Movie Club: Last Day to Enter!
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Oh my goodness. In all the excitement of the last few weeks, I completely forgot that I’ve not yet written up love letters to my last two favorite movies, Cold Comfort Farm and Enchanted.
Actually, they’re easy to combine into one post, because I chose them both for the same reason. Humor.
Enchanted is a send-up of fairy tales and Disney princess movies (though it is, itself, a Disney movie), and I’m sure most of you are familiar with the plot. Cold Comfort Farm (based on the comic novel by Stella Gibbons published in 1932) parodies gloomy, gothic Bronte-esque novels. The film version, starring Kate Beckinsale, Ian McKellan, Rufus Sewell and other greats, had the opportunity to parody not only the novels, but the costume dramas made from them!
I expect many of you are familiar with Enchanted, (and if not I blogged about it once long ago) but the plot of Cold Comfort Farm goes something like this: Fresh-faced city girl Flora Poste goes to live with her relatives, the Starkadders, at the aptly named Cold Comfort Farm. From the batty old woman who keeps to her room because she long ago “saw something nasty in the woodshed”, to the oversexed farm brothers Seth and Ruben, to their fire-and-brimstone preaching patriarch, Cold Comfort Farm is not only a jumble of crazy characters, but a tumbledown wreck. Flora brings to the place a modern sensibility, and through a series of common-sense solutions, she contrives happy endings for them all. And then earns her own! The film is filled with quotable lines and hilarious touches. (My favorite part? The cows named Feckless, Aimless, Graceless, and Pointless.)
But what I love about both of these films is that, even as they mock conventional tropes, in the end they also affirm the underlying point. Yes, these movies say, fairy tales and gothic novels have elements of the ridiculous…but that doesn’t mean there are no real happy endings.
In all my books, there is (I hope) a slightly self-conscious nod to the fact that romance, both as a fiction genre and as an emotional experience, has a touch of the absurd. I mean, anything so intricately connected to human emotion does. I find it impossible to relate to a story that has ZERO sense of humor, because I find humor in just about anything. Love most of all. When I think back on the times I’ve fallen in love, or simply found myself the throes of a crush, I’ve always felt just silly with emotion…but delightfully, wonderfully so. So even when my stories get a bit dark, I always try to give my characters some sense of humor about themselves and their predicament. Nothing wins me over faster than a character (or real-life person!) who can laugh at him- or herself.
Speaking of humor and romance, there are some amazing releases I’m dying to get my hands on today, by two of the authors who combine those elements more skillfully than anyone: What Happens in London by Julia Quinn, and Don’t Tempt Me by Loretta Chase. I’m also desperate for a copy of Bound by Your Touch by Meredith Duran, though maybe it’s a little darker in tone….? I know some of you have read it already; you tell me.
What are you reading? What are you laughing at? Is it yourself? (I hope so, because that’s usually the answer for me.)
Enter the giveaway by clicking here!
Goddess of the Hunt releases four weeks from today! I can’t believe it.
I’m reading the LC, only on p.38. And although I’m exhausted, I don’t want to stop reading and turn the light out. 😀
CCF is one of my fave movies EVAH. We quote it often at Burke Manor. My favorite part is Ian McKellen’s sermon because I’m pretty sure there is no butter in hell. Loved what you said about good romance having a touch of the absurd. That’s it exactly.
Four weeks? Squee!
Ohh, never seen CCF. Looks like I need to watch it. GOTH is at my library!
I’ve never heard of CCF but I’m going to Netflix right now to put it at the top of my Queue. Loved Enchanted and totally agree. After I’ve made a blubbering fool out of myself over some relationship snaffu, I always feel silly. But it is so much a part of life, there’s no getting away from it.
I love Cold Comfort Farm! The first time I saw it I got the absolute creeps on first sight of the derelict farmhouse and really dire eyeballs of the secondary matriarch. My favorite part is when she orchestrated Rufus Sewell’s ‘discovery’ by the agent, and how he kisses his favorite bull goodbye. I do feel the need for a long shower every time I watch it, though. No one but Kate Beckinsale apparently believed in washing hair.