|Happy Memorial Day!
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Posted: May 28, 2012
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Today, Americans celebrate Memorial Day, a day to honor the men and women who lost their lives while in the US Armed Forces. Although people around the country will host picnics and barbecues and celebrate having a Monday off, Memorial Day is somber in nature. On occasion, though, there is humor found in life, death and war. One such case is Barry Levinson’s film Good Morning, Vietnam.
Released in 1987, the film follows Airman Second Class Adrian Cronauer, played by Robin Williams, as he begins working as a DJ for the Armed Forces Radio Service in Saigon during the Vietnam War. Cronauer’s irreverent and sometimes outrageous humor angers his superiors, who want him to adhere to the strict military rules.
Cronauer, loosely based on his real-life namesake, also falls for a local woman Trinh, and in an attempt to win her over, begins teaching the English language classes she’s attending. Even there, he has to do it his way: teaching the class slang words and colloquial expresses. Cronauer just cannot do it by the book.
Williams was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance, which rumor has it was largely adlibbed. Not a surprise given how quickly his synapses fired in the 1980s. Just watch the trailer to marvel at his rapid-fire impressions.
Good Morning, Vietnam reminds us that even in the toughest of times, we need laughter. Humor connects in profound ways. My hat’s off to all of our service people today.
Tags: films, Good Morning Vietnam, Memorial Day