Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Celebrating longtime love in song and on screen

Over this past weekend,I got the chance to watch a classic musical that I've heard about for years but never saw before,Gigi. It's a rather charming film,especially when you consider the main point of the plot is about an older man falling in love with the young girl intended to be his mistress.

The tone of the whole piece is delightfully sweet,with deft touches of cynical social satire mixed in to off set any candy coated gloss clinging to the characters.

One of the best numbers was a duet between Gigi's grandmother(Hermione Gingold)and the uncle of her intended suitor(Maurice Chevailer),who were once lovers back in their youth and fondly recall their last days of courtship(one of them being more accurate with the details than the other):

The bittersweet beauty of that duet got me to thinking about what other love songs dealt with romance amongst the older set,in all of it's forms. After all,romance is not exclusively meant for young people only,folks. Whether it's the fondness of a couple wedded for years or simply seeing each other on the side,a duet between longtime partners in love can hold a lot of resonance and well honed harmony.

Memories of a former love also count,which is why our look at longtime lovers begins with this bit from Xanadu. "Whenever You're Away From Me" was one of the last hurrahs for Gene Kelly on film,teaming his aging entertainer character Danny McGuire with the ghostly muse of his once true love(Olivia Newton-John,who keeps up pretty well with such a pro on the dance floor).

This melodic memory piece is a real highlight that every Xanadu fan cherishes as much as they do the eighties:

Amidst all of the hair hopping teen hijinks in the musical version of Hairspray was a small subplot regarding the grown-ups that made for a perfect excuse for Christopher Walken and John Travolta to do a dance of love together.

"You're Timeless" was a way for devoted husband Wilbur to reassure his plus size wife Edna that she was still and always would be the apple of his eye(after she caught him in what looked like a compromising position with another woman).

Edna eventually came around and reaffirmed her love for him as well,giving both of these sideline supporting players a catch to shine on their own. It may not be one of the first songs that come to mind when thinking of Hairspray but it's subject matter is truly timeless in it's appeal and delivery:

One of the things that Fiddler on the Roof is not always known for is it's quieter moments but one of the most touching moments comes when Teyve asks his wife of twenty five years "Do You Love Me?" Arranged marriages may be a concept of the past best left behind,yet it is nice to think that some of those couples perhaps did find love for one another over time:

For the film version of the Broadway musical,The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,Dolly Parton wrote a few original numbers,some of which didn't make it into the finished movie.

One that did tied into the plot twist that had Dolly's Miss Mona and Sheriff Ed Dodd(Burt Reynolds)as secret lovers who enjoyed their private romps and were determined to keep them out of sight of their contemporaries.

"Sneakin' Around" is a fun little ditty that showcases the simple pleasures of a pair of born rascals who in a different time and place could've shared their love out in the open without fear of reprisal. While the fates are certainly fickle about these things,they can also share a good laugh about the situation as well:

Film moments like these are meant to serve as inspiration and seeing love survive beyond the first blush of youth is very inspiring,especially for those looking to reach that stage of life linked arm in arm with that special someone themselves when the time comes. Having a musical accompaniment to such a golden period for a lucky couple is not an absolute necessity but it does make for a great serving of gravy goodness to savor there:

1 comment:

Ladytink_534 said...

I've never seen Gigi but it's one I've been meaning to watch for a while now. That's probably one of the best numbers in Xanadu. I've always loved The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas! Dolly is so cute in this movie.