Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, we find some wines that pair well with screwball comedies – wines that taste good going down as well as coming out our noses when we laugh.
This nation needed a laugh in the 1930s, and Hollywood provided. The year 1936 was brightened by Theodora Goes Wild, a pairing of Melvyn Douglas and Irene Dunne. This was the movie, in fact, which spun Dunne’s career from dramatic roles to comedic ones.
Dunne plays a small-town Sunday school teacher who has secretly written a bestselling book, full of scandalously sexy scenes. Her nom de plume keeps her secret, but in a screwball comedy, someone always overhears. What will the ladies of the town think? Don’t worry, Theodora – everybody loves a celebrity.
Let’s get the obvious pairing out of the way quickly – Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, gluten-free and available at your local Target. More on point, the Austrian winery Oggau makes a white wine called Theodora, a blend of Grüner Veltliner and Welschriesling grapes.
My Man Godfrey was also released in 1936, a great year for the screwball comedy. William Powell plays alongside Carole Lombard – interesting in that the pair had been married for a couple of years earlier in the ‘30s. She’s a wealthy socialite, which is what we called “one-percenters” in the FDR years. He’s a “forgotten man,” which is what we called bums in the FDR years. She ropes him into a scavenger hunt, then falls for him and hires him to be her family’s butler. Screwball comedy ensues.
During the Great Depression, laughs didn’t come cheap. However, a lot of people plunked down their hard-earned money for tickets to Godfrey, hoping for smiles that had grown too few and far between in the hard times. The film delivered. The critics liked it quite a bit, too.
Godfrey Winery makes a nice Shiraz in South Australia’s Barossa Valley, so why not? Name-dropping is not only permitted, it is expected.
Skipping along about six decades, 1998’s There’s Something About Mary is called a romantic comedy by some, screwball comedy by others. The Farrelly brothers’ film certainly has elements of the balle de screw in it, so let’s call it what it seems to be.
Cameron Diaz stars as Mary, who contends with four guys all vying for her love. There is a boatload of childish and silly humor, but we laugh all the way anyway. The laughs are a little more needed today than they were in the late ‘90s, so let your inner junior high school student fly freely for a couple of hours.
Searching for Mary Wine yields a raft of romance novels featuring bare chested studs on the covers, so keep digging. Hale Mary Wine gets you to the Russian River Valley, where I hear they make some pretty tasty Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Mary, by the way, is one of the winemakers. She is said to be hale and hearty, and also a part-time rock and jazz drummer.