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Who Framed Roger Rabbit

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Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Image Credit: Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988

Cartoons have all the fun. At least, that’s the impression I get from this week’s film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (DVD/Download). While the human citizens of Los Angeles are busy drinking themselves to death and designing freeways, their animated neighbors get to play patty cake and dance in a Silly Symphony. Who needs Hollywoodland when you’ve got Toontown?

Who Framed Roger Rabbit ushered in a lot of firsts for me. It was the first time I saw Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse in a movie TOGETHER, the first time I learned what “sexy” was supposed to look like (thanks for that impossible bar, Jessica Rabbit), and the first time I had cinema-induced nightmares (again, thanks for that re-inflated, waxy Christopher Lloyd). At 5 years old, my young mind soaked up this picture like a slapstick-starved sponge, delighting in Roger Rabbit and his fellow ‘toons’ antics. As an adult, I gravitate toward gumshoe Eddie Valiant (played by Bob Hoskins), who’s too old for this crap but needs a distraction to keep himself out of the whiskey bottle.   Nevertheless, the kid in me still can’t resist a good “Shave and a Haircut” joke.

If I were an entertainment mogul, the first thing on my agenda would be to build a real life Ink & Paint Club. Seriously- a speakeasy filled with dueling pianos and Betty Boop? Genius. My drink of choice? Something lethal. While watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit, I recommend drinking Dip.

Dip

2 oz Gin

¼ oz Dry Vermouth

¼ oz Absinthe

Lemon Twist

Stir together first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice until well chilled. Strain into a martini glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Dip

Side note: I have been waiting YEARS to feel justified in keeping this ugly martini glass in my house. Roger Rabbit just gave me my excuse.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is such a love letter to classic Hollywood and the golden age of animation, that I just want to wrap it up in a bear hug until its eyes pop out. The great thing about this movie is that by mixing cartoons and live actors, the fantastic becomes real. Suddenly, you start to believe that you could get ferried around town in a potty-mouthed taxi, or that the bullets in a gun are actually slow-moving dum-dums with the voice of Yosemite Sam. I know it’s not true, but isn’t it fun to pretend, just for a little bit? Cheers!

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Mermaids

Image Credit Orion Pictures, 1990, Mermaids

Image Credit Orion Pictures, 1990, Mermaids

Over the summer, I received a request from one ardent Cinema Sips reader for more movies starring Cher. This is somewhat of a tall order, considering that the queen diva rarely does film work. I was actually a bit shocked about how few films were on her resume, the count being only 13. That’s impossible, I thought. She’s Cher!!! I suppose it is a testament to her larger-than-life persona that she’s left such an indelible mark as an actress given the limited film work she’s done. Perhaps no movie epitomizes that persona better than this week’s Cinema Sips selection, Mermaids (DVD). This was always a favorite of mine growing up, for many reasons. A mother who serves only appetizers! Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles! Polka dot dresses! I could go on and on. Plus, Cher plays a woman who definitely likes a cocktail, so what better movie to watch with a drink?

Mermaids is about a single mother named Mrs. Flax (played by Cher) who moves her two daughters to a small town in Massachusetts (played by Winona Ryder and a very young Christina Ricci) in 1963. Mrs. Flax is hip, scandalous, and fun- basically a lady who’s been around the block a few times. Of course her elder daughter Charlotte is a conservative prude who dreams of being a nun, while simultaneously harboring a fierce crush on the town handyman (played by Michael Schoeffling, aka Jake Ryan of Sixteen Candles fame). Charlotte is constantly embarrassed by her mother, as all teenage girls are, before realizing that maybe her mother is pretty great after all. Rounding out the cast is Bob Hoskins as shoe salesman Lou, who is so charming and kind that Cher can’t help but fall for the loveable galoot. Heck, I kind of fall for him, bald head and love handles be-damned. This is definitely a coming-of-age story, but I love that it’s told from a girl’s perspective, a rarity in Hollywood.

My cocktail this week was inspired by Mrs. Flax’s culinary skills. As her daughter puts it, “Fun Finger Foods is her main source book and it’s all the woman cooks…. Entrees are too much of a commitment.” I couldn’t agree more, and frankly I wish I could get away with pizza bagels and soft pretzel bites every night. But, you know, health. However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t turn a drink into a fun finger food. I’m loving the recent Bloody Mary craze going on right now, wherein the more food you can stuff on the top of the glass, the better. Did y’all see the one with the whole roast chicken on it?? Mine isn’t that elaborate, but it does involve small foods on a toothpick. I’m pretty sure Mrs. Flax would approve. When watching Mermaids, I recommend drinking Mother’s Bloody Mary.

Mother’s Bloody Mary

2 oz vodka

4 oz tomato juice

3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

3 dashes Tabasco

Salt and pepper to taste

Random small foods- eg. Celery Stalk, andouille sausage, olives, peppers, lemon wedges, etc.

In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously and then strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with your small foods on toothpicks- get creative!

bloody-mary

The beauty of this drink is that it’s all in the garnish. Whatever you have laying around in your kitchen, if it fits on a toothpick, throw it in! The more the merrier! This is for ladies on the go who don’t have time to prepare a full meal and would rather drink it than eat it, kinda like Mrs. Flax. Was she a bad mother who neglected to serve her children nutritious meals? Perhaps. But did she truly love her daughters and try to do the best she could? Absolutely. I think the same can be said about many mothers out there. I was raised by a single mother who maybe took culinary shortcuts now and again (hello Steak-umm’s!) but she did the best she could and that counts for a lot. This movie makes me appreciate all the mothers out there, who maybe want to fly free and wear sexy clothes and be outrageous, but instead stay home and make peanut butter sandwiches in the shape of a star, and show their kids that they are loved more than anything. Cheers!