Nick Charles has met his match. Who is the adversary who bested this super-sleuth? Not a sleazy reporter named "Whitey" or an oily thief named "Creeps".- not even a gangster night-club owner with the oddly gay moniker of "Dancer" (ranked between "Big Baby" and "Shaqtus" on Regrettable Nickname Magazine's all time top 100 list.) No, the nefarious villain who triumphs over the legendary bloodhound/boozehound is none other than his own son- the very young, but nattily dressed, Nick Charles Jr.
Little Nicky defeats his father with three simple words- "Daddy, drink milk!" With this gauntlet thrown down at the dinner table, the elder Charles, eager to earn his son's respect, surrenders the omnipresent cocktail shaker. The goggle-eyed maid brings out a glass of the white-stuff and gives it to Nick with all the gravitas of a waiter handing Socrates a snifter of hemlock. Nick drinks the milk down and, in a moment, he enters an exciting new phase of his life- Having to Give a Crap What Your Kids Think of You. I hope he's not Lactose intolerant.
Another Thin Man and Shadow of the Thin Man- the third and forth installments in the Thin Man series- shown in a double-feature last Saturday at Cinefamily as part of their month long Thin Man series, find our favorite couple indulging in the joys of parenthood. Fortunately for us, they're not very good parents. Aside from a handful of wacky domestic scenes, little Nicky spends most of his time in the care of nurses and maids- freeing Nick & Nora up to gallivant about town and go to wrestling matches, horse-races and ethnically themed nightclubs. Everywhere they go, mayhem, murder and witty banter are sure to follow- much to our delight. It's an inspiration to mediocre parents and high-functioning alcoholics everywhere.
Watching the movies at Cinefamily makes them even more delightful- especially since Hadrian Belove, the organization's executive director, is a big believer in combining old movies and cocktails, and giddily notifies everyone coming in about the free martinis and Manhattans in the back.
I do have one important piece of advice for those coming to Cinefamily: swallow your LA hipster pride and arrive early to claim one of the eight couches that make up the front two rows. It's worth sacrificing a fashionably late arrival for sheer comfort- and you can still poke at your iPhone and pretend to read messages before the movies if you want to feel popular and important (I recommend checking the weather in different cities and nodding knowingly to create the desired effect.) There are few experiences in life more pleasant than kicking back on a leather sofa and watching great old movies on a big screen. Throw free booze in the mix and Bride Wars starts to seem like Sunset Boulevard. Hell, it might even make watching The Reader tolerable- but I'm not taking any chances.
Little Nick Jr. can be as judgemental as likes. As he gets older he'll discover, as we all do, that cocktails make life beautiful and milk just gives you gas.