Family Movie Night
By Karyn Bowman
Valentine’s day provides a much needed break from a bleak cold winter.
As red and pink abound, we are reminded that life is not all about chilling winds and blinding snow storms. We remember to celebrate love in all of its forms.
Maybe that is with flowers or chocolate or a special meal of a special time together. Maybe a special craft will come home from school or candles will be lit over a special homemade meal.
Like Mardi Gras (which takes place at the end of February) it is a chance to chase away cabin fever after being stuck indoors because of the cold weather. Our snow count has not been much this year but I did notice weather people counting the cloudy days we’ve had so far.
I watch a number of movies and there are times that I want to watch something different from the usual choices for these various holidays. Those favorites are good and we love them, until we have seen them too many times and want something else. We want something that goes in different directions.
This week I watched I married a Witch from 1942. This comedy stars a 19-year-old saucy Veronica Lake, with the peek-a-boo hairdo, and Frederick March. She is a witch who was burned and her spirit is locked in an oak tree. March is the Puritan who put her to death along with her father as witches. But before everything she curses the man’s descendants to marry women who make them unhappy.
Lake is freed from the tree 250 years later from a freak lightning storm. Her first order of business is to make the descendants of her tormentor miserable. But that task is being accomplished by his spoiled brat of a fiancee. So Lake decides to make the man fall in love with her and she can do the job personally.
Well, of course, it doesn’t all run smoothly. Things go awry in the making the man miserable department. But it is humorous and amusing as Lake and March show their stuff in a classic light comedy from the 1940s. Safe and clean but it may be more for adults to enjoy.
The other movie I watched was Love and Friendship starring Kate Beckingsale as the delightfully manipulative Lady Susan. Jane Austen fans will recognize this name from the self-titled unfinished novella. This is not good for younger children although teens could comfortably watch this one. Lady Susan is the impoverished recently widowed Regency woman doing her best to marry off her daughter to to a rich but dim-witted suitor while trying to steal away the most handsome man in all of England from his rich wife.
Lady Susan is cruel and indifferent to those around her. She can charm most men and easily explain away most incongruities in her story. Unafraid to use her sex appeal or seemingly goodness, this woman can and does get away with everything while being wily and resourceful. I am not sure why I like her. Whenever she speaks it is surely a lie. Even the most crazy things are suddenly clear with her explanations. But then again, the people around her are insufferably good with the exception of her best friend, Chloe Seveigny. Her piety or lack there of begins to feel more real, more human.
I guess that is a part of her charm. She, is after all, Lady Susan – the biggest flirt and breaker of hearts in all of England.
Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.