Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cinema with Comestible Accompaniments: Only the Lonely

A safe place for lovers of movies and pun-based food recipes with a fondness for TBS's Dinner and A Movie.  Oh yeah, and all the classic Dinner and A Movie recipes will be veganized. 

The Movie
Only the Lonely (1991)
Leonard Maltin Review:  *** D: Chris Columbus.  John Candy, Maureen O'Hara, Ally Sheedy, James Belushi, Anthony Quinn, Kevin Dunn, Milo O'Shea, Bert Remsen, Joe V. Greco, Macaulay Culkin, Kieran Culkin.  Chicago cop, who still lives with his mom, falls in love--and has to overcome both his mother's resistance and his feelings of guilt over leaving her.  Sweet, sentimental update of MARTY shines with performances that are right on-target, including O'Hara's first since 1973's THE RED PONY.

Spoiler Alert:  There may be spoilers salted and peppered though the movie portion of this post, consider yourself warned.

Sometimes it's good to be a cop, sometimes it's not.  Although according to this movie the only time it's not good to be a cop is when you accidentally drop a corpse out an apartment window, but we'll get back to that later.

"I can't skip bingo.  I love it." - Rose

Danny (John Candy), a single Chicago cop, lives with his mother Rose (Maureen O'Hara).  His partner, Sal (James Belushi), is having problems with his wife after he surprised her with some sort of sex toy that she had mistaken for a giant centipede.  His brother, Patrick (Kevin Dunn), puts an unreasonable amount of pressure on one of his three sons, Billy (Macaulay Culkin), and is super aggressive about getting Danny to move out to Florida with their mom.

Good to see Macaulay doing his own stunts.  He's such a professional.  Chris Columbus, according to IMDb, said he was an incredibly charming kid when he worked with him on Home Alone (1990) and brought him and Kieran back for a cameo in this movie.  When the film was released, Home Alone was still in theaters.  At the end of the weekend, this movie finished 4th in the box office with Home Alone finishing in 11th.

"Your friend there's fluthered." - Frank

Fluthered, what a great word!

"Okay fine.  Take the body back.  He can't drink anyway.  What did you do, sew his lips shut?" - one of Tommy Bones' friends

After the corpse of Tommy Bones is taken into O'Neill's for his final drink with his friends, we meet Theresa Luna (Ally Sheedy), the girls that paints dead people's look like famous people.

"I don't believe this.  I'm getting romantic advice from a widow and two bachelors." - Danny

"I'm sorry.  See, I just got lucky in there with a girl.  I didn't mean it like that.  It's not what you're thinking.  She does everybody in there.  Not in that way but she probably did that guy there for example...I got to go." - Danny

Nick, the Greek neighbor, is in love with Rose, but Rose is a complicated woman and is not into his aggressive courtship.  She might also have some deep-seated hatred for Greek people, it's unclear.  The Sicilians, for sure, but the Greeks, not so sure.  He does seem to know how to charm her on occasion.

"Rose, have you forgotten what a sweet thing romance can be?" - Nick

Danny and Theresa's first date is at old Comiskey Park and was filmed not long after the final baseball game was played there.  In the establishing shot above, you can see both the old Comiskey Park and the new Comiskey Park, renamed US Cellular Field in 2003 and Guaranteed Rate Field in 2016.

Back to the corpse and the most memorable part of this movie when I originally watched this as a child.
As Danny and Sal are lowering a corpse tied to a fire hose from an apartment building window, Sal accuses Danny of being "pussy-whipped" for wanted to go on a second date with Theresa instead of going to a football game with him.  Sal, there is a reason you are sleeping on the couch.  **cough cough** misogyny **cough cough**

"You think I'm going to that door alone?  What if it's a crack maniac dressed up as Frankenstein or a rapist dressed up like Elmer Fudd?" -Rose

The Irish stew I prepare below went slightly better than the meal Danny makes for their first sleepover date.
This line stood out to me for some reason.  As some of you may know Ally Sheedy starred in Maid to Order (1987) where she plays a rich girl who becomes penniless and must take a maid's job to earn a living.  Only the Lonely came out in 1991.  Is this a not so subtle reference to Maid to Order?

"Rose, I know you realize it's the nineties.  I'm just not sure you realize it's the 1990's." -Polish priest

Even though his mother, brother and partner Sal discourage him from pursuing his relationship with Theresa and Danny deserves a shot at love.  Rose beats up a bunch of terrorist to prove that she'll be fine on her own and Danny can move to New York City to be with Theresa.

"Everything in life does relate to sex, Danny.  I mean, think about it.  Do you realize that 45% of these people in these buildings right now are having sex of some sort?  That's a statistic, Danny." -Sal

Let's take a moment to appreciate the soundtrack for this movie: the title song Roy Orbison's Only the Lonely, Etta James performing Otis Redding's I've Got Dreams to Remember, a couple Van Morrison songs, Jimmy Durante, Mario Lanza, Dean Martin.  

"I love you, ma." -Danny
"I'm not so lovable." -Rose
"True enough.  I'm kidding." - Danny

Some More Fun Fact from IMDb:

  • Chris Columbus wrote the script with Maureen O'Hara in mind for the role of the mother.  What he didn't know was that she had long since been retired and was living on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.  Knowing her brother, Charles B. Fitzsimons was still in the movie industry, Columbus contacted him and had a script sent.
  • This would turn out to be Maureen O'Hara's final feature film with the exception of three TV movies (1995, 1998, and 2000).
  • During filming, Maureen O'Hara would often tell John Candy that he reminded her of Charles Laughton, citing that underneath the clown character had existed a powerful, complicated actor.  O'Hara told Candy to trust his talent as an actor and not always play the clown.
  • This is the only John Hughes film where he wasn't the writer.
  • Producer John Hughes insisted to writer/director Chris Columbus that Ally Sheedy be cast as Theresa. 

The Recipe
Irish Stew for One
(for original recipe click here)

(also pictured some whiskey on the rocks with a sprig of rosemary because I bought a lot of rosemary)

For the stew:

  • 1 block of tofu, cut into 1-2 in cubes (but I think tempeh would work well in this recipe as well)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 each: bay leaf, thyme sprig, garlic clove
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 10-oz can cannellini beans (I used 15-oz)
  • salt and pepper
For the soda bread:
  • 2 cups flour 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 cup almond milk w/ 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (combine and set aside 5-10 minutes to make buttermilk)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 copy "How to be Your Own Best Friend"
1. Preheat oven to 250⁰F.

 2.  Prepare the stew: Heat the oil in a large, heavy (oven safe) pot over medium-high heat.  (It's times like these I wish I had a dutch oven, but instead I used my cast iron pan and wrapped some heavy duty foil over it when it was time to transfer to the oven).

3.  Brown the tofu in 3 batches, then return all the tofu to the pot and add the stock, bay leaf, thyme, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.
 4.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the preheated oven.  Cook for 45 minutes.
5.  Meanwhile, cut the vegetables.
 6.  Add the potatoes, onions, carrot, cannelini beans and chopped parsley.  Cover and continue cooking until the vegetable are tender.  (The original recipe says this is about 20 min., for me it was about 1 hour and 40 minutes.)  This will take some time, hopefully you didn't have any plans tonight.
 7.  Prepare the soda bread: Preheat the oven to 375⁰F.

8.  Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and rosemary in a mixing bowl.

9.  In a small bowl, mix together the tomato paste and buttermilk mixture.

 10.  Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and knead the dough until it holds together.
11.  Shape the dough into small, depressing, 1 person loaves and brush with a little olive oil.  Bake about 15-20 minutes, or until done.
(I read this whole part wrong and made one big loaf and forgot the olive oil.  It still came out good though.)

Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day!

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