When Linus Met Sally and Other Famous Fictional Couples

You have to be pretty hard-hearted to not get a least a little lump in your thought when you think of some of fictional couples. But have you ever stopped to think just how these crazy lovebirds ever got together? The answers may surprise you.

Linus Van Pelt and Sally Brown
According to the comic strip, Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally was born on May 26, 1959 where Charlie marked the occasion by passing out chocolate cigars to his friends. She grew up quickly. She took her first steps on August 22, 1960 and she fell in love with Linus, Lucy’s brother, on the next day. It was love at first sight, at least on her part. Sally has often referred to Linus as her “Sweet Baboo.” Her dedication to her man seems endless. She has missed out on “tricks and treats” by sitting in a pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin and she was incensed that Linus would snub her a Valentine’s gift in favor for his teacher, Miss Othmar. Still, she clings hopelessly in love with the stripe …

'Monuments Men' Could Have Been More Monumental

The Monuments Men opens in theaters February 7, 2014. Photo: Sony Pictures


George Clooney the actor, screenwriter and director presents, The Monuments Men, a true story about how seven unlikely men came to rescue much of the world’s art during World War II today in theaters. It features a great cast, some great photography and a great story. So, why wasn’t the film so great?

The Monuments Men is the fairly unknown true story about an unlikely World War II platoon made up of seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. One of Hitler’s schemes was to steal artwork from other countries and then show them off in his own art museum.

As the Reich fell the “Monuments Men,” as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind's greatest achievements. It is a good movie. A very good movie in fact, but it could have been better. Maybe it was rushed into production or communication failed in some way. Sony Pictures describes the film as an action thriller but the film I saw felt like neither. Yes, there are a few moments, but overall the film feels like a mash-up of two TV episodes of M*A*S*H and Hogan’s Heroes without the laugh-track.

Monuments Men is more of a comedy drama, but here too, not enough of either. Despite the good casting, the story doesn’t propel the viewer to identify with the characters nor does it give the humor a chance to succeed. Clooney tries, but for some reason, keeps running up short. The story has a lot natural opportunities for some humorous bits and the movie takes advantage of them, but not to the fullest. Each soldier is over-aged, overweight or both. Each comedy bit is set up and then set up and then set up some more and then…the sound of crickets. No pay off. It is almost as if Clooney was afraid that if a scene was too funny, that somehow it would be disrespectful. The great Bill Murray should have shined through this, but instead, he just looks bored to death. Didn’t he like the story?

Then, on the other side, the film offers room for some great dramatic scenes, but they fall somewhat flat because he didn’t build much into the characters. There is very little character development to the story so for the few scenes of suffering characters and you just don’t care because Clooney doesn’t give you much to care about.

What the film does present are seven heroes. Matt Damon portrays a man who remains faithful to his wife. John Goodman is faithful to his fellow comrade. All of them risked their lives for art’s sake and not all of them came home in the end. Monuments Men is good, but it is nothing you need to rush to see in the theaters. 


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