Films on Bachelors

The Man Who Loved Women (1977)
(L’homme Qui Aimait Les Femmes; The Man Who Loved Love)

Drama 1977 NR 119 minutes. French scientist Bertrand Morane (Charles Denner) has had so many lovers that he begins writing a book about all of his romantic escapades. In the process, he delves into the history of his obsession with the female form and discovers a new love interest with his publisher (Brigitte Fossey). The acclaimed François Truffaut directed.See Full Review

Shampoo

Satire 1975 R 109 minutes.  In this racy satire set in the narcissistic world of late 1960s Los Angeles, a womanizing hairdresser trying to open his own salon in Beverly Hills has trouble juggling his business and sexual affairs.

Alfie (1966)

Dramedy 1966 PG 113 minutes. English playboy Alfie (Michael Caine) is a charming Don Juan in the free-spirited 1960s with an insatiable appetite for women. He lives for sex and steers clear of emotional attachments, taking up with one “bird” after another. But his carefree days are over when he impregnates multiple women … and discovers one of them is married. This Golden Globe-winning comedy boasts a cool jazz score that’s as smooth as the title character.

Alfie (2004)

Drama 2004 R 105 minutes. Jude Law reprises a role made famous by Michael Caine (who got an Oscar nod for his portrayal in the 1966 film of the same name) in Charles Shyer’s stylish remake, which takes a decidedly different tone than the original. Self-aware British cad Alfie (Law) falls in lust too easily and can’t commit to one woman in all of Manhattan. But when one of his lovers gets pregnant, Alfie begins to question his existence.

Hugh Hefner
Playboy, Activist and Rebel

Documentary 2009 R 124 minutes. Through interviews and rare footage, this documentary chronicles Hefner’s journey, from the founding of Playboy magazine — and the launch of the sexual revolution — to his support for a wide range of progressive causes.

E-mail Order Bride

Documentary 2009 TV-14 45m. Take a rare, intimate glimpse into the quirky and sometimes dangerous business of arranging marriages across thousands of miles and cultural borders. Documentary about an older fat guy, and a socially awkward guy, taking advantage of the fact that there are women in Russia trying to escape their living conditions.

Cowboy del Amour

Documentary 2005 NR 86 minutes. If you’re looking for a wife and have $3,000, look no further than “Cowboy Cupid” Ivan Thompson, who makes a living as a matchmaker to lonely American men, driving them deep into Mexico in search of the perfect woman. One client is Rick, a truck driver who finds U.S. women “too hard to please,” and Ivan gives him lots of pointers that come in handy during the courtship. Michele Ohayon, a previous Oscar nominee, directs this quirky documentary.

The Invention of Lying

Satire 2009 PG-13 99 minutes. “The Invention of Lying” is a satire that depicts a world where no one fibs, fiction doesn’t exist and people take each other at their literal word, but unsuccessful screenwriter Mark gains fame and fortune — and maybe the girl of his dreams, Anna — by saying things that aren’t true. The Invention of Lying is a remarkably radical comedy, a comedy with ideas; fortunately it remains, throughout, a comedy first. The first half hour has some of the funniest original writing and scenes ever in a comedy, in which people actually say what they think about each other. It opens with a series of funny, relentlessly logical episodes in a world where everyone always tells the truth. But one day Mark (Ricky Gervais) undergoes an astonishing revelation. He knows his bank balance is $300. The camera zooms into his brain to show mental lightning bolts, and he tells the teller he has $800 (which he needs to pay the rent). She hands him the money and apologizes for the bank’s computer. He has discovered he can lie, but his world lacks even a word for this. So unlike many liars we know who lie for their own benefit, Mark uses his power to fib mainly to make unfortunate people feel better, by telling only what we call “white lies”. So the movie could more accurately be titled “The Invention of White-Lying”. Also sweet, as he doesn’t want to win the girl with lies so he’s honest with her. Then the dialogue on genetic selection is also funny and yet somewhat serious too. Jennifer Garner as Anna gives an inspired, seemingly effortless, performance as a great beauty who isn’t conceited or cruel but simply thinks Mark, with his pug nose, is the wrong genetic match for her future children. She tells him that she finds him unattractive, there will never be any possibility of sex, and he is too short and fat to make a good genetic sperm source. At a restaurant, the waiter tells them that Anna is out of Mark’s league. Mark and Anna agree. Mark takes this agreeably enough; one is not easily insulted when everyone tells the truth all the time. She plans to marry Brad (Rob Lowe), who is as conventionally handsome (and boring) as Clark Kent. The film has one of those scenes at the altar (“Do you, Brad, agree to stay with Anna as long as you can?”) that avoids obvious cliches by involving profound philosophical conclusions. See Full Review

I Do:
How to Get Married and Stay Single
(Prête-moi ta main)

Romantic Comedy 2006 NR 89 minutes. Successful perfume executive Luis (Alain Chabat) is happily single, but his mother and sisters want him to settle down. After they arrange a string of disastrous blind dates, Luis concocts a crazy scheme that will make his family happy without his getting married. All he needs to do is hire a girl to act as his fiancée and then dump him at the altar. But when Luis meets Emmanuelle, the plan takes a turn he never anticipated in this French comedy.

She’s Out of My League
(Hard 10)

Romantic Comedy 2010 R 104 minutes. When he starts dating drop-dead gorgeous Molly, insecure airport security agent Kirk can’t believe it. As his friends and family share their doubts about the relationship lasting, Kirk does everything he can to avoid losing Molly forever.

Hitch

Romantic Comedy 2005 PG-13 118 minutes. Smooth and sexy Hitch helps clueless clients make a great first impression with their dates so they can get to the second date. But when a lovely gossip reporter starts nosing around his business, Hitch has to figure out a whole new strategy to love.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Comedy 2005 UR 133 minutes. At age 40, Andy Stitzer has a pleasant life, but there’s one thing he hasn’t done — so his sex-obsessed coworkers make it their mission to help get him laid. But it all seems hopeless until Andy meets small business owner Trish, a single mom.

Let’s Get Married

Documentary Frontline 2002. Marriage is in trouble. The past half-century has witnessed staggering changes in the makeup of the American family as the number of single-parent households and children born out of wedlock has skyrocketed. The traditional American family structure is crumbling, and no one’s sure why. Now everyone from the government to church leaders to intellectuals–on both the right and the left–are pushing marriage, especially among the poor. But can such efforts turn the social tide and make marriage once again the norm? Should the government have a role in such an intimate, private institution? And for those along the margins, why doesn’t marriage seem to matter any more? Frontline correspondent and author Alex Kotlowitz explores the biggest demographic mystery of the last half-century and examines the modern marriage movement.

Roger Dodger

Comedy 2002 R 106 minutes. Roger is a hopelessly cynical advertising copywriter with a razor-sharp wit who believes he’s mastered the art of manipulating women. But his seemingly foolproof methods unravel when he tries to school his teenage nephew in his techniques.

Next Stop Wonderland

Romantic Comedy 1998 R 96 minutes. When Erin is dumped, her mother places personal ads on her behalf. Erin reluctantly goes out with a string of men who prove unsatisfactory in ways that are humorous to the viewer, revealing the bleak bachelor prospects many eligible women feel they are faced with these days and nights. But a lonely plumber keeps crossing her path. If the two could only meet, they might make the perfect pair.

Dear Zachary:
A Letter to a Son About His Father

Documentary 2008 NR 1hr 33m. Kurt Kuenne’s tribute to his murdered friend, Andrew Bagby, tells the story of a child custody battle won by Bagby’s ex-girlfriend and accused killer. I have never sobbed so much over a movie/documentary in my life. I couldn’t believe what these people actually had gone through. That shocker in the middle of it though…Like, what? What?!?! Like several others, I was initially caught off-guard by the quick edits in this film. I stuck with it though. In fact, I just watched this documentary of a third time in the course of three days.

In the Company of Men

Drama 1997 R 97 minutes. Exiled to a branch office for six weeks, two white-collar middle managers (Matt Malloy and Aaron Eckhart, in his breakout role) come up with a way to kill time: Find an insecure woman, independently romance her and then simultaneously dump her to squelch her self-esteem. Writer-director Neil LaBute’s powerful, amoral look at office politics and sexual gamesmanship is guaranteed to push buttons with its searing, cruel candor.

How to Be a Player

Romantic Comedy 1997 R 94 minutes. Dray (Bill Bellamy) is the envy of his friends, living life one woman at a time and keeping all of his sexual trysts a secret from his girlfriend (Lark Voorhies). Determined to show him the error of his philandering ways, Dray’s sister Jenny (Natalie Desselle) and her friend Katrina (Mari Morrow) throw him a party — but the bash is a bust when Dray discovers all his romantic conquests are on the guest list.

Love Serenade

Comedy 1996 R 1hr 41m.  The Hurley sisters (Miranda Otto and Rebecca Frith) are, by turns, shy and introspective and flashy and outgoing. What they have in common is that they’re both lonely young women on the make for Mr. Right. So, when a slick, smooth-talking radio deejay from the big city blows into their tiny town (moving in right next door), the sisters square off in a hilarious competition to win his affections!

JFK: Reckless Youth

Docudrama 1993 NR 180 minutes. Originally produced as a television miniseries based on the best-selling book by Nigel Hamilton, this nostalgic biopic records the first 30 years of a young John F. Kennedy (Patrick Dempsey) — before the presidency came knocking. From Kennedy’s affair with a beautiful journalist (Yolanda Jilot) who was believed to be a Nazi spy to his ongoing feud with his father (Terry Kinney), this drama captures the makings of a complex and controversial man

Only the Lonely

Romantic Dramedy 1991 PG-13 1hr44m. This film from writer-director Chris Columbus stars John Candy as a Chicago police officer who still lives at home with his overbearing mother. The son is well past the age when his peers were getting married, or at least have a serious love interest. The movie starts by portraying two complete wallflowers well on the way to long-term solitude. They seem to have never dated. The mother thinks she wants her son to find a girl and get married, but when it appears he finds a girl, she suddenly changes her mind when she considers that she will be alone. The story is also poignant and endearing. You will laugh and you will cheer, and you will feel happy you gave this little film a chance. Highly recommended.

When Harry Met Sally

Romantic Comedy 1989 R 96 minutes. Can men and women remain friends without sex getting in the way? Nora Ephron’s episodic screenplay introduces womanizing, neurotic Harry (Billy Crystal) and ambitious, equally neurotic Sally (Meg Ryan) as chums who resist sexual attraction to maintain their friendship — a relationship always teetering on the brink of love. As the two draw closer, the question resurfaces: Can they stay just pals? Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby co-star.

The Pick-up Artist

Drama 1987 PG-13 81 minutes. Carefree lady-killer Jack Jericho (Robert Downey Jr.) seduces women by the dozen. But the tables abruptly turn when he meets beautiful (and totally indifferent) museum guide Randy Jensen (Molly Ringwald), who agrees to a one-night stand and then dumps him. Stymied and completely smitten, Jack keeps pursuing Randy — and, along the way, helps her alcoholic father erase a huge gambling debt he owes the mob.

The Man Who Loved Women (1983)

Drama 1983 R. This romantic comedy follows the exploits of lothario David Fowler, who suffers a midlife crisis that leads him to bed a series of beautiful women. To cope, he turns to an attractive psychiatrist who gives him a new lease on life.

Roxanne

Romantic Comedy 1987 PG 107 mins.  Fearless small-town firefighter C.D. Bales (Steve Martin) is seriously smitten with beautiful stargazer Roxanne Kowalski (Daryl Hannah) but is self-conscious about his exceedingly long nose in this contemporary take on “Cyrano de Bergerac.” The fair maiden has also captured the fancy of C.D.’s handsome but tongue-tied chum Chris, so eloquent C.D. woos her vicariously through his handsome rival.   This is a tale as old as time. Ugly man and handsome man both fall for pretty girl. Handsome man has upper hand, but in the end she falls for eloquent ugly guy. Roxanne is an updated version of the famous Cyrano de Bergerac tale, with the wacky humor of Steve Martin added for good measure. Cute tender rom-com that is great for family viewing.  I love the message in this movie, and made sure that my preteen girls got to see it with me. The passion, tenderness and romance in this movie are things that we all should aspire to, though few of us do.  This is one of Steve Martin’s best movies (right behind Planes, Trains and Automobiles). Steve Martin wrote a near perfect screenplay. The performances are first rate from Martin and Darryl Hannah as the title character. The scenery is beautiful.   Without a doubt this is one of the funniest, and smartest comedies ever made.  This one will always rate high up on my list of “must see” movies.

Eddie Murphy: Raw

Documentary 1987 R 1hr 30m. Filmed live during two concerts at Madison Square Garden, this stand-up comedy classic showcases Eddie Murphy in a series of uproarious observations about the unfairly high cost of divorce and its tendency to make him remain single, plus celebrity impressions, remembrances of his childhood and much more.

Diner

Drama 1982 R 110 minutes. In 1959 Baltimore, former school chums facing adulthood find solace at the local diner, where the banter between groom-to-be Eddie (Steve Guttenberg), best man Billy (Tim Daly), womanizer Boogie (Mickey Rourke), married Shrevie (Daniel Stern) and quirky Modell (Paul Reiser) ranges from girls to growing old. Ellen Barkin and Kevin Bacon co-star in writer-director Barry Levinson’s debut feature, which received an Oscar nod for Best Screenplay.

Animal House

Comedy National Lampoon 1978 R 109 minutes. Knowledge is good, but swilling kegs of beer is more fun! Just ask the guys at the Delta House fraternity. Often imitated, but seldom equaled, Animal House spawned a generation of gonzo comedies and launched John Belushi’s film career. Dean Wormer (John Vernon) puts the titular frat on double-secret probation, and it’s up to Bluto, Flounder, Pinto and the rest of the brothers to get even. This edition includes retrospective featurettes and more.

Carnal Knowledge

Drama 1971 R 98 minutes. Mike Nichols directs a sterling cast in this trailblazing film, which chronicles the sexual mores and escapades of two college pals — loathsome misogynist Jonathan (Jack Nicholson) and shy, neurotic Sandy (Art Garfunkel) — over two decades. Jonathan and Sandy embody a laundry list of emotional dysfunction as they move from one relationship to the next. Candice Bergen, Rita Moreno and Oscar-nominated Ann-Margret co-star as the women in their orbit.

The Graduate

Romantic Comedy 1967 PG 105 minutes. Dustin Hoffman (in his first major film role) turns in a landmark performance as a naïve college graduate who is seduced by a middle-aged neighbor (Anne Bancroft) but ends up falling in love with her beautiful, young daughter (Katharine Ross). Mike Nichols won a Best Director Oscar for this 1960s classic, which boasts an immortal score from Simon and Garfunkel that includes the iconic “Mrs. Robinson.”

Diary of a Bachelor

Romantic Comedy 1964 NR 1hr 27m. Longtime bachelor Skip O’Hara (William Traylor) finally puts away his little black book. But when Skip leaves town on a business trip, his new fiancée, Joanne (Dagne Crane), finds his diary and learns all about his busy romantic life, both before and during their courtship. Director Sandy Howard tells much of this romantic comedy in flashback, revealing that Skip’s glamorous playboy lifestyle might not have been as exciting as it looked.

The Suitor

Comedy 1962 NR. French comic genius Pierre Etaix’s directorial debut stars Etaix as a wealthy young man who’s under pressure from his parents to find a wife. But no matter how hard he tries, he can’t get out of his own way and land a suitable mate.

The Apartment

1960 NR 125 minutes.  With furthering his career in mind, an insurance clerk lends his apartment to his adulterous higher-ups for their amorous affairs. But his fast track to an executive suite gets derailed when he becomes involved with his boss’s latest conquest.

Marty

Romantic Drama 1955 NR 1hr33m. Trapped by a smothering mother, middle-aged Marty’s future looks bleak. But when this butcher meets a lonely teacher, suddenly everything is possible.  This is a touching movie that depicts a lonely-hearted man portrayed beautifully by Ernest Borgnine. Pressured by his buddies to be more of a “player”, shamed by his italian immigrant mother for being single, privately yurning for romance, filled with self-doubt, Borgnine portrays a sensitive man caught in the alienation of male posturing in the fifties. Paddy Chayevsky comes through with a great script (and a cameo). And yes, it’s a bit corny, certainly from today’s standards, but since when are we so cynical that we can’t relate to a person who is lonely and who can’t wait to share his heart with another. It didn’t win Best Picture in 1955 for nothing.

A Place in the Sun

Drama 1951 NR 122 minutes.  Dirt-poor George Eastman (Montgomery Clift) lands himself a factory job thanks to a well-to-do uncle’s largesse and has a tryst with co-worker Alice (Shelley Winters) to combat his loneliness. But he forgets the uncultured Alice when he becomes smitten with a stunning socialite (Elizabeth Taylor). Alice can’t forget George, however, because she’s expecting his baby. Their dilemma sets off a course of events that can only end in tragedy.  Based on Theodore Dreiser’s novel, An American Tragedy, and the adapted play by Patrick Kearney.

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

Comedy 1947 NR 95 minutes.  In this screwball comedy, love-struck teenager Susan (Shirley Temple) sneaks into the apartment of playboy artist Richard Nugent (Cary Grant), where she’s tracked down by her sister, Judge Margaret Turner (Myrna Loy). Threatened with prison, Nugent agrees to date Susan until her infatuation subsides. Soon, Nugent is spouting teen slang and Susan is affecting an air of sophistication. Sidney Sheldon’s screenplay won a Best Writing Oscar.

FILMS ON BACHELORS WORLDWIDE

The Man Who Loved Women (1977)
(L’homme Qui Aimait Les Femmes; The Man Who Loved Love)

Drama 1977 NR 119 minutes. French scientist Bertrand Morane (Charles Denner) has had so many lovers that he begins writing a book about all of his romantic escapades. In the process, he delves into the history of his obsession with the female form and discovers a new love interest with his publisher (Brigitte Fossey). The acclaimed François Truffaut directed.See Full Review

Alfie (1966)

Dramedy 1966 PG 113 minutes. English playboy Alfie (Michael Caine) is a charming Don Juan in the free-spirited 1960s with an insatiable appetite for women. He lives for sex and steers clear of emotional attachments, taking up with one “bird” after another. But his carefree days are over when he impregnates multiple women … and discovers one of them is married. This Golden Globe-winning comedy boasts a cool jazz score that’s as smooth as the title character.

Blind Mountain
(Mang Shan)

Drama 2007 NR 95 minutes. Blind Mountain reveals one of China’s continuing social problems, selling women for marriage in modern day China. The promise of a good-paying job lures a young Chinese woman into a horrifying predicament in this drama. In the 1990s college student Bai Xuemei (Lu Huang) awakens in a remote village to find she’s been sold into a marriage to the repulsive “husband” that is slavery in disguise. Her resistance only results in being raped by her “husband” and continued beatings at the hands of her husband, her husbands’ parents and the villagers. Trapped in the fiercely traditional town, the young woman finds that her avenues of escape are all blocked. As she searches for allies, including a young boy, a school teacher and a mailman. With hope running out, Bai undertakes one final dramatic stand against her oppressors. See Full Review

The Salt of Life
(Gianni e le Donne)

Comedy 2011 NR 1hr 29m.  Rather than living the good life he’d imagined, newly retired Gianni spends his days running errands for those around him. Bemoaning his fate, he decides to take a mistress — a task that proves easier said than done in this wistful comedy.

Picture Bride

Docudrama 1994 PG-13 94 minutes. Following her parents’ deaths, Riyo (Tamlyn Tomita), a 16-year-old Japanese girl, becomes a “picture bride” for Matsuji, a Hawaiian sugarcane worker who, as is the custom, willingly enters into the arranged marriage.

Much Ado About Nothing

Comedy 1993 PG-13 111 minutes. Benedick and Beatrice are two marriage-phobic rivals in Florence, Italy, in this Shakespeare comedy whose lively plot involves complications, pranks and peerless wordplay. Hero and Claudio try to hook up the two B’s despite tenacious resistance.

My Fair Lady

Romantic Musical 1964 G 172 minutes. In this classic cinematic version of the Broadway smash, Audrey Hepburn is at her most radiant as Eliza Doolittle, the Cockney flower girl transformed into a poised duchess by confirmed bachelor Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison, reprising his Broadway role). The film won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Marriage Italian Style
(Matrimonio all’italiana)

Dramedy 1964 NR 1hr 41m.  Domenico Soriano (Marcello Mastroianni) is about to marry, but when he learns that his mistress Filumena Marturano (Sophia Loren) is ill, he stays by her side, learning later that it was a ploy by her to get him to marry her instead.

Gigi

Romantic Comedy Musical 1958 G 116 minutes. Leslie Caron stars as Gigi, an avant-garde French waif being groomed as the fille de joie of affluent and handsome bachelor playboy Gaston (Louis Jourdan). Soon Gigi metamorphoses into a stunning beauty, and the head-over-heels Gaston asks for her hand. But Gigi’s courtesan grandmother is aghast: No one in the family has ever considered something as plebeian as matrimony! This 1958 gem won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director (Vincente Minnelli).

School for Scoundrels

Farce 1960 NR 1hr 34m. Shy loser Henry Palfrey (Ian Carmichael) is in love with April Smith (Janette Scott), but she’s dating the suave Raymond Delauney (Terry-Thomas), so he enrolls in unconventional education classes to up his game. At the secret “College of Lifesmanship,” Henry’s confidence soars after taking courses such as “Woomanship” and “One-upmanship.” Hilarious performances highlight this brisk and biting British farce.

The Quiet Man

Drama 1952 NR 129 minutes. John Wayne hangs up his spurs to star as bachelor ex-boxer Sean Thornton in this endearing classic. Back in his native Ireland, the Duke’s thoughts turn to domestic tranquility after courting the lovely Mary Kate (Maureen O’Hara). But her brother (Victor McLaglen) may need to have some common sense knocked into him — literally — before the deal is done. The customs and lifestyle of Ireland bewilder this Irish-American. The film won two Academy Awards, including Best Director (John Ford).

FILMS ON ADOLESCENT BUDDING BACHELORS

Summer of ’42

Drama 1971 PG 104 minutes. This quiet coming-of-age movie features a pitch-perfect mood of nostalgia and a haunting score. Teenaged Hermie (Gary Grimes) and his friends Oscy and Benjie are spending the summer of 1942 on an island with their parents. While Oscy’s main concern is when and how to lose his virginity, Hermie falls earnestly in love with the older Dorothy (Jennifer O’Neill), a married woman whose Army-pilot husband is heading to the battlefront.

Malèna

Drama 2000 R 1hr 32m. When 12-year-old Renato catches a glimpse of beautiful new bride Malèna, his heart skips a beat. But when jealous town busybodies begin spreading vile rumors about her, Renato must incorporate those falsehoods with what he knows to be true.

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