139 Great Directors: Rob Reiner

“People kept asking me, ‘How do you balance it?,’ and the point is, you don’t. I know now, about me: I can’t split my attention in that way. It doesn’t work. I mean, it shows, to be honest with you. You can’t do both.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Early work.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Princess Bride of the stuff not covered here.

What Did I Watch: Rewatches of Misery and When Harry Met Sally (my real favorite).

Where Does He Fit: Misery is an enjoyable romp and probably the last thing Rob Reiner ever did that wasn’t aggressively stupid, but at the same time, you have to question quite a few of the decisions made. Kathy Bates really won that Oscar because of the character and the direction favoring her rather than adding any layers to Annie’s psychosis. More troubling, however, is certain elements in the script that are hokey and obvious, such as Annie casually dropping that she lost her memory when on the witness stand in Denver as a really over the top bit of foreshadowing. An easy sit, but not much else.


My complaints for When Harry Met Sally are nitpicky as fuck, but they exist: I wish the soundtrack were replaced, I find seeing Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan pretending to be college students to be deeply disconcerting, and the interstitials with the older couples are amusing but unnecessary. Everything else? Absurdly great, and the career peaks of almost everyone involved. It somehow makes me believe that yes, it is impossible for men and women to be friends despite being gay enough to know that this theory is sort of homophobic if we take it seriously. Oh who cares, Nora Ephron clearly isn’t, just go with this, it’s pretty amazing.


Most Valuable Asset: Uh…Hollywood skill early on?
Most Excited For: Nothing. Maybe North for camp value? I haven’t seen The Sure Thing?
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Ehhhh. Maybe, but too high.

Coming Up Next: Peter Weir, Australian oddball.


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