Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'll think about that tomorrow


Quick - name that movie! :) Okay, the movie poster was a giveaway, but it's on television as I write this (12:30 a.m. EST).


I still haven't decided if it's a romance or not. I mean, we have the ol' boy-meets-girl, boy-wants-girl, boy-gets-girl, boy-screws-up, but in the end does he get her? And do we really want him to? I mean, yes, Scarlett changes through the movie, but she's still self-centered in the end. She's also not much of a heroine in the traditional sense - someone we want to root for.

But she's a survivor. Whatever you think of Scarlett, she's a survivor. But is that enough?

What is it about this movie that we love? What's making me sit here for three plus hours, watching something I've seen half a dozen times before? I know how it ends; I can repeat most of the dialogue and I know which scene is coming next. So what's the draw?

Some would argue it's Rhett.

Hmmm... I can't deny that. Clark Gable is pretty darn suave, and those dimples... Sigh. That charm has carried through seven decades, and the seven times--at least--that I've seen the movie. I even named my first genie book, what is now I Dream of Genies, after the movie. The original working title was Gone With The Djinn, but Marketing didn't think "djinn" was marketable or recognizable enough. I was playing off the fact that, in my story, Eden, the genie, is whisked off to the Sahara by the evil vizier and Matt, the hero, goes after her. A nice little play on the title, and who can resist Clark?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the movie. And others. Like Casablanca. I watched that one for the first time while researching Genie Knows Best and I have to tell you... I just don't see the appeal. I don't get the "romance" of that one at all.

So, your thoughts?

37 comments:

  1. Well I have actually never seen the movie.
    I personally like strong, self sufficient female characters. I can't really stand weak, whinny and self centered characters.

    Not much help with this question.

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  2. My husband loves Casablanca but I never enjoyed it.

    I like Gone With the Wind. I like how Scarlett has to grow up from being a petulant brat to a hard-nosed business woman, but I don't like the character very much. She was a selfish woman the entire movie. I haven't read the book so I don't know if the character was supposed to be that way.

    I love Rhett Butler. He called her on her bad behavior but he loved her for it too. My feelings about the movie have always been complicated.

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  3. I always think of Scarlett's line when I think I could put something off, then decide no, better done now or ten more things will come along and then I'll have 11.

    I couldn't stand Scarlett. There, I said it! :) She was great as far as keeping the place together, but her wanting that beta Ashley drove me batty. And then she threw Rhett away--the oh so gorgeous alpha. I read the book too, but had to skip through a whole lot of the Civil War battle stuff. She did a LOT of description. I still remember the green curtains she turned into a gown. Hmm....can you imagine how dusty and dirty they would have been? Makes me sneeze just thinking about it!!! Great post, Judi!

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  4. I've seen and enjoyed both movies, but, like you, Judi, I don't see them as romances - at least not as romances in the classic sense. There's no HEA, at least not for the couple together. I honestly think that these movies had the 'right' ending for the stories which were told. For all sorts of reasons - practical, political, logistical, and psychological - I couldn't see either of these couples living happily ever after together. Sometimes love does NOT conquer all, and THAT is the bittersweet story that I think these movies had the guts to tell.

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  5. Casablanca: Not so much.
    Gone With The Wind: One of my favorite all time books. And I own the movie (two copies). I did not grow up with HEA role models (one step father, nine step mothers) so Scarlett's amazing determination and strength in the face of adversity appealed to me. But by today's measuring stick, I'm not sure it was a romance. What category would we judge it in for the Rita's today? Mainstream with romantic elements? Or would it have to have its own category?

    I love HEA's. Love to read them; love to write them. The book, "Scarlett" finishes the story of Gone With the Wind pretty well. She grows up and gets her HEA with Rhett.

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  6. I'm not a fan of Casablanca either. Really don't see the appeal of that movie. I did use a play on a piece of dialogue from Casablanca in Rock Hard. "Of all the strip clubs in the world, Sed had to show up in hers." Or something like that.

    LOVE Gone with the Wind (book and movie), including the ending, because even though Rhett leaves, I always felt like he'd come back and Scarlett would finally remove her head from her butt. What I always thought was a bit strange is that Scarlett had more than one kid in the book, but they're never mentioned in the movie. I think they left out one of her husbands, too. The one who died of measles. Can't remember...

    Happy Birthday, Judi!

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  7. I love them both, but Casablanca not so much for the romance as for all the rest of the movie. The supporting cast was every bit as entertaining as Bogey and Bergman. It's not a classic for nothing!

    The first time I saw GWTW, it was in a huge old theater in Louisville, and the setting was half the fun. Visually, it's a stunning film, and the image of Clark Gable standing at the foot of the stairs at Twelve Oaks, smirking at Scarlett as she descends is one that has remained with me ever since. There again, the story itself was the star, even more than Scarlett, whom I thought was an absolute fool for not choosing Rhett over Ashley to begin with. Still, you've got to admire a survivor, and if she was ruthless, she had good reason to be.

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  8. I love GWTW. I was a very young girl when we went and saw it at a theatre for the first time. I am from the Deep South, so that helped, I love my southern roots. That movie might have distilled a little of my roots in me:)

    I enjoyed Casablanca, it is more of the "NOIR" movies and I enjoy many of those still, but it did not have the same kind of romance like GWTW has.

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  9. I have never seen Casablance, but I loved Gone With the Wind and have watched it several times.

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  10. I enjoyed Gone With the Wind, the book, but I really don't think either movie is my type of romance, I'm a HEA fan and neither of these give me that moment.

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  11. Kristina - for years, I'd never seen the entire movie - just every scene at different parts. It really is an experience to watch it from beginning to end, and this airing had the prelude music, the intermission and exit music, too. As for the characters - you will be pulling your hair out over Melanie and Ashley, too. What Scarlett ever saw in Ashley, I have no idea!!

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  12. StacieDM - I read the book, too, and, whoa boy, did the censors tone it down for the movie. Scarlett was as bad as Belle, but at least Belle was honest about what she was.

    As for Rhett - you know, he's the one we sigh over in movies, but I don't know that we'd keep going back to him. LOL

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  13. Terry - did you see Carol Burnett's take-off on the curtains? OMG, too funny. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6bOpJ5elW8

    I dare you NOT to laugh yourself silly!

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  14. Tamara - you've nailed it on the head. But can I help it if I want a HEA? LOL..

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  15. Carolyn - I saw a sequel to GWTW - was it with Linda Purl maybe? Can't remember, but I do remember a C-section scene on the dirty wooden kitchen table in Ireland, I believe. Was that adapted from "Scarlett"? I'll have to check the book out.

    And, yea, I do admire Scarlett's ability to survive. She did what she had to. But she started off so flawed that I don't know that she ever overcame it for me.

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  16. Olivia - they mentioned Charles (Melanie's younger brother and India's beau) dying of measles. He's her first husband and he died of pneumonia as a complication of measles. Poor Charles - a total sap, gets taken in by Scarlett, and then he doesn't even get an honorable death.

    But, yeah, Scarlett was a harlot (oooh, that sort of rhymes!) in the book.

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  17. Cheryl - absolutely with you on choosing Rhett over Ashley. WHAT on earth was the attraction there? Soppy, weak, mush-minded. With ugly hair. LOL

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  18. Judy (great name, btw...) The movie is definitely iconic and not to be missed. I can definitely see how it resonates with "Deep Southerners."

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  19. Virginia - I just saw Casablanca for the first time for research. I just don't get it, I guess.

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  20. Venus - I hear you on the HEA. Yeah, I need one of those. But it's still a good couple of hours, if just to drool over Clark Gable...

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  21. I'd call both movies epic romances. I was glad Rhett walked out on Scarlett in the end. It showed his strength of character. Scarlett was never able to love anyone more than she loved herself, including her daughter. Remember, he'd been fascinated by her for decades. As for Casablanca, the first time I saw it I didn't understand it. I've seen it several times since and it has become one of my favorite movies.

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  22. I've never actually seen Casablanca and I was pretty young when I watched Gone with my mom, but I remember admiring Scarlett's determination.

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  23. GwtW has flawed but strong characters, which is its appeal for me. "Scarlett" the miniseries starred Joanne Whaley Kilmer (married to Val Kilmer) and Timothy Dalton (and Sean Bean, why I sat through it). I never understood the Ashley thing except it is hard to see the truth about first crushes. And I like "Casablanca" for the friendship between the Bogart character and the French policeman, played by Claude Rains. I like a HEA, which is why "Gigi" is one of my favorites! :)

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  24. I watched it recently with my daughter and together we picked up on something new/different. That is the key to a well written story-always something more to think about! AND, Vivien Leigh gave a great performance! I READ the book before I saw the movie and then read the book again, because the movie was so well acted and scripted. Of course, Olivia de Havilland is my favorite silver screen actress-but MAMMY stole scenes from her and ended up with the academy award! How many of us in a pickle haven't thought of Miss Prissy's, "I don't know nothin 'bout birthin no babies" :)
    Certainly, these movies are classic for good reason!

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  25. I agree, the movie itself could be called the star, with an excellent cast. Loved Rhett, Scarlet was selfish, spoiled, immature; don't blame him for leaving.

    Loved Casablanca, it's a bittersweet, love triangle story, part of a suspense story, with the political theme a key factor in how it ends, why rICK gives her up.

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  26. Terrel - I like this line: "Scarlett was never able to love anyone more than she loved herself, including her daughter." Really true, and I think that's the saddest part of the story. I mean, your CHILD...

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  27. Tracey - Scarlett definitely embodies strength and determination. No denying that, and who's to say what we'd do in that situation. Food for thought. Perhaps that's why this movie has withstood the test of time - so many variables.

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  28. Reina - "Joanne Whaley Kilmer" - that's her. She reminds me of Linda Purl in the hazy recesses of my memory. I don't remember much about the miniseries other than the C-section in the kitchen, so I'm guessing it didn't resonate with me like the original. Plus, I'm not a big Timothy Dalton fan. He's no Clark Gable. :)

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  29. RuthZ - ah, the "I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' babies." I was driving a Kid nuts last night repeating lines. That was one of them. :)

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  30. Pam - yeah, I can see the politics and what have you of Casablanca, but maybe it's Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. I just don't care for either of them in the movie so I wasn't rooting for them. Ah, well. Thank goodness there are so many to choose from, right?

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  31. Oh...wish I knew it was on! I haven't seen that in a long time and I know my mom would have loved to watch it again! It's her favorite movie!

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  32. Casablanca is actually one of my favorite movies, though I wouldn't call it a romance. I think it does show the power of love to change Bogart's character from a bitter man profiting from the war, to one willing to sacrifice his own interests to fight the Nazis. I think it was interesting because it was released in 1942, when America was just entering WWII and the outcome of the war was far from assured.

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  33. Casablanca will always be my favorite. There's something about Bogie that calls to me.

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  34. I'm surprised you didn't mention your birthday, Miss Judi!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    I think what's missing from both movies you mentioned is the HEA. I really think we deserved that pay off after investing all that time and emotional energy in the characters.

    I do love Gone with the Wind. I love/hate Scarlett...and unfortunately, I identify with her. (Married 3 times. A survivor.)
    But the difference is, I know how lucky I am to get the hero in the end.

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  35. I have never watched the movie from start to finish and don't really get the appeal of the movie but a friend of mine has said that the appeal is Scarlett's tenacity and the way she stands up to adversity...I think the appeal is that it was the first time that a woman was portrayed as tough or tougher than the men in the movie ...

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  36. I really think it's a great romance. Although I was mad a Scarlett throughout the book because she didn't understand that it was Rhett the whole time. Also I still think sad endings stay with you the longest as opposed to the HEA that we expect.

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  37. I have to agree with you on the movie, Judi. But OUR Casablanca authors surely have the perfect combo of romance and HEA. :}

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