Friday, November 14, 2008

Movie Review: The Heiress

Is it pathetic or super awesome that I sit late at night and watch old black and white movies? Last night I was just saying to myself that TCM (best channel in the world) needed to show a really great movie, and what happens? “The Heiress” comes on with Montgomery Clift and Olivia de Havilland. I wish my name was Olivia de Havilland. It must be my favorite name. The movie is perfect for a cool rainy night with a hot cup of tea and a cookie, so that’s exactly what I did. Montgomery Clift is dreamy (bet you never heard me use that word to describe someone before, but I mean it – I’m not taking it back. In fact, I’ll say it again: dreamy) and also has an amazing name. They’re both very glamorous and very passionate actors. Their performance is one for the books. I think the story is good for conversation afterwards too, which I think is the best kind of movie, don’t you?

It’s the story of a girl who is very young and innocent and crazy naïve. He is a wordly man who returns from Europe and hopes to land himself a pretty little wife with a bit of money so he doesn’t have to earn a living, which he has no idea how to, being a useless gentleman and all. As it turns out he sets his sights on her, she’s cute and clumsy and he finds it endearing. After a short courtship he proposes to her, and of course being the stupid little twit that she is, she wholeheartedly says yes before he consults her father. Her father has other plans for her and they don’t include a gold digger for a husband. The story of course is more complex than that, but I will most certainly not go into detail here since it would take too long. Since most of you won’t go out and get the movie and there’s a good chance it won’t be available in most places, I don’t feel too bad about spoiling the story for you.

In the end she blames her father for things not working out and for her unhappiness (which may or may not be true). Her father disapproves of their marriage and for a number of reasons it doesn’t happen. At one point she asks her father if it would be any worse to live with a man who in part married her for her money and who may or may not have as much affection for her as she has for him, than to live with a father who has little if any affection for her. Is it better for her to live out her days alone embroidering than with someone who could be a companion for her?

The whole situation hardens her and she becomes bitter which in my opinion clouds her judgment and she deals with her ex-fiancé in a way that to me is neither harsh enough, or if you don’t want to be harsh, is not enough to bring about closure. In her shoes, I would’ve married him after my father had passed away (which in the movie he does) and made him live out his days indebted to me because I have all the money. I would also have an agreement drawn up (a pre-nup) beforehand letting him know what I expect from him and he from me. Making him your #$^&* is much sweeter revenge and much better closure than anything else, plus you have the added bonus of having someone with you for your glamorous trips to Europe, or to sit with you by the fire in the evenings. No more embroidery and lonely nights trying to strike up conversations with the servants because you can’t stand the eerie quiet of an empty house.

She doesn’t have me to guide her so she bars the door and leaves him standing there alone banging away calling her name. Whatever. Regardless of a less than stellar ending, I highly recommend the movie and think it makes for a perfect evening either alone or with someone.

Catch you later, my pretties! Have a great weekend!

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