Saturday, January 23, 2010

Heating Up the Seven Year Itch

Having the Bowtie Cinema show classic movies on the big screen every weekend morning is proving a boon to my film knowledge.

Somehow, I'd never seen "The Seven Year Itch" with Marilyn Monroe, but a friend and I corrected that today; he couldn't believe how small and young (29, but playing a 22-year old)) she looked given the voluptuous image of her he had.

What struck me was the very different world of 1955, with men who sent their wives and kids away for a three-month vacation during the summer and then cut loose smoking, drinking and chasing other women while the fam was away.

I know it was a pre- sexual revolution time, but was it really as male-centric as all that?

And, if so, thank god the sixties arrived and things started to change.

Of course, the premise is that by about seven years into a relationship, the male of the species is bored with his partner (I'd put it more like 5.98 years, but that's just me) and looking for fresh meat.

Of course, in the sanitized Hollywood of the fifties, he resists the temptation of M.M. and returns to the loving bosom of wife and family, as opposed to today, where we just move on once we're bored, male and female both.

Not surprisingly, a little research uncovered the fact that the itch length has been shortened to less than 4 years now.

Apparently boredom sets in much sooner and we're far more comfortable with abandoning the old and seeking out the new.

Who knows, we could be on our way to a two-year itch, and, really, why bother at all then?

On the other hand, a prominent part of the film was about how few and far between air-conditioned homes and buildings were (including the guy's office), causing people to be overheated in the summer time.

Of course, as someone who has voluntarily lived without air conditioning for 18 years, I thought it was pretty cool (bad, I know) to glimpse a time when that was the norm and I wouldn't have been considered the oddity I am now for eschewing it.

And I am definitely hoping to disprove the whole itch thing altogether before I die.

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