My roomie Christopher and I are two 40-something bachelors who spent Valentine’s at the Somerville Theatre watching Harold Lloyd’s Girl Shy. It’s a perfect movie for the lonely hearted. Lloyd portrays a tailor’s apprentice who stutters around women. To overcome this he writes a book for young men titled “The Secret of Making Love”. On his way to submitting the manuscript to the publisher he meets the girl of his dreams and then mayhem ensues.
I actually saw Girl Shy about a decade ago. But after a second viewing I have to say the chase sequence might very well be the best in cinematic history. If not for Harold Lloyd we would not have Bullitt, The French Connection or The Blues Brothers. Lloyd could have died a thousand ways in the course of making this movie. It puts CGI to shame.
This film is nearly 90 years old but still tells a compelling story today and surely will in another thousand years from now.
Accompanying the movie was an organist from New Hampshire named Jeff Rapsis. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a movie with a live organist. At first, I thought it would be a distraction. But Rapsis was so good I thought his music was part of the original soundtrack. When I told him this after the show he told me that it is what strived for in his performances.
Amazingly, the music is largely improvised. He explained that if he tried to score the movie he was concentrating to much on the notes and not enough on the movie and the audience’s reaction to it. You can check out Rapsis’ upcoming schedule here.
In all, it was a good way to spend Valentine’s if you couldn’t get a date.