Humor and Heartbreak

Since my brush with Bedazzled yesterday, I've remembered that the mid-60's British New Wave gave us a few more similar films in the same depressed guy/fantasy vein. These are some dark, dark comedies, but I love 'em and recommend 'em highly.

First up: Billy Liar, starring Tom Courtenay and a radiant Julie Christie in her film debut. It's a about, you guessed it, a depressed young guy with a rich fantasy life.

Next, The Knack and How to Get It, starring my favorite gangly 60's heartthrob, Michael Crawford. You may know him as the dude who did Phantom of the Opera for like 40 years, but I like to remember him as the clumsy cutie in his younger days. This movie is a bit of a trippy bummer, but is worth it for Richard Lester's (A Hard Day's Night) kooky directing and sharp cinematography. Also, did I mention how cute Michael Crawford was?

All these films are funny, romantic, and genuinely unsettling. Billy Liar will make you want to punch the world in the face by the closing credits, and when you're done watching The Knack, you'll find yourself lonely and confused. Still, it's worth a trip to this strange little pocket of film history.

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