California Suite (1978) starring a whole ton of famous people (Maggie Smith, Michael Caine, Bill Cosby, Jane Fonda, Alan Alda, Walter Matthau, Elaine May, Richard Pryor). Written by Neil Simon and based on his play.
Intertwining stories set in the Beverly Hills Hotel include an English actress in L.A. attending the Oscars(r); a divorced couple concerned about the future of their daughter; a philandering husband who must explain a hooker to his wife; and two couples on the worst vacation imaginable.
I'm putting together this post on September 24th, several days after seeing Bill Cosby do stand-up. Well, I guess I should say sit-down instead of stand-up, since he sat in a chair the whole time. The chair had a sweatshirt with "Hello Friend" embroidered on it draped over it. The chair was sitting on an oriental rug. He also had a small wooden end table with a box of kleenex on it and a small metal trash can (with a trash bag in it) to throw the used kleenex in. No water. Just the tissues.
He wore a white t-shirt with a photo of him shaking hands with Nelson Mandela on it (both of them with huge smiles), sweatpants with a drawstring waist and loose bottoms, red socks and brown leather sandals. FASHION.
A guy in the second row started heckling / shouting out things to him within the first 15 minutes of the show and you know how Bill Cosby can tend to talk in that slow, drawn-out sort of way? Well that is (of course) a stylistic choice he's making, because he shut down that annoying heckler SO QUICK and so hard. It was amazing. "I know you didn't say to yourself - 'I'm going to sit up front and bother Bill Cosby.'" The guy's wife was basically crawling under her chair. If he were my husband, I would promptly divorce him.
Bill's the best.
Bill's the best.
I like a ton of things that Neil Simon has written (The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, Sweet Charity, The Heartbreak Kid is one of my favorite-favorites, etc.) but, man..... the Jane Fonda / Alan Alda segment of this movie was just like nails on a chalkboard. Pastel painted nails on a chalkboard.
Maggie Smith's character, Diana Barrie, is nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award but loses the Oscar, but Maggie Smith actually won an Oscar for portraying her, an Oscar loser.
According to an interview with Maggie Smith on 60 Minutes, Herbert Ross was very difficult to work with. She also stated that she was told that Ross reduced Walter Matthau to tears.
The idea of Walter Matthau in tears makes me want to break into tears.
See all the previous movie posts here.