Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Postscripts to My Book "I Won't Grow Up"

Today, I have  a few postscripts to my book "I Won't Grow Up." 

In 2012, Rowan Atkinson said that he had become too old to play Mr. Bean. I included this statement in my book. But now Atkinson has changed his mind. He and Bean co-creator Richard Curtis are currently at work on a new Mr. Bean film. Curtis said in 2020: "Old Bean is now what we're thinking of doing. He's always had a grumpy selfishness, which might adapt well." Atkinson said, "I still like him - I suppose what I mean is that I still find him funny. I think I can still perform him. Dye my hair and I'm off, I think. We must never say never." 

I wrote in my book that Groundhog Day (1993) is the story of an immature man learning how to be an adult.  I found a 2010 quote from the film's writer, Danny Rubin, that confirms my claim.  Rubin explained that he had a single core idea when he wrote the script. He said, "There are some people, those arrested development-type men who can't really outgrow their adolescence. And I thought, 'Well, maybe one lifetime isn’t enough. Maybe you need more.'" 

The one film that I wished I had written about in my book is Federico Fellini's I vitelloni (1953). Franco Fabrizi appears in the film as an appalling sort of man-child.  He's lazy, deceitful and unfaithful.  Fed up with the young man's layabout ways, his father gets him a job at a religious articles shop. He drops off his son at his new workplace like a parent dropping off a small child at school for the first time. 

His equally immature friends visit the store so that they can laugh at him through the display window.

He sulks that he can't be outside playing with his friends.

The film made Alberto Sordi a star.  

In his best remembered scene from the film, Sordi shows up in drag for a masquerade party and blithely dances a cheek-to-cheek tango with a male friend.  

This may have inspired a similar and even more famous scene in Some Like It Hot (1959).   

Nigel Patrick plays an obvious man-child in All For Mary (1955). 

Joe E. Brown dresses as a baby in Broadminded (1931).

Parties where guests dressed as babies were standard in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

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