We watched one of my favorite movies tonight. My kids did so under extreme duress, since it was not animated or preceeded by "Walt Disney Presents...".
Harvey, starring Jimmy Stewart. (I never paid attention in English class, so I can't remember if you Italicize or Capitalize names of movies. I'll look it up later.) It is one of those old classic movies that everyone should see. In which people talked with proper English, used manners, such as standing when a lady enters the room, tipping hats and all that; a gentleman saying "Beg your pardon, ma'am," when he might have said something to offend a lady's sensibilities. Ladies wore dresses, hats and gloves, and gentleman carried their coat over their arm. Just makes me swoon.
Besides the quaint, old-fashioned atmosphere of the movie, it just has a great moral message. Elwood P. Dowd has an imaginary friend,a pooka, much to the chagrin of his prim and proper sister, fluttery, flighty Veta and her daughter Myrtle Mae. Veta tries to have him committed to the local sanitarium after he embarrasses her one too many times in front of all the society ladies. The movie is a comedy of errors, sort of, from that moment on. There is a mix up at the sanitarium, where Veta is violated in a case of mistaken identity, and the Nurse, Orderly, Doctor, Head Psychiatrist, the family lawyer and assorted others chase Elwood and Harvey all over town, stopping off at Charlie's Tavern more than once for nightcaps. Elwood is offered a serum, #977 to be exact, to get rid of Harvey. Veta would no longer be a disgrace among the ladies of the Wednesday Afternoon Forum and Mertyl Mae could begin to join a group of nice young people, and Elwood could quite possibly sit on the Western Slope Water Board, for Heaven's sake! By the end, everyone comes to see how valuable Harvey is. Not just to Elwood, to whom he is constant companion and confidant, but to Veta, Mertyl Mae and even to the Head Psychiatrist of the sanitarium to which someone, be it Veeta or Elwood, was nearly committed. Elwood is who he is because of Harvey- he is special and if he changed, he would "be a perfectly normal human being, and we know what stinkers they are!" Elwood, with Harvey at his side, is freindly, generous, gracious and just a swell guy. A rough old cabbie even says so. He invites everyone he meets to dinner, engages them in conversation, genuinely interested in who they are, complimenting all, again, genuinely. He mends conflicts between people, even helping them begin a romance, without their even being aware of it. I wish we could all be like Mr. Dowd. He says he always has a wonderful time wherever he is, whomever he's with. Harvey has the ability to stop time, so Elwood could go where ever he liked to for as long as he liked, and time would resume where he left off when he returned. Yet, Elwood can think of no place he'd rather be.
I could go on, but you really just need to go to the library, get on Netflix, run down to Blockbuster, whatever it is you do, and get Harvey, and watch it yourself. It will make you chuckle and above all it will remind you that we should all be happy, or rather Content. There it is, the moral message. I couldn't help but think of it as a spiritual message, to me anyway. God, like Harvey, is at our side, He is Gracious, He is Generous and he really is just a Swell Guy. We can be content no matter the circumstances, if He is by our side. Elwood is never scared to introduce Harvey to anyone he meets, and occasionally someone comes to know Harvey and he becomes a friend to them too. As much as I hate to admit it, I do not introduce many people to my friend, God, but I know I should. That'll be something I work on from now on. It doesn't parallel directly to our relationship with God, it wasn't written to that purpose, I am sure. But hey, God shows up in funny places to me, OK.
I am so glad I watched it. I am glad I made the girls watch it too. I think everyone needs a few old fashioned things in thier life; an old black and white movie, homemade fried pies, or just an afternoon in Great Aunt Lea Etta's living room, to remind us we are not all that matters, and life is precious and sweet and everyone should be treated with respect and love and easy is not always the best. None of that last sentence made sense. Fried Pies? Fresh on the brain I guess. I just made some the other day, homemade crust that I nearly cried over when I bit into it, with peaches off of a friend's tree. Anyway, maybe you'll watch Harvey and your life will improve. Mine did. At least for now.
Some noteable and funny lines from Harvey:
Poeple get run over by trucks everyday, why can't something like that happen to Uncle Elwood!
Mertyl Mae, you have a lot to learn and I hope you never learn it!
Elwood, you're my brother and I've known you for years...
Why Miss Kelly, when you wear my flower, you make it beautiful.
In this world, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. For years, I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
I'm sure you're making a mistake about all that beer and no whiskey, but it's your two weeks.