A couple of days ago while waiting my turn in the shower, I snapped on CNN, quickly got fed up with what can only be called drivel, and spun the dial. I landed on what I at first thought was Airplane! but,which after a cognitive twitch came into focus as that upon which the parody was based: Airport 1975.
This morning I went through the same drill, but this time I landed at the final fifteen minutes of Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado about Nothing.
Fortune has, I believed, paired up for me two movies that meet the rigorous formal requirements for the relationship Could Not Be More Different Than.
Airplane 1975 is the one with Linda Blair faithfully waiting for a kidney, lying next to Helen Reddy who is an honest-to-jeebus singing nun. It’s the one where Karen Black accepts the garland for Worst Performance Ever by playing the stewardess-behind-the-wheel with such passivity that you want Sister Helen to come into the cockpit and slap her once, real hard. It’s the one where Charlton Heston descends from a helicopter through the hole in the airplane to save the incompetent female, and then tells her to calm the passengers with the eternal bard-llke phrase: “Go, do your thing,”
On the other hand, in the fifteen minutes of Much Ado, I laughed hard, cried harder, and hugged my wife at the end.
I’m sure there are other pairings, and I’m curious what they might be, but none can surpass the More-Different-Than-ness of Airport 1975 and Much Ado about Nothing.