Drink of the Week: Born Yesterday (TCM Fest Salute #3)

Born Yesterday. Hey, it’s Cinco de Mayo. Yeah, I know, I just realized it myself! So, no South of the Border-themed drink today, but seriously, have a classic style margarita on me. They’re great. Now on to the real celebration for this cinebuff, my salute to #TCMFest2017…

Directed by George Cukor and reportedly adapted by original playwright Garson Kanin (with a little help from wife Ruth Gordon), “Born Yesterday” is the kind of movie that my mother and I loved but which cinephiles often ignore.¬†Perfectly rendered stage play adaptations might get multiple Oscar nominations and ecstatic reviews the year they’re released, but as time marches on, film snobs have a way of playing down most movies where the word threatens to be more important than the image.

I’m sure a few may also resent “Born Yesterday” in particular because co-star Judy Holiday won the Best Actress Oscar for it against both Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard” and Bette Davis in “All About Eve.” It might seem shocking to some, but Ms. Holiday’s performance entirely deserved to be in the same ballpark with those two legendary heavy-hitters. And so does the film as a whole. Seeing “Born Yesterday” again for the first time in probably a couple of decades, I was surprised to find not just a well-rendered, literate and often hilarious rom-com (such things were once relatively common!) but also a sharp satire that is, if anything, almost excruciatingly relevant to our time.

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