"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Friday, June 7, 2013


Henry Graham (Walter Matthau) battles poverty and carbon on the valves
I had the intense pleasure of reacquainting myself with Elaine May's A New Leaf (1971) a few days ago and it was every bit as funny and entertaining as I remembered.
Walter Matthau plays Henry Graham, a privileged snob who burns through his inheritance (unfortunate, no?) and must marry a wealthy woman in order to maintain his high style of living. 
The only suitable woman he can find is Henrietta Lowell (May), a clumsy but well-heeled botanist who constantly offends Graham's delicate sensibilities with her poor table manners (she spills! she has to be checked for crumbs!) and horrible taste (she favors Mogen David extra-heavy Malaga wine spritzers, sucked through a straw).
The look on Matthau's face as he imagines the sheer horror of a ready-to-wear suit is priceless. 
May's screenplay, based on Jack Ritchie's short story, "The Green Heart," is darkly comic with some sweet flourishes. 

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