Thursday, June 25, 2009

work it out, shake it little mama, let me see you do the jane fonda

I've always liked Jane Fonda a lot, but kind of in the way one might like pitbulls or the movie "300" -- the idea of her is a bit intimidating to me, but its comforting to know that she's out there doing her thing, as long as nothing is directed toward me. She's not an intimidating-looking person really in any respect (well when she had her Hanoi Jane haircut, arguably she was...) --she's quite petite and really very beautiful, so I guess its more in the way she speaks and carries herself that gets me. Everytime she enters the screen in a movie, I watch her because its like she's forcing everyone to look at her. I could never imagine Jane playing a character that was delicate or a pushover, just because Jane could never be that person. Jane is best when she's playing an ass-kicking TV reporter, or an ass-kicking prostitute, or an ass-kicking office worker, or an ass-kicking futuristic crimefighter. Essentially whatever role where she can kick ass -- physically or metaphorically -- is where Jane will succeed most. I'm not even going to talk about this one because she takes her insane intimidation abilities to new heights. The closest Jane ever came to playing a very vulnerable, emotionally abused character was in On Golden Pond, and even then she was playing a character who used to kick ass.
I remember in a scene in California Suite where she gets complimented by Alan Alda, and she just turns to him and scoffs "Fit? You think I look fit? You awful shit, I look gorgeous!" I just remember thinking that Alan Alda's proper response should have been to sink cowardly and say "Yes, ma'am" quietly before excusing himself to go cry in the bathroom.
I've always really liked it when she costarred with Robert Redford in movies, because I think their differing personalities worked well together. I remember reading a quote where Jane said that everytime they filmed a movie together, she would fall in love with him all over again. Together they starred in "The Chase," "Barefoot in the Park," and "The Electric Horseman." Barefoot in the Park is my favorite of the films that they did together because, unlike the others, it was an unapologetically sweet romantic comedy -- Jane played a charmingly ditzy bride trying to adjust to being a wife and still be a free spirit, and Robert played her adorably square conservative husband who just can't seem to shake things up. I think this is my favorite type of character that Jane plays -- one who is a bit kooky, a bit intimidating, but very lovable indeed.