I think the most pert little cutie on the Hollywood screen since Shirley Temple (in the 1930’s) was Drew Barrymore in the 1980’s. Who can forget her filmic contribution in ET? I think her contribution is at least 25% of the film’s appeal.When pretty Drew ever so cutely screams in ET, the extraterrestrial being screams back, equally frightened of her. It was so mundane but very true to life. (I love Steven Spielberg scenes that are clearly inspired from everyday life.)
Drew obviously inherited her acting blood from her distinguished predecessors because not only was she cute, pert, and very pretty, she was also sensitive. Her predecessors include her grandfather John (the Great Profile), Lionel and Ethel. The cute little kid improved directions given by Spielberg. She not only made muecas (cute faces), those looks had meaning. As my seatmate said, “Very cute!” Indeed!
I loved the film because Spielberg is keenly sensitive to directing films that please the audience aged from eight to 88! There are several sequences in ET inspired by life. The mother who was more concerned with taking photos of her costumed children instead of noticing ET is very true. Can you imagine what ET’s concept of earth’s population is after seeing American kids dressed for Halloween?
Everyday relationships become special in Spielberg films.
I love his films because the director never mixes commercial sex and violence unnecessarily. However, he infuses his films with continuous, spell-binding and comic action.
Drew Barrymore was a big success after ET. However, the young star went the “way of most flesh in Hollywood” and was caught up in self-destructive “fun and games.” Drew did not seem to know how to handle her fame. The “abusive” strain first demonstrated by her grandfather John took hold of the experimenting teenager. Besides, she inherited the same tendency from her father John, Jr. and aunt Diane. Her father, despite his inherited good looks, never amounted to much whether in Hollywood or in Europe where he migrated to after failing in his Hollywood bid for stardom.
After a while, the abuse took its toll on Drew’s career. She appeared in lousy films similar to those made by her father and aunt. For some reason, she wised up and took hold of her career. A young but astute professional, Drew grew out of the family’s notorious awkward stage and transformed herself into a star and producer of box office hits, including the highly successful series Charlie’s Angels. She also starred in pleasant teenage romances based on fairy tales that appealed to modern teenagers. Drew was transformed into their new icon.
Drew came back strong after many faulty starts and became one of Hollywood’s most popular young actresses, able to carry a movie on her pretty shoulders or sharing the box office brunt with the co-stars like Cameron Diaz.
Her fans the world over have never forgotten her presence in ET. They remember her wonderful scenes and are still in love with her.
In ET, Drew had lines in her dialogue that were beyond her years. They never seemed inappropriate because she expressed those lines with accompanying feelings with such precocious talent. Who can forget her when she says an adult “Oh, give me a break!” to her elder brothers. She was smart! She was cute!
Most of all, the global fans never forgot how this cute little blonde moppet screamed in fright at her first encounter with ET. (I think it has become one of the most unforgettable sequences in cinematic memory.). We find the scene so cute when the alien screams back in equal fear at seeing her. Drew was obviously cute but after he screamed back at her, the world realized that perhaps ET (in his world) was equally cute. It is a matter of point of view!
I love Spielberg for allowing us to consider such wonderful possibilities. He allows the mundane to appear profound. These are possibilities deemed possible by a child. He will entertain such thoughts until he reaches 88. Eight years old to 88 years is large portion of the global population.
No wonder the Drew Barrymore and Steven Spielberg film remains favorite of the world.
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