Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Lunchtime Weepy

We were down to a trio today.

For the final week of James River  Film Society's "Films for Lunch" series, we saw "A Place in the Sun" adapted from Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy."

Maybe it was missing last week for Thanksgiving, but the audience was down to just three diehards today, which was a shame given the movie.

A melodrama, or "weepy" as Mike Jones said such films were called, qualified as a three-hanky weepy.

But only because it was a 1951 film of a 1925 book. All the problems that resulted in tragedy could have been resolved if the film were made about the present.

I don't know who was more beautiful, Elizabeth Taylor or Montgomery Clift; depending on your orientation, you could easily make a case for either.

And Taylor's wardrobe was practically a star itself. So many strapless ball gowns on that perfect body of hers. Montgomery Clift's character didn't stand a chance.

But it was mostly the strict social protocol that made the movie seem like ancient history.

Girls couldn't invite boys to their rooming houses. Couples went to theaters to make out during a movie.

People who weren't introduced to proper society didn't introduce themselves.

And girls got pregnant and insisted on marriage.

Forget the technological advances; the past sixty years represent a quantum leap in how we handle lust.

Thank goodness.

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