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A New Leaf


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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 months later...

i'm on my 3rd malaga cooler browsing the old boards and was happy to find this.


made me wonder why elaine may didnt have more success in movies so i read her wiki page. seems she later tried to bring her love of improv to film direction with poor - or certainly very costly - results.


but yes a fun clever comedy that stands up to repeated viewings, especially mathau's very expressive actions and reactions to her during their courtship, and his eventual awakening when he finds the "new leaf." and just in time.

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  • 8 months later...

This movie is a family favorite. 

We all watched it together last year and I was surprised how well it holds up. The only newbie in the group loved it too. I think most women feel that self conscious and awkward at one time in their lives.


We were on the floor in stitches when May tried dressing in the grecian gown for her honeymoon. She is just so adorable, a perfect foil for gruff Matthau. 


I bet we all watch it again this year when we get together Labor Day.

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I read somewhere that Elaine May was not pleased with the final outcome of the movie.  I can't imagine why, since I am like the rest of you, I absolutely love this movie.  And she is certainly the main reason that this is so entertaining.l   She's such a delight.  It's too bad that they never followed through with the plans to do a remake with Kevin Kline and Joan Cusack.  They were so terrific together in "In and Out".  What a great movie that would have been!



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Apparently it wasn't just the ending that she didn't like, but she had a three-hour-long director's cut that includes at least one dark sub-plot involving two murders. Walter Matthau liked the edited version better. It's unknown whether the director's cut still exists (someone should ask her), but I'd be very curious to see it, despite the length. Read about it on the wiki page for this film.




Regarding the ending (meaning SPOILER ALERT), I do not really buy Henry's turn-around. It just seems very removed from his personality to save her life at the last minute. There was never even a hint that that feeling was in him, and that's what was funny, so it doesn't really fit. I can understand why it might be too cold to let her die (as she wanted it), but the ending changed his character rather ungracefully.


I do love this movie though, it's hilarious as it is.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought from what I read that he saved Henrietta in both the studio cut and in the director's cut, the difference being in the former, it was an act of love, while in the latter it was his punishment for getting away with murder.


I've never heard it that way, but you could be right. Except I don't understand why he would be punishing himself, much less why he would do it by "saving" her life. Heck, I think most guilty people would never decide to punish themselves, even those that actually experience feelings of guilt, which I'm doubtful that Henry did (except in the implausible ending.)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I love the Evans cut. I always wondered why Elaine May didn't make more movies. I know now it was because she made crap. And was a pain to deal with if you were the one writing the checks.


I take the ending to mean that Mathau's character found immortality through the naming of the new leaf for him and so, dam it to hell, he had to save the woman who brought this new richness to him.


Not one to over-analyze. Just to enjoy.

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  • 1 year later...

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