Ready For (Holiday) Love
Posted on: 15th October 2016 22:14:51

You remind me, I live in a shell….No jolts, no surprises, no crisis arises
My life goes along as it should It's all very nice but not very good

And I'm ready to take a chance again Ready to put my love on the line with you!
(Barry Manilow, 1978)

Coming of age, growing from teenager into adult, carries with it   many challenges. Challenges that begin with making friends, and discovering first love, to maintaining friendships and making the love relationship last.


 As the holiday season begins, we open the Guidebook and find sisters, Esther and Rose Smith, and their suitors, John Truett and Warren Sheffield, are finding the blush of first love in turn of the century St. Louis, while Jim Hardy and Ted Hanover are finding it hard to maintain a friendship while fighting over a beautiful girl, Linda Mason, in Holiday Inn.


Welcome to the October -- November 2016 Edition~~ Ready for (Holiday) Love


Meet Me in St Louis and Holiday Inn are great companion pieces for discussions of, and reminiscing about, young love and second chances at love, with these holiday themed films.


Meet Me in St Louis offers a year look at first love, beginning with a chance meeting (arranged by her sister), for Esther and “The Boy Next Door”, John Truett, at brother Alonso’s going away party (“Oh do you live here?"), progressing to an awkward, but much anticipated, encounter on the trolley, (“thump, thump, thump, went my heart strings,”).


As Halloween approaches, Esther and John have their first fight over the circumstances surrounding an accident with youngest sister, Tootie. 


Making up, takes the audience through the Christmas season, as Esther and family prepare to leave St. Louis and John is perilously close to missing “the smartest ball of the season”, because he favored basketball over a dance with his girlfriend. (Esther: “I don’t hate you (John), I just hate basketball!”)




These scenes, and others like them, (“Tears in the Snow”, “A Way to be Together”, “Changing Partners”), are great openings with the older generation, to reminisce about courtship flirting, parties and major life changes. 


These same scenes are great ways to promote intergenerational discussions with students, and family members, about the changes in social behavior from the 1900’s to the 2000’s. 

• Why was it scandalous for Esther to want John Truett to kiss her upon their first meeting?


• Why does John refer to Esther and Rose as “Miss” upon their first meeting?


• Why is Esther upset at the thought of not going to the Christmas dance?


• Can she go alone? Why or Why not?


• What universal themes are seen in this film from generation to generation?


These questions and others like them, can keep the conversation going straight into our next film as we explore second chances at love with Jim Hardy, Ted Hanover and Linda Mason.


Holiday Inn is a great example of the classic movie musical formula, of the boy, the girl, and the sidekick who comes between the boy and the girl and necessitates the second chance at love.


Here, Jim Hardy loves his dancing partner Lila. He wants to marry Lila, take her away from the grind of “eight shows a week”, move to a Connecticut farm house, and live a “lazy” life together. Enter Ted Hanover, another dancing partner, who also loves Lila. Together, Ted and Lila discover they want to spend their lives “making people happy with their feet!”


Narrowly missing what could have been a disastrous relationship, Jim retires to his farm. Discovering farming is no lazy life, he returns to his performing roots, taking up on the task of turning the farm into an Inn. “What an Inn~~ Holiday Inn ~ open Holidays Only!”  


As Jim seeks talent for Holiday Inn shows, enter Linda Mason, a beautiful blonde who sings and dances. 


As a relationship blossoms between Jim and Linda, Ted arrives at the Inn seeking refuge after a break-up with Lila. 

As Ted seeks a second chance at love with Linda, Jim schemes to hold on to her, and Linda is the tip of a nasty triangle.


What a great opportunity to discuss relationships and friendships, with all your clientele. Consider discussing:

• Can friendship survive when you both like the same girl?


• What happens when you try to undermine someone’s relationship?

• What happens when you practice deception in a relationship?


As the story continues, Jim finds himself alone on Thanksgiving, lamenting his breakup with Linda because of his deceptions.


In an effort to get her back from the “slicker who stole (his) gal”, Jim arrives in New York and serenades his way back into her heart.


These scenes are great opportunities for discussions about the second chance at love.

• When you’re wrong what is the best way to express it?


• What is the best way to open the lines of communication and keep them open?


• Does it help to have a song in your heart a twinkle in your eye, and a hand to hold?


As you and your clients, students, and family members answer these questions, don’t forget to consider thought provoking question:


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


We want to spend time engaging in an activity that is fun, light hearted, easy to do. We want to share memories with family and friends. We want the chance to learn from our mistakes.  We want to sing the song, hold the hand, and brighten the day of those we love.


The Classic Movie Musical gives us the opportunity to do all that while having fun along the way.


I hope you have a Happy Halloween and a wonderful Thanksgiving with “plenty to be thankful for.”









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