Tribute: Garry Marshall

garry marshallSo this has been sitting unpublished for nearly 6 months. Screw it.

Well, hell. Take my movie review card. I clearly don’t deserve it. See the words below, as posted to Facebook tonight:

In regards to discussing a tribute to Garry Marshall:

“I didn’t realize JUST how much he’d done alongside (John) Hughes. I was a little dumbfounded at just how much influence he’s had on my life without realizing it.”

There it is.

I knew Marshall’s work for years; loved it, talked about it, recognized it’s contribution to the American zeitgeist. I just never credited it to Marshall’s name. When I write these tributes, I always learn something new about the people I’m memorializing, but this one is a bit embarrassing, even for me.

What you’ll know him from most famously: he directed a little movie that launched a woman’s career into the stratosphere. That woman’s name is Julia Roberts, and that movie was (you already know, because you just said the words ‘Big mistake. HUUUGE.’ in your head as soon as you read ‘Julia Roberts‘) Pretty Woman, the movie about the hooker with a heart of gold that lands the millionaire. Tangentially, given current history and Hollywood’s lack of ideas, isn’t that movie due for a remake?
His filmography is ridiculous: Mork & Mindy, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, Blansky’s Beauties. Then his first movie, The Flamingo Kid, with Matt Dillon. From there, Overboard, Beaches, the aforementioned Pretty Woman, Exit to Eden, The Other Sister (what a book), Runaway Bride, The Princess Diaries 1 and 2, Georgia Rule, Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and most recently, Mother’s Day.

His writing credits are even more ridiculous. Mr. Marshall’s first writing credits date back to The Jack Parr Show, which you’ll know later as The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien is in there somewhere *ahem*, Jay Leno again, and now The Tonight Show wih Jimmy Fallon. Couple that with writing credits for The Lucy Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, THEN, he created and wrote for Me and The Chimp, The Odd Couple, Blansky’s Beauties,  Mork & Mindy, Laverne and Shirley, Joanie Loves Chachi, The New Odd Couple, and Happy Days.

As I work through his IMDB page, which, shame on me, I’ve never looked at before, there’s one movie that stands out above the rest. There’s a special thanks to him for the movie Big, which I absolutely adored as a kid, and still, to this day, consider one of the most influential movies of my childhood. Whatever the thanks is for, I imagine it’s well, well deserved.

This man was amazing. He influenced many, many parts of yours and my life, quietly, behind the scenes. What an amazing life in entertainment.

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