Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gee, I wish I was back in the army.

Thanks for the suggestions about how to deal with the mail. I hafta admit that I like Iron Needles' approach:

Let's not talk about mail. Let's talk about White Christmas!

Oh, if you insist.

There are really only two - ok, three - Christmas movies in my world.

1. White Christmas. Obviously.

2. Trading Places. My family watches it every Christmas Day while eating lasagna. Because Baby Jesus likes Italian food and Eddie Murphy.

3. Love Actually. I broke down and - gasp! - bought this DVD yesterday. This lovely little movie gets me in the mood to put up the tree. And that sounds dirty, but I really mean putting up my Christmas tree.

But White Christmas ... where to begin?

Green Girl and I have discussed this before - the "Sisters" number is pretty much the greatest musical number ever captured on film. I desperately want Santa to bring me a giant feather fan - and one for my mom - so that we can work on our choreography. We've already got the song down.


Speaking of choreography, I gotta say that the "Choreography" number is one of the worst ever captured on film - perhaps tied with "Gotta dance" from Singin' in the Rain. Bygones.

And obviously, I've a) seen White Christmas waaaaay too many times; and b) they use the term "number" in the film a lot. It occurred to me last night that you could make a drinking game out of watching the movie. Just take a drink anytime anyone says "great little act" or "number" in reference to some supper club-style musical performance.

In all seriousness, though, I have a slightly different perspective on the movie this year. Right now, I'm listening to Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation. And yes, I'm pretty much the last human on Earth to read this book. It's fantastic.

In portraying various members of "the greatest generation," Brokaw's book also paints a picture of what happiness and success looked like to those folks after the war. And White Christmas is a perfect time capsule of Hollywood's interpretation of that happiness. Put the actual war behind you, but know that your entire company would drop everything to have Christmas at your ski lodge should the call go out. The film's cultural significance is a dissertation waiting to be written.

In case you're in need of a dissertation topic, I also think it would be interesting to study Tootsie and 9-to-5 and how they both reflected and shaped women's roles in the white-collar workplace in the early 80s.

But White Christmas? Fantastic. Although no conversation about it would be complete without my dad's annual comment about Rosemary Clooney's character: "God, what a bitch!"

And ... Merry Christmas.

5 comments:

Iron Needles said...

Seriously! To all of that.

And my daughters? Sisters is the ringtone on their phones...

(Vera-Ellen's eating disorder is readily apparent through the movie, which is a whole other discussion.)

Cyndi B. said...

Iron Needles, I never noticed how ill-fitting Vera-Ellen's costumes were until I read about her eating disorder. I still love this movie, but it breaks my heart to watch her. What a fantastic dancer!

I can watch this movie over and over!! LOVE IT!

PS Speaking of Rosemary, have you ever noticed her jerky arm motions at the beginning of "I Wish I Was Back in the Army?" NOT a dancer, but a hell of a singer!

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

I love White Christmas, but I have to admit, I love Holiday Inn even more. I think I need to watch both this month!

I'm so glad to hear from you and your commenters (readers? Well, you know what I mean.) that I'm not the only one who identifies dissertation topics in everyday life.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Give me one good reason!
We're doing it for an old pal in the army.
It was on Saturday night. I quoted large sections of dialogue (annoying everyone I'm sure) and Doug wanted to see Vera's legs. And I totally thought about you when they sang Sisters.

Unfabulousness said...

Love White Christmas but my favorite of all time is....... It's a Wonderful Life. I can not resist me some quality face time with George Bailey.