Posts Tagged ‘shakespeare’

When I was single, I wasn’t sure I was ever going to find a man that I wanted to live with for the rest of my life, because so many of the men I met were irritating.  And other people’s relationships often looked irritating as well.


Perhaps that’s why I like fiction so much.


However, one of the deal breakers for me would be to have a man telling me what to do.  I am a very independent soul — I didn’t realize that until I started dating.   I try to be giving and nurturing, but the minute someone tells me that I have to be giving or takes my generosity as a right — it’s time for me to hit the road.   Accordingly, I don’t like fiction where the men boss women around.  That’s a fictional deal breaker for me.


English: Petruchio (Kevin Black) and Kate (Emi...

English: Petruchio (Kevin Black) and Kate (Emily Jordan) from a Carmel Shakespeare Festival production of “The Taming of the Shrew” at the outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, CA., Oct, 2003. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oops.  Unless it’s Shakespeare and Taming of the Shrew.  The versions I like best give the impression that Petruchio has taught Katharine to “play nice” but that she will still be able to express herself in private.


But even with an exception for Taming, the love stories I like best end with a marriage of equals.


What are your deal breakers? (more…)

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I had a conversation about shaving today, and I wondered why such a normal part of a man’s life isn’t included in more films — as far as I’ve noticed.

The shaving bits I remember best involve Cary Grant.

English: RKO publicity still from Suspicion (1941)

English: RKO publicity still from Suspicion (1941) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Cary Grant and Myrna Loy have a hilarious morning routine, and I believe that Cary Grant has to share a bathroom with his teenage daughter.  He finds the scheduling of getting shaved very difficult.

In Walk Don’t Run, Cary Grant has another scheduling problem with the beautiful Samantha Eggar sharing the same bathroom, and he can’t remember if he’s supposed to shave first or shower first.  Very funny.

Walk Don’t Run is a remake of The More the Merrier, which I also love, but I can’t remember if Joel McCrea actually shaves.   I remember him taking a shower and barking like a seal.  I’ll have to watch it again and take notes.

Even Shakespeare recognized the significance of shaving, making Benedict shave before he begins to woo Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, but I’m trying to remember if Sam Waterston or Kenneth Branagh actually shave on screen . . .  I sense a future film festival topic.

Oh, and Howard Keel shaves before he goes to marry Jane Powell in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  That’s a great moment, which always made me a little sad because  Howard Keel had such a great beard.

In my book The M Word, shaving provides two plot turning points.

Are there any other films in which shaving is an important part of the story?

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With many book/movie pairings, I read the book first.  I read Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Lorna Doone, and Little Women years before I saw any of the film adaptations.  Initially I thought that was the best approach, because I created images of the characters in my mind by myself.  But since then, I have come to appreciate the “movie first” scenario because it has led me to read books that, honestly, I might not have had the patience or dedication to read.  With family and professional obligations, my reading for enjoyment time is limited, so I hesitate to start long novels by authors I don’t already love.  It’s easier to reread a favorite novel than to slog through an unknown and then be disappointed by the writing or plot. 

The BBC miniseries of Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda inspired me to read the VERY LONG novels by George Elliot.  Since I had visual pictures of the actors in my mind, and I knew the basic plots, I could enjoy the depth of the writing and the characterizations without getting confused or irritated.   I had never read Elizabeth Gaskell before watching the BBC North and South miniseries.  I found that I enjoy Gaskell’s writing much more than Dickens’.  And although I had read various Shakespeare plays in school and for my own enjoyment, I didn’t read Henry V until after I saw Branagh’s brilliant film version.  Wasn’t Emma Thompson a delight as the French princess?

So now I don’t get into the futile argument of which is better:  the book or the movie, and I don’t worry about which I encounter first.  When a book and the matching movie are good, I often go back and forth, rereading and rewatching, appreciating the merits of both.

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