I can’t remember the last good rainy day I spent watching old movies. But today I had off of work and I stayed in my pajamas until four in the afternoon! I’m a big fan of old movies, of any movies really. My first real job was working in a video store in my hometown and I was there for five years. It was rare for me to not bring home six films at a time, and there wasn’t a day that went by I didn’t watch at least one film. I have several favorite older films, and I’ve never met a Cary Grant picture I didn’t like. (I ask you, who has?) I think the best thing growing up with older parents and siblings is that I got exposed to all the classics. We had the whole Rogers and Hammerstein musical collection, my sister and I would go around quoting from Singing in the Rain (“An’ I cayn’t stan’em!”), and I would print full lists of every American Film Institute Top 100 program. (I’m currently working on viewing all top 100 romance films, however the remaining films are becoming difficult to find!)
Today, I was channel flipping and I landed upon TCM (Turner Classic Movies) who just happened to be running a marathon of Doris Day films. The perfect anecdote to a rainy afternoon! Nothing says sunshine like Doris Day! The film that was just starting was Please Don’t Eat the Daisies and I actually had never seen it before today. I’m more of a Pillow Talk and Move Over, Darling fan. Little did I know what a treat I was in for: Doris Day, David Niven, a household of four troublesome boys (Fans of the Goldie Hawn film Overboard will know where the inspiration came from), and a movie about theater. The film centers around the McKay family. Larry (Niven) has recently changed professions and become a theater critic at the same time as his busy household is being uprooted from a city apartment to a large, rundown house in the country where even the dog is scared of everything! It’s full of great witty bantor!
Kate McKay: “The dog is shaking again. I’m afraid he doesn’t like being here.”
Dr. Sprouk: “Just give him two tranquilizers and he won’t care where he is.”
Larry McKay: “Save some for me, Darling.”
The main conflict in the movie is Larry’s changing personality. Since becoming a theater critic, he’s becoming increasingly snarky and yet more popular in the posh world of critics. His rise in the newspaper conflicts with the family’s simple, country lifestyle. And this got me thinking.
In today’s world of writers, don’t we too need to worry about our reputations? What happens if our writing coins us as rude spoilers of the writing process? I’m sure much of it depends on what we write, but we’re in the business of baring of our souls really. And the people that help us get there are the ones in the business of crushing dreams! How do we balance telling the truth in our writing with being a public figure? What do you guys think? I’d state my opinion, but Rock Hudson is on! (Ooooooooh, whenever I want you all I have to do is dreeeeeeeeeam, dream dream dream dreeeeeeam…sorry, I’ll crawl back under the covers now.)