The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, February 15-21

nyc repertory cinema-whats up doc

What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
Directed by Peter Bogdanovich
This screwball-throwback recasts Looney Tunes as romantic comedy. A boyish, brashly Brooklynish Barbra [sic] Streisand does her best Bugs Bunny, confounding a stodgy, absent-minded musicologist (played by Ryan O’Neal), whom she has arbitrarily targeted for harassment/romance, with surreal, sardonic conversation and aggressive antics. (She says the title line while munching on carrots in the meet-cute.) He’s her sputtering Fudd, just without the gun, and a delightfully consternated Madeline Kahn, making her film debut, is his fuddy-duddy fiancée. Set in San Francisco—in the airport, a hotel and the hilly streets—the movie sports zippy one-liners, zany physical comedy and madcap scenarios that build to boffo climaxes; there are a few groaners, a few guffaws and a couple gut-busters, adding up to old-fashioned but vivacious slapstick in the Frank Tashlin style. Henry Stewart (February 16, 9:30pm at the Nitehawk)

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