl would have spoken Russian well. ZING.
The movie does have great cinematography. I’m not an expert on studio era rules, but there’s a lot of kissing beyond the two second rule that the Hays code recommend. To bend the rules, the movie uses a lot of shadows, angles, etc.
The movie ends, however, like a Sandra Bullock movie. It’s Hepburn’s turn to embarrass herself. She tries to make him breakfast in bed while he’s asleep but wakes him up, watching her make the same mistakes about toast and waffles and eggs. And there’s no way to convince me that a globetrotting journalist who buddies with Holocaust survivors can’t make her own coffee.