Film producer Barry Mendel teams with writer- director Judd Apatow for his latest movie, “This Is 40.” The sorta-sequel to “Knocked Up” follows Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann’s characters five years later as they navigate the complexities of being husband and wife. With that in mind, Mendel chose five of his favorite films about marriage. Here they are, in his own words:
v “A Star Is Born” (1954): The inspiration for “The Artist” and the Streisand/Kristofferson remake, though it is based itself on the Janet Gaynor version from 1934. Now this is marriage. Falling in love. Shifting sands. Judy Garland’s career triumph opposite the unsung James Mason in a role so complex Cary Grant turned it down because he knew no one would buy him in it.
v “Shoot The Moon” (1982): Written by “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” screenwriter Bo Goldman and directed by the great Alan Parker, it tells the story of a marriage crumbling but captures it with an intimacy and honesty that may not have been equaled since.
v “Iris” (2001): Most Americans skipped “Iris,” based on Iris Murdoch’s beautiful book. An honest, heartbreakingly lovely portrait of an entire lifetime together.
v “Modern Romance” (1981): Albert Brooks’ masterpiece isn’t just one of my favorite films about marriage, it’s one of my favorite films of any sort ever made. It’s honest, sweet and one of the flat-out funniest films there is. I could quote the entire script right here and now!
v “A Separation” (2011): If you do not like foreign films, “A Separation” will change your mind. A story about a middle-class couple in Iran ... separating. Done with an ease and grace and reality level to which I and all of the people I’ve ever worked with making films aspire.
“it’s a wonderful life” (8 p.m., nbc): Yes, we’ve seen “It’s a Wonderful Life” about a thousand times. But it never hurts to make another trip to Bedford Falls to watch George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) learn lessons about family, faith and friendship from a crusty, old angel named Clarence (Henry Travers).
“a christmas story” (8 p.m., tbs): So you really, really love “A Christmas Story”? We double-dog dare you to watch the 1983 film over and over during its traditional 24-hour marathon.
tv listings, b6
The following movie will be available Tuesday on DVD and through digital providers:
“The Words” (PG-13): A young writer finds success in a novel he didn’t really write. Starring Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Olivia Wilde.
Acting workshop registration open
Warren native Karen Clark-Green, of 90210 Talent Agency of Hollywood and Pro Model Management, is offering an acting and movement technique workshop in Youngstown and Warren. It is open to actors (stage and screen), directors, playwrights, models, speakers, singers and those in other branches of the performing arts. Registration is open through Jan. 4. Classes begin Jan. 5. Students must have experience to be considered. Call 330-506-1052.