Monday, December 19, 2011

christmas in conneticut

Titty and I watched this movie about two weeks ago (no one else felt like staying up to watch a black and white movie :D) and afterwards, we just looked at each other and didn't really know what to say. It's definitely not your average Christmas movie.

It starts with Jefferson Jones - the war hero who gave his food to his buddy to keep him alive. In the hospital recuperating, Jones is in the best of moods...except for the fact that the nurses won't give him the food he wants. They keep saying his stomach isn't ready for real food since he went without it for so long.

His buddy, because he went without food for a shorter period of time, is getting all kinds of great food. He recommends that Jones make really good friends with his nurse so that she'd give him more food. ("the Magoo" technique) So, Jones ends up sweet-talking the nurse so much that she the two of them are as good as engaged.

But the problem is, Jones isn't in a real hurry to marry her. She thinks it's because he's never had a real home. So she decides to give him a real home experience so he'll warm to the idea.

They both love a magazine column written by a housewife with an eight-month-old baby living on a beautiful farm in Connecticut. This lady is an amazing cook and Mary (the nurse) writes to the editor to ask if her "Jeffy-boy" can visit the author's house for Christmas.

Sounds like a splendid idea? Exactly.

Except that....
..the columis - Elizabeth Lane- t is living an apartment in New York City, not married, can't cook, and gets all her descriptions of farm life and her beautiful farm house from her friend's farm in Connecticut.

Problem.

So the movie is about Elizabeth's desperate attempts to first of all, get out of the situation, and then when that doesn't work, her hilarious attempts to re-create her ficitional home for Jeff.
In order to use her friend's house, she finally agrees to marry him. But due to timing and unexpected difficutlies, the judge is unable to finish the ceremony. So the couple just has to *pretend* to be married during the few days.

Oh, and they needed to have an eight-month-old baby really quick.
Elizabeth, Jeff, Mr. Yardley (editor), John Sloan (Elizabeth's pretend husband)

Too bad Elizabeth doesn't know how to take care of children. Good thing Jeff does. Unknowingly, he helps her *very* much by bathing and dressing the little one :)

Too bad Elizabeth doesn't know how to cook either. Good thing her dear Uncle Felix does. And good thing he agrees to come up to Connecticut with her.

Too bad Elizabeth falls in love with Jeff, since he's already "engaged."
Too bad Jeff falls in Elizabeth, since she's (to all apperances) "married."

The movie is full of funny moments, cute interactions, and well-written dialogue. Oh, and unexpected complications - like when the brown-eyed baby girl is changed for a blonde baby boy and then gets "kidnapped"....or when the nurse Mary Lee comes up to see her "Jeffy-boy" unexpectedly (and Elizabeth didn't know he was engaged)....or when the judge keeps coming back to the house to finish the wedding ceremony and has to keep waiting....when Mr. Yardley begs for Elizabeth flip just one pancake for him and she has to learn how in just a few minutes...

I will say, there are some awkward and not exactly appropriate scenes when Elizabeth is flirting with Jeff and she's supposed to be acting married and all...she asks some weird questions. (We do learn later that Jeff knew she was not married the whole time - the honorable Felix couldn't stand the deceit) But that's only a few minutes.
The last ten or fifteen minutes of movie just had me watching literally with my mouth open - couldn't believe all that was going on :) But we had a fun evening, Titty and I. :)

So, I would recommend Christmas in Connecticut if you want something....different and funny. Just don't expect it to be anything particularly profound: just cute.

Christmas in Connecticut - Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet, S.Z. Sakall
strength of characters: ***
strength of plot: ***
overall: ****

4 comments:

  1. You know, the first time I watched this movie I only would have given it three stars as well (maybe less)...mostly because the relationships are so awkward. It's one of those movies you have to watch a few times to really appreciate. So, do me a favor, and try watching it a few more times this holiday season and let me know if your opinion changes. This is now one of my all-time favorites and it wouldn't be the holidays without it...I would probably place it at ************* stars...and since I've seen this movie every time I say catastrophe I have to say it in the Hungarian/Uncle Felix accent. Ha! Btw, did you recognize Sidney Greenstreet and S.Z. Sakall from Casablanca? They were those kind of actors who did billions of bit parts like that in old movie...you know like Billie Burke and Grant Mitchell.

    Tonight KK, Emma and I are going to watch "The Man Who Came to Dinner" (Pa and Mom are having a wrapping date downstairs)...have you seen that one yet? Such a funny one :) Monty Woolley is amazing. Speaking of amazing, have you seen "The Polar Express" this holiday season...that is such an amazing one. And I love the quote, "The thing about trains is it doesn't matter where they are going. What matters is deciding to get on." Tom Hanks = Amazing.

    I'm going to go before I think of any more amazing Christmas movies (I'm already thinking of some!). Christmas movies are just so, uh, AMAZING! :D

    Love ya...

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  2. that was a cute movie. ;) Even though I'm not normally a huge black and white, old movie fan...I still thought it was a interesting movie.

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  3. Now I'm curious. As soon as I finish this comment I'm going to put it on our Netflix list. Which means it will probably get here just in time for the 4th of July. :P

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  4. I liked it :)
    And it's fun talking about a movie that only the two of us have seen :)
    ~Titty

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