There are very few givens in this life. Some of them, however, are the love of a mother, bad things happen in threes, you should always double down on an eleven and The Godfather is the greatest movie ever made. Last weekend, GK and I settled in to watch the marathon that is The Godfather II, which is as exquisite as its predecessor is magnificent, and it gave me the opportunity to teach her that, above all else, you never - ever - go fishing with Al Neri. I have The Trilogy on DVD and some weeks ago we sat up and watched The Godfather. Tonight, we watched The Godfather III and I have to say something that I haven’t admitted to myself up until this night. I’ve seen this movie dozens of times and, as it turns out, it is a big bag of crap. I’ve been in denial over this since it came out because, I believe, I wanted it to be good. It’s Coppola, it’s Puzo, it’s Pacino. How could it be bad? And I’m not saying it’s bad for the one reason most people say it’s bad: Sofia Coppola. She’s bad, but the first choice for Mary Corleone was Madonna. Now that would be bad. And the mere presence on screen of Diane Keaton makes me want to wretch more than the smell of the microwave popcorn GK insisted on eating. So it’s not just one actor that makes this film a big bag of crap, it’s the fact that they tried to remake the original in many ways. And failed miserably. The one saving grace is the way Andy Garcia portrays Vincent Mancini and his rise to power, his transformation into a leader, which was handled adeptly, though a hazy reflection of One. It’s the same thing we saw with a young Michael Corleone in the original, and yet, not. And the whole cast spends time in Sicily, just as Robert DeNiro’s young Vito did in Two, and yet, not. My brother-in-law and I have argued this movie for years, nearly coming to blows (and yet, not) over whether it holds water against the first two, and I’m here tonight to admit that he is right, Three’s water is putrid toilet bowl water. He’s rarely wrong, and this is why he’s my consigliere. My Tom Hagan, though, and not my … whoever the hell George Hamilton played.
I feel somewhat bad for letting GK watch the film tonight. Not for the violence or language or any of that, but because she’s older than she was a few weeks ago when we watched The Godfather, and older than last week when we watched The Godfather II. So I’m afraid this is the only one she’ll remember, and she’ll remember the Corleone family story as being a big bag of crap. It should be okay, though, because another given is that I will be watching the first two films again, probably very soon.