The pouring rain washed-out the musical sounds of the Greek Festival. Up at the corner the neighbors were discussing something very loudly, hopefully full of Ouzo, for every line was a freaking-frek-frak-freak problem. Using a verb for an adjective shows the intellect of my neighbor who parks his John Boat out front or the neighbor across the street whose kid throws found sticks in my yard. Then my next-door neighbor busted out the glass on her storm door. Now that is exciting. Still it is tolerable at the late hour as the wives calm down the zealous yelling and sends stumbling home the drunks who will not be waking early tomorrow.
Tomorrow is now for pass the midnight hour and the street lamp is struggling to light like a battery that won’t start. The air is cooler this time of evening and all lights are out. The traffic is a distant reminder that the blue lights still perform the duties of wives and mothers.
The grown is beyond saturation and more rain is anticipated so trimming the weeds would be futile. Slowly the winter clothing is being rolled and placed in cabinets awaiting the chill and the rows of endless t-shirts are brought out. It seems there will be a necessary trip to the big box store for a few shorts have gone MIA and other reminders of last years summer are too ratty even for the ragbag.
So a dark damp porch is the perfect place to take inventory and optimize plans for procrastination. I had ordered a large pizza just to get rid of all those $1 in my wallet I was planning to give to the pole dancer but now I’m stuffed (plan for today: DON’T EAT ANYTHING!). Getting accustomed to the new schedule of: 1. Talk,2. Music radio and notice that anything discussed with an English accent sounds classy.
We all have seen television shows and been to movie theatres and usually with other people, but there are those few that are ‘special’. Like the ‘our song’ on the jukebox, visual reminders of a time when coddling was important.
Now television was a reflection of the time, so everyone saw ‘Friends’, ‘All In The Family’, ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’, etc. These came on at prime time so after our microwave dinners were consumed we settled back to gulp wine and swirl between comedies and cop shows. By the time ‘Sex & the City’ came on, I’d lost interest. There were boxes of DVD sets of serial television I never watched and gave away rather than that book you bought and placed on the shelf and never read. It doesn’t make you any smarter.
My thoughts were about movies. Saturday matinees and Sunday serials were my weekend babysitter. When my parents couldn’t figure out what to do with me, they gave me a few coins and sent me to the theatre to eat Goobers and Jordan Almonds in the dark staring at the big screen. Black and white monsters crept through the bogs then cowboys drove the cows and fought the injuns to get a kiss from the buckskinned girl until the soldiers dodged all the jap bullets to raise the flag until some strong guy battled plastic monsters and the seas parted to organ music. The theatre darkness did share some interesting moments when the ‘guys’ became the ‘gal’ but those armrest were not conducive to getting close.
Still a big dark room with cozy seats and sticky floors and hearing that projector sound we, the audience, would silently stare at the flickering light to loose ourselves in wonders bigger than any television could provide and share with others who attended the experience.
That was my thought for this morning. There were a few ‘special’ movies that I would not have gone to, except for my wife’s insistence. We only went to one theatre and it was a big deal. We’d walk the blocks from the elementary school to the Catholic neighborhood and buy two tickets to an hour of coddling in the darkness with a tube of buttery popcorn. What were the movies we were drawn to together?
Well it seems from my recollection that they were all romantic comedies but what caught my attention was how they related to our relationship. The films were about one person struggling and the other person rescuing them.
Thanks to Wikipedia:
Spoiled, selfish heiress Joanna Stayton is accustomed to a wealthy life with her husband, Grant Stayton III. While waiting for their yacht to be repaired in the rural hamlet of Elk Cove, Oregon, she hires local carpenter Dean Proffitt to remodel her closet. He puts up with her rude and condescending attitude and produces quality work which is dismissed by her because he used oak instead of cedar, despite her not having specifically requested this at the start. He agrees to redo the closet if he is paid for the work he has already done; she refuses to pay and they have an argument, during which he notes that she is inventing things to complain about because her life is so pampered and boring. This is overheard by the yacht's crew on the intercom, who applaud him for telling her off. Their argument concludes with her pushing him off the ship.
That night, as the yacht sails away, Joanna goes on deck to retrieve her wedding ring and falls overboard. The next day, a story is aired on the local TV news about her having been picked out of the water by a garbage scow. She is suffering from amnesia and is taken to the local hospital, where no one can determine her identity. Once Grant discovers she has fallen overboard, he sails back to retrieve her. After seeing her mental state and her lashing out at hospital employees, he denies knowing her and returns to the yacht to embark on a spree of parties with younger women.
After seeing her story on the news, Dean, who is a widower living in squalor with four sons, seeks revenge by getting Joanna to work off her unpaid bill. He goes to the hospital and tells her that she is Annie, his wife for thirteen years and the mother of his four sons. Dean lacks legal documentation to take her home, but is granted her release after telling the hospital staff about a small birthmark on her buttock, which he saw on the yacht when she was wearing a revealing swimsuit. She reluctantly goes home with him and is appalled by his residence, but feels some obligation to pitch in, having come to think of herself as “Annie”.
Joanna initially has difficulty dealing with Dean’s sons and the heavy load of chores, but she soon adapts. As she masters her responsibilities, she learns about the boys’ school and family issues and that Dean is secretly working two jobs to pay bills. She begins to fall in love with him and to develop motherly love toward his sons, and starts streamlining the money problems with more efficient budgeting. Joanna also convinces Dean to step up and be a father to his sons rather than simply be their friend, as his sons are doing poorly in school and struggle with literacy, yet he simply brushes these issues aside rather than fixing them.
Seeing Dean struggle, Joanna makes his dream come true by helping him design a miniature golf course based on her untapped knowledge of the Seven Wonders of the World. Although he has also fallen in love with her, he doesn't tell her the truth about her real identity for fear that she will leave. Billy, a friend who created doctored photos of the couple to cement the alibi of their prior relationship, tells Dean that his family needs Joanna.
Meanwhile, after Joanna’s mother, Edith, threatens to castrate Grant (who has been continually lying that Joanna is “too indisposed” to talk to her) if he doesn’t produce Joanna in one week, he reluctantly ends the partying and returns to Elk Cove to retrieve her, tracing her to the Proffitt residence. She greets him and her memory instantaneously restores. She is shocked and hurt when she realizes that Dean lied and has been using her for months. She returns with Grant to their yacht.
Joanna now finds her old lifestyle pretentious and is particularly offended by how rude and snobby her husband and mother act to the helpers on the boat. She apologizes to her butler, Andrew, for her spiteful treatment of him. He then helps Joanna to realize how happy she was with Dean and his sons. Joanna commandeers the yacht and turns back toward Elk Cove. When Grant finds out, Joanna says she doesn't love him anymore and Grant, in return, reveals that he never loved her and that he left her at the hospital upon seeing her there. After Dean and Joanna reunite, she tells him that all of the money is actually hers, not Grant's. As the kids make their Christmas lists in the middle of June (including a Porsche), Dean asks her what he could ever give her that she doesn't already have. Joanna looks at the four boys and replies “a little girl.”
An Officer and a Gentleman
Zachary “Zack” Mayo is preparing to report to Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS). As he is doing so, he has brief flashbacks of his childhood. After the death of his mother, who committed suicide, an adolescent Zack was sent to live with his only living relative, his father Byron Mayo, who is stationed in US Naval Base Subic Bay in the Philippines. The elder Mayo, a Navy Chief Petty Officer/Chief Boatswain's Mate, made no attempt to hide his heavy drinking and hiring of prostitutes from a young Zack. When Zack said he needed help, Byron said he did not ask to get married nor be a father, because he is always out on sea all the time. But seeing the look on his face, he decides to let him stay with him. Mostly Zack became a Navy brat and travelled with his father.
The flashbacks advance to the present, where Zack has just graduated from college and informs his father he will be going to AOCS. Byron, who hates officers, tells Zack that his dream of becoming an officer is as unrealistic as hoping to become President. Despite his father's discouragement, Zack is determined to go through with his childhood dreams of becoming a Navy pilot as well as prove to him that he can make it and in the end Byron would have to “salute” Zack. Upon arrival at AOCS, Zack and his fellow AOCs are shocked by the harsh treatment they receive from their head drill instructor, Marine Gunnery Sergeant, Emil Foley. Foley makes it clear that the 13-week program is designed to eliminate OCs who are found to be mentally or physically unfit for commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy, which will earn them flight training worth over $1,000,000. Foley warns the male candidates about the “Puget Sound Debs”—young women in the area who dream of marrying a Naval Aviator to escape their dull, local lives. Foley claims they scout the regiment for OCs, and will feign pregnancy or even stop using birth control to become pregnant to trap the men.
Zack becomes friends with fellow candidates Topper Daniels, Sid Worley, Emiliano Santos Della Serra, Lionel Perryman, and Casey Seeger. Zack and Sid meet two local young women—factory workers—at a Navy Ball. Zack begins a romantic relationship with Paula Pokrifki, and Sid with Lynette Pomeroy. Meanwhile, Daniels drops out of the program after he almost drowns in the dunker crash-escape exercise.
Foley rides Zack mercilessly, believing he lacks motivation and is not a team player, though Foley also sees potential in Zack. When Zack’s side business of selling pre-shined shoes and belt buckles is discovered, Foley hazes him for a weekend in an attempt to make him DOR, “Drop on Request”, a Navy term for requesting termination of training, but Zack refuses. Foley states Zack will be declared unfit, which frightens Zack into admitting he has no options in civilian life. Satisfied that Zack has come to a crucial self-realization and realizing what he’s made of, Foley decides to let him stay. He punishes Zack by making him clean all the urinals, but does not recommend attrition. Henceforth, Zack starts behaving like a team player.
Zack and Paula spend the next weekend together, and she takes him home for dinner to meet her family. Her stepfather behaves strangely, and when Zack asks why, Paula shows him an old picture of her biological father. He was an AOC who had an affair with her mother but deserted her following his commissioning and refused to marry her when she became pregnant with Paula.
Zack is close to breaking the record time for negotiating the obstacle course, but Casey faces disqualification when she cannot negotiate the 12-foot-high wall (3.7 m). Zack abandons his attempt to break the course record in order to coach Casey over the wall, and she makes it.
Zack attends dinner with Sid and his parents and learns that Sid has a long-time girlfriend back home. Sid plans to marry her after he receives his commission. Meanwhile, Lynette has been dropping hints to Sid that she may be pregnant. Sid agonizes over this possibility, especially when Lynette tells him she will not have an abortion. After having a severe anxiety attack during a high-altitude simulation in a pressure chamber, Sid realizes he joined the officer-training program out of a sense of obligation to his family, especially to the older brother who died as a Naval officer, and he Drops On Request, “DOR”s meaning he voluntarily resigns. He leaves the base without saying goodbye, so Zack and Paula go out to look for him.
Sid goes to Lynette's house and proposes marriage. She is elated until he tells her he DORed, and she would not be marrying a Naval Aviator after all. Disgusted, Lynette turns him down and admits she was never pregnant with his child. She says she thought he understood she wants to marry an aviator, escape from her small town, and live an exciting life overseas with the status of an aviator’s wife. She berates him for dropping out and gives back the engagement ring he bought her. Crushed, Sid goes to the motel where he and Lynette spent his free weekends, asks for their old room, and begins drinking.
Zack and Paula arrive at Lynette's shortly after Sid leaves, and ask about Sid's whereabouts. Zack curses Lynette for trying to trick Sid, and he and Paula rush off to search for him. Zack goes to the motel and is heartbroken when he finds Sid has committed suicide out of grief. Paula tries to comfort Zack, admitting she loved him from day one and her guilt over failing to stop Lynette's scheme, but he rejects her and heads back to base with the intent to DOR himself. Foley will not let him quit so close to graduation and feels bad about what happened to Sid. Zack challenges Foley to an unofficial martial arts bout. Although Zack eventually appears to take control of the fight, Foley wins by kicking Zack in the groin and then tells him he can quit now if he still wishes to do so.
Zack shows up for graduation and is sworn into the Navy with his class. Following naval tradition, he receives his first salute from Foley in exchange for a US silver dollar. While tradition calls for the drill instructor to place the coin in his left shirt pocket, Foley places the coin in his right pocket, acknowledging that Zack was a special candidate. Zack thanks him for not giving up on him and tells him he would never have made it without the hardships Foley delivered. While leaving the base, he sees Foley initiating a set of new AOCs who are in the same position he was 13 weeks prior.
Zack, now Ensign Mayo with orders to undertake flight training, seeks out Paula at the factory where she works and declares his love to her. He picks her up and walks out with her in his arms to the applause of her co-workers, including a still-dismayed Lynette.
Alexandra “Alex” Owens is an eighteen-year-old welder at a steel mill in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who lives with her dog Grunt in a converted warehouse. Although she aspires to become a professional dancer, she has no formal dance training, and works as an exotic dancer by night at Mawby’s, a neighborhood bar and grill which hosts a nightly cabaret.
Lacking family, Alex forms bonds with her coworkers at Mawby’s, some of whom also aspire to greater artistic achievements. Jeanie, a waitress, is training to be a figure skater, while her boyfriend, short-order cook Richie, and wishes to become a stand up comic.
One night, Alex catches the eye of customer Nick Hurley, the owner of the steel mill where she works. After learning that Alex is one of his employees, Nick begins to pursue her on the job, though Alex turns down his advances at first. Alex is also approached by Johnny C., who wants Alex to dance at his nearby strip club, Zanzibar.
After seeking counsel from her mentor Hanna Long, a retired ballerina, Alex attempts to apply to the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance and Repertory. Alex becomes intimidated by the scope of the application process, which includes listing all prior dance experience and education, and she leaves without applying.
Leaving Mawby’s one evening, Richie and Alex are assaulted by Johnny C. and his bodyguard, Cecil. Nick intervenes, and after taking Alex home, the two begin a relationship.
At a skating competition in which she is competing, Jeanie falls twice during her performance and sits defeated on the ice and has to be helped away. Later, feeling she will never achieve her dreams, and after Richie has left Pittsburgh to try to become a comic in Los Angeles, Jeanie begins going out with Johnny C. and works for him as a Zanzibar stripper. Finding out that she is dancing nude, Alex drags her out while she protests and cries.
After seeing Nick with a woman at the ballet one night, Alex throws a rock through one of the windows of his house, only to discover that it was his ex-wife whom he was meeting for a charity function. Alex and Nick reconcile, and she gains the courage to apply for entrance to the Conservatory. Nick uses his connections with the arts council to get Alex an audition. Alex is furious with Nick, since she did not get the opportunity based on her own merit and decides not to go through with the audition. Seeing the results of others’ failed dreams and after the sudden death of Hanna, Alex becomes despondent about her future, but finally decides to go through with the audition.
At the audition, Alex initially falters, but begins again, and she successfully completes a dance number composed of various aspects of dance she has studied and practiced, including break dancing that she has seen on the streets of Pittsburgh. The board responds favorably, and Alex is seen joyously emerging from the Conservatory to find Nick and Grunt waiting for her with a bouquet of roses.
The Big Blue
Two children, Jacques Mayol and Enzo Molinari, have grown up on the Greek island of Amorgos in the 1960s. Enzo challenges Jacques to collect a coin on the sea floor but Jacques refuses the challenge. Later Jacques’ father — who harvests shellfish from the seabed using a pump-supplied air hose and helmet — goes diving. His breathing apparatus and rope gets caught and punctured by rocks on the reef and weighed down by water, he drowns. Jacques and Enzo can do nothing but watch in horror as he is killed.
By the 1980s, both are well known free divers, swimmers who can remain underwater for great times and at great depths. Enzo is on Sicily now, where he rescues a trapped diver from a shipwreck. He is a world champion free diver with a brash and strong personality, and now wishes to find Jacques and persuade him to return to no limits free diving in order to prove he is still the better of the two, in a friendly sports rivalry. Jacques himself works extensively with scientific research as a human research subject, and with dolphins, and is temporarily participating in research into human physiology in the iced-over lakes of the Peruvian Andes, where his remarkable and dolphin-like bodily responses to cold-water immersion are being recorded. Insurance broker Johana Baker visits the station for work purposes and is introduced to Jacques. She secretly falls in love with him. When she hears that Jacques will be at the World Diving Championships in Taormina, Sicily, she fabricates an insurance problem that requires her presence there, in order to meet him again. She and Jacques fall in love. However none of them realize the extent of Jacques’ allurement with the depths. Jacques beats Enzo by 1 meter, and Enzo offers him a crystal dolphin as a gift, and a tape measure to show the small difference between Jacques’ and Enzo’s records. Johana goes back home to New York but is fired after her deception is discovered; she leaves New York and begins to live with Jacques. She hears the story that if one truly loves the deep sea, then a mermaid will appear at the depths of the sea, and will lead a diver to an enchanted place.
At the next World Diving Championships, Enzo beats Jacques’ record. The depths at which the divers are competing enter new territory and the dive doctor suggests they should cease competing, but the divers decide to continue. Jacques is asked to look at a local dolphinarium where a new dolphin has been placed, and where the dolphins are no longer performing; surmising that the new dolphin is homesick, the three of them break in at night to liberate the dolphin and transport her to the sea again. Back at the competition, other divers attempt to break Enzo’s new record but all fail. Jacques then attempts his next dive and reaches 400 ft (122 m) breaking Enzo’s world record. Angered by this, Enzo prepares to break Jacques’ new world record. The doctor supervising the dive warns that the competitors must not go deeper - based upon Jacques’ bodily reactions, at around 400 ft, conditions, and in particular the pressure, will become lethal and divers will be killed if they persist in attempting such depths. Enzo dismisses the advice and attempts the dive anyway, but is unable to make his way back to the surface. Jacques dives down to rescue him. Enzo, dying, tells Jacques that he was right and that it is better down there, and begs Jacques to help him back down to the depths, where he belongs. Jacques is grief-stricken and refuses, but after Enzo dies in his arms, finally honors his dying wish and takes Enzo’s body back down to 400feet, leaving him to drift to the ocean floor. Jacques - himself suffering from cardiac arrest after the dive - is rescued and brought back to the surface by supervising scuba divers and requires his heart to be restarted with a defibrillator before being placed in medical quarters to recover.
Jacques appears to be recovering from the diving accident, but later experiences a strange hallucinatory dream in which the ceiling collapses and the room fills with water, and he finds himself in the ocean depths surrounded by dolphins. Johana, who has just discovered she is pregnant, returns to check up on Jacques in the middle of the night, but finds him lying awake yet unresponsive in his bed with bloody ears and a bloody nose. Johana attempts to help him, but Jacques begins to get up and walk to the empty diving boat and gets suited up for one final dive. Desperately, Johana begs Jacques not to go, saying she is alive but whatever has happened at the depths is not, but he says he has to. She tells Jacques that she is pregnant, and sorrowfully begs him to stay, but finally understands he feels he must go. The two embrace and Johana breaks down crying. Jacques then places the release cord for the dive ballast in her hand, and - still sobbing - she pulls it, sending him down to the depths he loves. Jacques descends and floats for a brief moment staring into the darkness. A dolphin then appears and - dreamlike - Jacques lets go of his harness and swims away with it into the darkness.
The story focuses on Scottish writer J. M. Barrie, his platonic relationship with Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, and his close friendship with her sons named George, Jack, Peter and Michael, who inspire the classic play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Never Grew Up.
Following the dismal reception of his latest play, Little Mary, Barrie meets the widowed Sylvia and her four young sons (George, Jack, Peter and Michael) in Kensington Gardens, and a strong, close friendship develops between them. He proves to be a great playmate and surrogate father figure for the boys, and their imaginative antics give him ideas which he incorporates into a play about boys who do not want to grow up, especially one named after troubled young Peter Llewelyn Davies. Although Barrie sees this family as wonderful and inspirational, people question his relationship with the Llewelyn Davies family. Sylvia was a widow: her husband died from cancer and left her with four boys to bring up on her own. Barrie’s wife Mary, who eventually divorces him, and Sylvia’s mother Emma du Maurier, object to the amount of time Barrie spends with the Llewelyn Davies family. Emma also seeks to control her daughter and grandsons, especially as Sylvia becomes increasingly weak from an unidentified illness. Along the way, Barrie goes on adventures with Sylvia and her boys. He too is a boy at heart and spending time with the family is special. Barrie takes those adventures he has with the boys and makes them into a play called Peter Pan.
Producer Charles Frohman skeptically agrees to mount Peter Pan, despite his belief that it holds no appeal for upper-class theatergoers. Barrie peppers the opening night audience with children from a nearby orphanage, and the adults present react to their infectious delight with an appreciation of their own. The play proves to be a huge success. Barrie is all set for his play, but when Peter arrives alone to the play, Barrie goes to Sylvia's house to check up on her, and misses the show. Peter attends the play and realizes the play is about his brothers and Barrie.
Sylvia is too ill to attend the premiere, so Barrie arranges to have an abridged production of it performed in her home. He gets the actors, props and musicians together in the Llewelyn Davies house. At the end of the play, Peter Pan points to the back doors and implies that Sylvia should go off to Neverland. She takes the hands of her boys and slowly walks out into Neverland. The living room and back garden transform into Neverland and Sylvia continues to walk on her own.
In the next scene everyone is at Sylvia’s funeral. Barrie discovers that her will says that he and her mother should look after the boys, an arrangement agreeable to both. The film ends with J. M. Barrie finding Peter on the bench in the park where they first met after Peter ran off from the graveyard. Peter is holding his book where he wrote the plays that he ripped apart and that his mother glued back together for him. Barrie sits down and puts his arm around Peter to comfort him. They both fade, and all that is left is the bench.
I won’t connect the dots for you but these were ‘our movies’.