The other day, I saw the upcoming film, The Intern, that stars Robert De Niro and Anne Hathway, and was written and directed by Nancy Meyers (who also did The Holiday and It's Complicated, among others). I thought it was terrific, but that's not the point here.
As I was watching the film, there were several scenes in which Anne Hathaway's character is talking with her mother, who we never see. But her voice sounded familiar, and I thought it was Mary Kay Place. And indeed, it was.
But what I found some funny, and worth noting, is that Mary Kay Place also played the unseen mother who we only hear over the telephone in another recent movie, Julie and Julia, as the telephonic mother of Amy Adams, who is 'Julie' in the film. But that's not the funny thing. What got me laughing is remembering that in The Intern, the name of her daughter, played by Anne Hathaway, is -- 'Jules.'
Man, talk about typecasting within an incredibly narrow frame!
If you're looking for someone to play.the unseen mother of your main female character who you only hear over the telephone, and the daughter's name is a form of 'Julie"...Mary Kay Place is your go-to actress.
(BobNote: I actually worked on a movie with Mary Kay Place, Bright Angel, based on a couple of short stories by Richard Ford. It was very low-budget, but with a great cast, including Dermot Mulroney, Sam Shepard, Delroy Lindo, newcomer Benjamin Bratt and several others. For what it's worth, Mary Kay was very personable, and she actually got on screen, not only over the telephone.)
There was another little tidbit in the film, which gave me a chuckle. And unlike the mother-over-the-phone whimsy, this one I suspect was intentional and meant as an inside joke. At one point, Anne Hathaway is talking with a young woman in the office and refers to her by name -- Mia. For those with long memories filled with minutiae, that was the name of the character she played in the movie that made her a star, The Princess Diaries -- Mia Thermopolis. Yes, it could have been a coincidence, but Mia isn't all that common a name, so my guess is intentional.
Anyway, as I said, I really enjoyed the movie. There were a few scenes that struck me as a bit forced, but overall it's a lovely, funny, and often touching film. It's also the first movie I can think of where Robert De Niro plays a character who doesn't have an ounce of angst in him and isn't ready to rage or yell at the slightest provocation. He's just a warm, intelligent, kind "grandfather-figure" to this madhouse Internet start-up company of young people. And he's terrific in the role. As is Anne Hathaway, who oddly sort of plays the Meryl Streep role, her nemesis in The Devil Wore Prada, though far more friendly and low-key But the character still has a range of levels, and Ms. Hathaway has several very impressive, emotional scenes
Here's the trailer.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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