If there’s anything that defines a genius writer, director, or actor, it is the ability to be a changeling. Ron Howard, a.k.a. Opie Taylor, Richie Cunningham, Steve Bolander, and the narrator of Arrested Development, has gone through so many transformations that it is often difficult to remember that his longest – and most successful – career has been as an award-winning director. From old favorites to instant classics, Ron Howard has crafted incredible characters, showcased impeccable scenes and demonstrated some first-rate fashion moments. Here are some of my favorite R.H. films and the looks that make me want to shop:
Night Shift (1982)
The Gist: A truly under-appreciated 80’s movie that never fails to induce hours of laughter, Howard’s full-length directorial debut stars his Happy Days co-star Henry Winkler in full anti-Fonzie mode as a hapless morgue worker who falls in love with a heart of gold hooker (you know…that old story). Watch out for a young Michael Keaton at his improv-laden best.
The Look: Shelly Long’s Belinda looks exactly how you would imagine a 1980’s prostitute to look – big hair, big (fake) fur coat, glitzy costume jewelry, and brightly revealing dresses. Luckily, she’s also the cutest thing ever, so the look works for her.
The Look: Daryl Hannah’s saccharine Madison is no Ariel, but she does look pretty fabulous. She is introduced with a nude scene that probably wore out a few VHS tapes but without her fins (which, seriously, I’m a little jealous of), she rocks puffy ’80s dresses, perfect beach-worthy waves and even an early version of the menswear trend.
Apollo 13 (1995)
The Gist: My all-time favorite Ron Howard movie brings back Tom Hanks for a much deeper role. He stars as Jim Lovell, the captain of the ill-fated Apollo 13 space shuttle that never made it to the moon and almost never made it back to Earth. Cue the tears.
The Look: The spacesuits may not get my sartorial pulse racing, but the fashions back on this planet sure do. It’s true early-70’s best with bright jumpers, hot pants, florals and amazing accessories – it’s almost enough to detract from the drama of the movie. What? I said almost!
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
The Gist: Ron Howard’s first and only Academy Award came from this masterpiece about John Nash, a brilliant mathematician confronting paranoid schizophrenia and myriad forces who he believes are out to get him.
The Look: As John’s strong, smart and willful wife Alicia, Jennifer Connelly delivers a beautiful performance and she looks stunning while doing it. Taking place in the 50’s and 60’s, Alicia wears classic silhouettes, feminine colors and her signature amazing eyebrows.
The Gist: Another incredible Howard film based on a true story, this one features the underestimated journalist David Frost given the task to interview recently abdicated president Richard Nixon – the last twenty minutes of the movie are some of the most powerful in recent filmmaking (in my humble movie-loving opinion).
The Look: Rebecca Hall’s Caroline, the beguiling foil for Michael Sheen’s Frost, is all kinds of fabulous in mid-70’s plunging necklines, brow-skimming bangs, and knee-high boots.