Stefne Miller, Writer
Books, Movies and Pure Randomness
It looks like I share your taste in swoon worthy movies!! The BBC’s Pride n Prejudice (with Colin Firth) remains an eternal favourite of course, but North & South! Now, that’s a series that deserves to be watched by millions. I also love the Notebook (seriously, what chick doesn’t love the Notebook) and Emma (the one with Gwyneth Paltrow) 😛
I didn’t think I’d like A Walk to Remember. I literally groaned when the “big reveal” came, but towards the end, I was so moved by the boy’s devotion to his girlfriend. His life changed because of her … it’s the best kind of romance ever.
I always sort of feel like those of us who have watched and adore North and South are a small, secret club! I do love the Notebook, but have a hard time watching it because I know what’s coming – but I suppose A Walk to Remember should be the same way. lol
I have never seen Emma, but will now watch it this weekend thanks to your recommendation. Thanks!
I love all your favorites (I’ve never seen North & South. Didn’t they make an American version?) And Music & Lyrics! I’ve watched that one too many times to count! I love when they’re making the demo of the song! I would probably add The Lake House…I mean Keanu Reeves! Right?? and Letters to Juliet….I love that moment when Franco Nero comes riding up! Knowing that Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave are really married after being apart for years just makes the story great! Oh and Autumn Rush. Ok, I’ll stop now ????
I’m so excited to get two new recommendations, because I honestly thought I’d seen every chick-flick known to mankind! But I haven’t seen “Music & Lyrics” or ” North & South ” so library, here I come!
My personal all time favorites are: anything Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice being #1., My Big Fat Greek Wedding, P.S. I love you, Jane Eyre, the newly released Brooklyn, One Night with the King, Casablanca, The Vow.
Okay so I’m a bit older than you, maybe even those who reply. Yet, as a producer, writer director, it’s not always the main story line that brings my tear moments. For example, in “A Walk to Remember”, it’s when Landon finally re-connects with his dad and they hug at the front door. Tissues please? How about these older classics? Random Harvest, Now Voyager, and Rebecca? Of course, I also LOVE “Message In A Bottle” even though the tragedy overwhelms me and I always go away thinking, what might have been. Another example for me would be that scene in “Now Voyager” when “Camille” (Betty Davis) gives Jerry’s daughter, Tina, a small bag of coins and tells her to call her dad. Sob, sob….Now then, you’re probably already surmising that I would much prefer the original Pride and Prejudice with Greer Garson if only for the humorous characters that surround the principles. One more…Random Harvest. When Smithy hears Paula’s voice behind him just before he enters the cottage. No tissues here…grab a hand towel! Now then, if these examples are unfamiliar to you, dear readers, you have some amazing teary experiences yet in your future! ENJOY! But be sure to have a few boxes of tissues handy. Maybe even that secret crying towel you have hidden under the couch pillow!
So many great reasons to love movies! I love your point of view and I’m excited to have more movies to add to my “Must Watch” list. Thanks!
Our theme song, if we should ever watch any of these movies together, would be “Cry Me A River”! Ha!
How about “Kate & Leopold” (Meg Ryan, Hugh Jackman, with great support from Liev Screiber and Breckin Meyer)?
As for Jane Austen, I love Emma but LOVE “Sense and Sensibility” (EmmaThompson wrote the excellent screenplay and starred). Colonel Brandon, while played by the incredible Alan Rickman (RIP), is the star of the story for me, although Thompson, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant grace the movie posters. Lots of great performances in this flick.
I also liked Music and Lyrics. (Love Hugh Grant.)
Best ever? “The Philadelphia Story” — Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart. Put it on your list!
Sense and Sensibility is an excellent film and should be added to the list. Perhaps, a list of top 10 rather than top 5 in my opinion. Of course, from my man’s point of view, I could be off the emotional track a bit. What we see is love triumphing over the standards and rigid if not deplorable manners of English life in that era. I own the film and view it a couple of times a year. I did not have the deep tears about any particular scene as in other films on my list. But the overall theme of rescue, reluctant goodness, and sorrow for poor choices (by the men) remains a worthy theme of enjoyment if not rapturous delight. There are other such films that must be considered. How long shall my list be?
There’s no way to list all the great ones, Tom. As for Sense and Sensibility, fter Alan Rickman died (about a month ago now), I watched the movie two or three times. I just love Colonel Brandon — a noble man of high integrity, generosity and kindness.
Suzy! You and I must start a Colonel Brandon fan club! Of all the characters in this great film/story, he is later revealed as the most sensible and mature of the whole lot including all the girls. Naturally, if we went only by first impressions, we’d have continued looking for a more dashing, swashbuckler hero type. There are none, of course, in our movie. At least none we’d care to spend time with over a pot of English tea. Our Colonel is so much deeper than we originally think. Not cold exactly. More like still waters than run deep as another writer described him. What I did appreciate about him was his love of Marianne’s music. In fact, I’m sure you and I agree that he is the perfect man to love Marianne as she both needs and deserves. Her wide swings of emotion can only be held in check by his level, stable support. As his true character is gradually revealed, we begin to admire his evident scholarship and deep emotional wealth and perhaps because of his nearly damaged psych from earlier tragedy.
I know a small bit about him. I, myself, have never been one to affect by first impressions. Only afterwards do most people come forward to value. I think a lot of us melancholy types are that way. We tend to look at life from behind a curtain and wish to be in the limelight if we really did not have to actually be there! I wonder if that makes any sense at all. So I join with you in appreciation of our Colonel Brandon. We want him as a neighbor, friend, and companion; but away from the maddening crowd. Maybe this is why we never tire of this film. I cannot imagine it without Alan Rickman’s dead on rendering of this reluctant but admirable character.
If you can fathom more from my pen, perhaps we could discuss Philadelphia Story? A sheer delight!
Wow, I love your description of Colonel Brandon. I had never thought that deeply about his character, but I agree wholeheartedly. As for The Philadelphia Story, lay it on me! My husband and I love that one, and the cast makes it all the more delightful. Even the little sister, Dinah, is a treasure.
My wife, Sheila and I also love this film. Believe it or not, my favorite moment is when Dinah (Virginia Weidler) jumps on the piano and starts belting out, “Lydia, Oh, Lydia.” She bought in to the Lord family needing to appear “as crazy as loons.” Listening to that first verse she sang, it almost worked for Spy magazine reporter, James Stewart and his photographer, Ruth Hussey, How sad that our Virginia died of a heart attack at age 41 after having retired from films when she was about 20. But wait! Why don’t YOU give me your thoughts on our movie first and then let me respond? “Say, Tom, that’s not a bad idea!” Or so would Mickey Rooney have said had I been in his world. Ha!
Oh, words to the song by Dinah:
“Oh Lydia, oh Lydia, say, have you met Lydia?
Lydia The Tattooed Lady.
She has eyes that folks adore so,
and a torso even more so.
Lydia, oh Lydia, that encyclo-pidia.
Oh Lydia The Queen of Tattoo.
On her back is The Battle of Waterloo.
Beside it, The Wreck of the Hesperus too.
And proudly above waves the red, white, and blue.
You can learn a lot from Lydia!”
Anxiously awaiting your take on this fine film.
The song is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Dinah. And speaking French with Tracy, mentioning … was it smallpox?
And then a bewildered Uncle Willie being cast as “Father” (but then Father shows up). So many gems in this movie.
I think I love it mostly because I see myself in Tracy. Extremely high standards for herself and others, a seeming coldness, yet underneath a vulnerability that says, “I just want to be loved.” I call myself a recovering perfectionist, and I saw the ice begin to melt in Tracy toward the end of the movie. Vulnerability. My journey toward vulnerability has taken longer than Tracy’s, but by God’s grace I’m farther down the road than I was when I started.
This movie makes me laugh — and think! A winning combination.
Oh, and seeing an inebriated Jimmy Stewart is a hoot! “Why, C.K. Dexter Haven, you have unsuspected depth!”
I Love your thoughts and admission of vulnerability. What we try so hard to hide, usually ends up on a billboard somewhere. Yet, I see Tracy becoming softer, more lovable and capable of loving as she becomes more vulnerable.
We get a sock in the jaw revelation in the following dialogue:
George Kittredge: You’re like some marvelous, distant, well, queen, I guess. You’re so cool and fine and always so much your own. There’s a kind of beautiful purity about you, Tracy, like, like a statue.
Tracy Lord: George…
George Kittredge: Oh, it’s grand, Tracy. It’s what everybody feels about you. It’s what I first worshipped you for from afar.
Tracy Lord: I don’t want to be worshipped. I want to be loved.
Ah! That’s always been her difficulty. Never truly being loved for all the right reasons. C K might have cracked that high wall of expected privilege in earlier times had he been a bit more “conventional” in his approach. However, the thick veneer of brick walls built around Tracy had to come down, even if the deconstruction would bring disappointment to the family but especially George. But is divine love even possible in this stiff societal world? Hardly. Here is where we enjoy the walls coming down and the heart rising to an even higher level than those unscalable walls of coldness.
But for me, the delight of this film is watching three great actors interacting with a great script and all guided along by great direction. The humor, the pathos of character flaws, and the eventual revelation of vulnerability that true love brings. Delicious and delightful especially in the world we now approach as survivors.
An interesting thought comes from Philip Barry, author:
“The time to make up your mind about people, is never.”
Nice. Especially when we realize that had people made up their minds about us when we were young and foolish, how would we have survived with our minds and hearts intact?
Now then, let us not judge Tracy Lord too harshly. She was born into privilege and did suffer the effects of a philandering father and weak minded mother. That she finally “recovers” even to the point of re-marrying CK, we applaud her for not submitting to others who had made up their mind about her.
Okay, Tom! Why don’t you watch the film again without trying to analyze and perhaps overanalyze every line, thought, and scene? It’s a great film in so many ways and garnered an Oscar for Jimmy Stewart. Other nominations included:
Academy Awards, USA 1941
Oscar Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Writing, Screenplay
Donald Ogden Stewart
Oscar Best Picture
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Now then, on to our next dialogue about a favorite film. Your choice, Suzy!
Hadn’t been able to see Erin for awhile while she had been working at Muskogee Hospital, so I text her a picture of me and our home tv playing “the wedding planner”. She immediately text me a
pic of her tiny hospital room tv, playing “the wedding planner”. Not gonna lie – the whole thing for me like 😢
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *