A Second Chance at Love
Posted on: 5th March 2016 17:53:43

You remind me I live in a shell. Safe from the past and doin' okay but not very well…"

"When she left me, in all my despair, I just held on, my hopes were all gone, then I found you there.  I’m ready to take a chance again ready to put my love on the line…”

(Barry Manilow, 1978)


Discovering the person you want to be, finding the partner who will help you become that person, can be a great journey ~well worth putting your “love on the line.”


As we continue exploring the new edition of Movies and Music: A Guide To Turning The Classic Movie Musical Into An Interactive Event, we find Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire are on such a journey.



Welcome to the March 2016 Edition  ~ Brigadoon and Easter Parade. 


These films are great companions. Not only do they help us celebrate two holidays this month (St Patrick’s Day and Easter) they also provide great insight into the classic movie musical   lament:  love found, love lost, and in the end, a second chance at love.  Perfect for this year’s theme ~ Second Chances.


Gene Kelly’s character, Tommy Albright, is dissatisfied with his life and relationship with his significant other. (“Something seems wrong, especially about Jane and me and that makes everything seem wrong.”)  A search for a second chance leads him to Brigadoon and into the arms of   beautiful local girl, Fiona (Charisse), who, with a smile, a greeting, (“good day”), and the touch of her hand, reminds Tommy he has been “living in a shell…doing okay but not very well.”


Don Hewes, (Fred Astaire’s character in Easter Parade), feels a sense of despair as his relationship with highbrow, high maintenance, dance partner Nadine, crumbles. Her desire for a career overshadows her desire for her partner.       Don is, “just holding on...(his) hopes all gone until (he) found (Hannah) there.”  


These women are the personification of simple elegance and aptly prove, when partnered with either gentleman, not all dances have to be waltzes to be graceful.


As each story unfolds, the path to a second chance at love is not always easy. In Brigadoon, Tommy falls hard and fast. When he takes Fiona on a walk through the Heather on the Hill, he discovers, at the end of a beautiful dance, being with Fiona is Almost Like Being in Love.  However, as reality sets in, enter best friend (and sidekick), Jeff Douglas:  

“I don’t know what goes on around here but it’s got nothing to do with me or you! …You want to give up your family, your friends, your whole life for this!”


Tommy has a hard decision to make: Does he drastically change his life ad take his second chance or does he return to what he knows in Manhattan?


On the avenue, in Easter Parade, Don Hewes’ path is not much easier.  However, most of the work to set him on the right path is done by Hannah Brown (Judy Garland).


As their relationship unfolds, Don views Hannah as a project (“I can teach any girl to dance as well as (Nadine).”  Hannah sees Don with love in her eyes. (“When they were passing out the wishes, I wished for him.”)   It is not until Hannah is maligned by Nadine, (“tell that seamstress you have working for you to stop imitating me”), that Don begins to see her as a partner. When she sings and dances, (I Love a Piano, It Only Happens When I Dance With You), he sees her as an equal partner. A partner that will not only give him a second chance at a great career but a second chance at love.   


As Don and Hannah settle into a relationship, enter the sidekick (Johnny), who is in love with Hannah and Nadine, who harbors a generous amout of jealousy toward Hannah and her success with Don.


As each path to happiness is interrupted, and we wonder: “will they find their way back to each other?” Now would be a good time to ask this month’s thought provoking question:



What is it about this movie musical, that make us happy when we’re sad, make us want to sing, reminisce, explore social behavior, and find that second chances are always welcome?


The simplest answer is:


We like to see angst resolved. We want to see the boy get the girl; the good guy win and the conceited high maintenance highbrow character go packing.  We want happy endings.  (“I believe in her… I believe in this place and I can’t leave!” – Tommy Brigadoon; The ring on Hannah’s finger as she and Don walk up the avenue in the Easter Parade).


We want to give a younger generation an opportunity to view real communication ~ communication that doesn’t need an emoticon to tell you how to feel.


We want to see communication that illustrates how to establish an interpersonal relationship, (“can’t we two go walking together out beyond the valley of trees?”)


We want to see strong women who can stand up to a man in a man’s world, while still stroking the male ego:

Hannah: “You told me to move like that!”

Don: “Well from now on…you are just plain Hannah Brown!”

Hannah: “ Whatever you say.”


We want to remember, reminisce, and sing a song that fills us with joy and gives us a second chance to connect with each other. 


Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Happy Easter!





Coming in April: As we Get Ready for FLASHA in May, stop by for a special Blog highlighting Movies and Music’s preparations for 2016 Convention in Orlando!















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