Dry and Sly: ROOM WITH A VIEW (1985) / by Brenna Proczko

I watched A Room With A View recently, as it had been on my Netflix queue for ages and I couldn't remember why I'd added it to begin with. It's pretty amazing. 

Aside from the fact that Helena Bonham-Carter doesn't have a ton of chemistry with the lead dude (who, in my opinion, was not very interesting, but I can't decide if that's because it's an oddly written character, or because he's the weakest link in a phenomenal cast), the movie was surprisingly hilarious and cute. 

The ending is pretty much telegraphed from the beginning (I mean, the movie poster is of the last shot of the movie, COME ON), so we know it's a romance and it's not sad. Along the way you have Dame Maggie Smith as the wonderfully passive-aggressive priggish poor relation who fails to do most of the things she's says she's very concerned about doing. You have Dame Judy Dench, in a brief role as a liberated lady author, monologuing about the awesomeness of Italy and social freedom, and - we find out later - doing the Victorian equivalent of live Tweeting about the delicious gossip of Italy (for which they are famous). You have Denholm Elliott - Brody from Indiana Jones! - as the endearingly annoying free spirit dad, and Simon Callow - my favorite part of Four Weddings and a Funeral - as the kind of reverend you'd truly wish to be leading a community: full of patience, insight, and dry wit (and the occasional skinny dip with the lads, what whut). 

And, my friend, you have Daniel Day-Lewis as the most deliciously fastidious, oblivious fiancee. Watching him adjust his pez-nez (or whatever you call glasses without sides) is a joy. I laughed out loud at his mannerisms multiple times. Somebody get that guy an Oscar already. 

Oh, and I should mention that Bonham-Carter was not even 20 years old when she starred in this movie, and she reminds me strongly of my old roommate, which I think really helped me believe her ambivalence and delayed self-awareness. The movie is a slow burn, but almost everything that happens in England is just phenom. Two thumbs up.