Movie: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
My Rating: 3 stars
Every now and then I’ll get a virtuous impulse and I’ll decide to rent an old classic. You know the type—one of those old standards that you really should have seen already, and are ashamed to admit that you haven’t. And, on this occasion, I decided to treat myself to a spoonful of sugar with my medicine, and picked this one starring Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor at the peak of their physical attractiveness. Now, if only their characters weren’t just nagging each other throughout the whole story. But, the movie is based on a Tennessee Williams play, and that’s pretty much all he writes about—rocky relationships and emotional turmoil, with a healthy dose of bickering.
This story is about a bunch of gold-diggers trying to coax every last dollar out of their dying patriarch. And, I’m really not sure who is supposed to be the sympathetic protagonist. All the characters are pretty awful. Paul Newman sulks in his pajamas, and hits the bottle. Elizabeth Taylor slinks around in her sexy dress, trying to bat her eyelashes into an inheritance. The older brother and sister-in-law are obnoxious, socially tone deaf, tattletales. And, their kids are bratty, little hellions. I don’t think we’re supposed to sympathize with the sick father either—the disgustingly named “Big Daddy.” He’s a bloated, lecherous pig, and he’s truly an asshole to his wife and kids. But, I suppose the whole thing is probably a scathing commentary on the human condition or something.
All that being said, I guess you should probably add this movie to your queue—even if it feels a bit like homework. Even though I complain about the characters, Newman and Taylor really are fun to watch. I wouldn’t necessarily call it good acting. Perhaps it’s just a stylistic difference that changes with the passage of time, but I found their acting to be a little too grand for me. But, those two do stir up some feelings. So, go ahead and watch this one. Pull it out on one of those lazy days when you’re just lying on the couch doing nothing. It’ll make the day feel like not so much of a waste.