Week after week after week, N.Y. Times DVD columnist Dave Kehr creams over every elitist-esoteric Criterion/Janus/ Anchor Bay DVD that comes along — the dweebier and more Thalia-in-the- ’70s, the better. But every now and then he goes mainstream mushy, as he has today with a review of the fourth of fifth DVD transfer of Leo McCarey‘s An Affair to Remember (1957), a tightly corseted and overpraised weepie with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.
Kehr has kicked in with a heartfelt, well-written tribute to Grant’s acting and how his performance as Nickie Ferrante deepened his game with a new introspection, blah blah.
Every now and then Kehr gets out the violin and goes mainstream and talks about some schmaltzy movie that has gotten to him on some primal level (be it emotional or aesthetic). He did this with the last October’s Funny Face DVD. I was duly persuaded and went out and bought it and realized after watching this sometimes elegant but often repulsively candied Stanley Donen musical for 20 or 30 minutes that I’d been burned. I’m still smarting over Kehr having sold me on the Criterion Colection DVD of John Ford’s Young Mr. Lincoln. I bought it, popped it in and began muttering to myself after watching for 40 or 50 minutes….burned by Kehr again!
Kehr knows from art-film esoterica — give him that. He’s definitely a guy to listen to when it comes to the latest Samuel Fuller or Vittorio Se Sica box set. But caveat emptor when it comes to ’40s and ’50s schmaltz!