My buddy Paul from Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies has clearly been trying to send me a message lately, what with his encouragement in the comments here to write about Michelle Pfeiffer’s excellent work as Melanie Parker in One Fine Day, followed by his picture-post tribute to Melanie, which quotes something I once wrote about Michelle’s performance. I hear you loud and clear, Paul: the world needs more Melanie Parker love, and you and I are the two foremost experts on the subject, so let’s do this!
I reread a One Fine Day piece I wrote many moons ago, at my old blog, just to refresh my memory on what I’d said or not said. Turns out it’s not half bad. So, some of what you read below comes from that post, but I’ve edited, embellished, and expanded on it to the point that it’s an all-new beast, really.
In 1996, Michelle was a long-established superstar, hot off the heels of a blistering run of greatness in excellent films like Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Frankie and Johnny, Love Field, Batman Returns, The Age of Innocence, and Wolf. George Clooney was a longtime actor, but had only recently tasted big-time success with the hit television series ER. Pairing the two hot stars in the charming and delightful romantic comedy One Fine Day proved to be the right move at the right time. The film is a light, frothy affair, which might lead some to dismiss it as unworthy. That would be a mistake, as Pfeiffer is simply radiant in a sublime performance, and she shares terrific chemistry with Clooney, who turns in one of his most charming performances.
It’s delightful to be in Pfeiffer’s and Clooney’s company here, tagging along as they make their way through one exceptionally frenzied day in the lives of two busy New Yorkers just trying to wrangle their kids, do their jobs and, oh yeah, fall in love. Through the contrivance of movie magic, Michelle’s single mom, architect Melanie Parker, and George’s single dad, Daily News reporter Jack Taylor, keep intersecting throughout the day, while also passing their kids off to one another at different points. Hijinks ensue, allowing Michelle and George to modernize the great screwball romantic comedy tradition for the ‘90s.
The film throws a series of endless obstacles at the two leads, and both handle them beautifully. Michelle is pure white gold here, all eye rolls and snappy retorts, exhaustion, and exasperation. She’s the screwball comedy female lead updated to the then-modern age, complete with such ’90s accoutrements as a permanently frazzled personality, a perfectly sexy bob hairstyle, and a hilariously oversized cell phone. And who can forget how cool she looks in an undersized children’s dinosaur t-shirt she’s forced to sequeeze into because her son spills a drink all over her work clothes? It’s one of her best comedic performances, ranking close to her comic excellence in 1988’s Married to the Mob, which is another Pfeiffer pfavorite I need to write about soon. As in that film, she shines doing physical comedy, and exudes a real warmth and charisma throughout. She takes what could be a tired archetype—the Type A woman and all of the cliches that entails—and creates a complex and fully dimensional person, one that any parent or working professional can easily relate to.
Not only do Michelle and George have great comedy chemistry, but they share an onscreen kiss that has to be one of the hottest I’ve ever seen. More often than not these days, movie smooching can off as lukewarm, or even passionless. Well, this kiss is the antithesis of that. It’s placement towards of the end of the film is perfect too, as we’ve spent all that time wishing these two characters would just make out already, so when they finally do it—and do it so well—it’s truly epic. Then what follows in the final moments—George falling asleep after their hectic day, Michelle nuzzled up next to him on the couch—is such a sweet and perfect way to end a lovely film.
Thank you Paul, for inspiring me to drop some Melanie love here at the Starfire Lounge (and thanks for the awesome screencap you used, which I swiped, so I hope that’s okay!). One Fine Day will always be one of my favorite Pfeiffer comfort movies—sweet, sexy, romantic, and funny, with characters that are easy to love, including the two absolutely adorable kids, and especially Melanie and Jack. It isn’t mentioned nearly enough when discussing best rom-coms. That’s just wrong, because I’d argue it’s one of the last truly great ones of its kind. It’s also a wonderful showcase for Michelle’s plethora of talents, an excellent reminder that she is a Movie Star, as well as an absurdly talented actress.
6 thoughts on “One Fine Day with Melanie Parker”
I’m typing this with a smile on my face, once again you’ve made my day. It’s pfabulous to read an update of your post from Words Seem Out of Place. I like your choice of images too.
Thanks for posting this. I’ll never get tired of reading your thoughts on Melanie Parker. Michelle has never been more gorgeous. I am so in love with her in this film.
I’m so glad it made you smile, my pfriend! It’s always a pleasure to revisit and write about Melanie Parker and One Fine Day. Thank you for inspiring me to post this!
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Reblogged this on Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies and commented:
My pfriend Michael C. and I share a passion for Michelle Pfeiffer and One Fine Day. Over the last few years, we’ve showered praise on this film as we’ve reviewed, dual reviewed, blogathoned and guest posted about it. In his latest article, over at The Starfire Lounge, Michelle has written another beautiful tribute to one of my favourite Pfeiffer pfilms. It’s a fabulous piece of writing, articulating just what makes Michelle’s performance so special. Thank you Michael!
Thank you for the reblog, Paul!
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It’s been years since I watched this movie! As you might know, chemistry between characters is super important to me and I loathe a poorly done movie kiss…it’s such a wasted opportunity don’t you think?!! Well, Michelle puts her all into every role and the resultant kisses are usually exquisite!! Beautifully written as always Michael!!
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Thank you so much Rachel!! You definitely need to watch this movie again, and soon!