Posted on: 1st October 2012 20:43:49



Welcome to the October 2012 Edition--- Meet Me in St. Louis





Movies and Music begins the holiday season with Meet Me in St. Louis.


This film showcases the essence of the holidays -- from making mischief/begging for candy on Halloween to singing carols and exchanging gifts at Christmas, to holding your family close at all times.


In the September Blog I mentioned Fiddler on the Roof is one of the finest examples of family in musical film.


The feeling is not lost on Meet Me in St. Louis.  In this film we find great sisterly bonds together with great values.


When discussing this film in individual or group session I find great insights into the sisters’ support of each other as one (Garland) is experiencing her first crush on The Boy Next Door” and another (O’Brien), deals with the emotions of having to leave St. Louis for New York.


Of course, as in many of the films, when we discuss “crushes”, it leads to great reminiscence from the ladies about flirting dating, and proper  socially acceptable behavior between the sexes.  I am particularly impressed as are the ladies in my group, by John Truitt’s respect for the sisters as he addresses each one as “Miss”.


On the other hand, when Esther suggests she is going to let John Truitt kiss (her), her sister is scandalized! “Nice girls don’t let boys kiss them until they’re engaged!” Does that mean Esther isn’t a good girl?  Some interesting comments come out here.


The differences that exist between socially acceptable behaviors in your mother/ grandmother’s day vs. today are also a great discussion topic.  “ What do we think of girls who ask boys to kiss them?”  “What do we think of men who compare us to their grandmother?”   When we find the one we want and he wants to marry, should we or shouldn’t we?  Should we marry and separate from our family to prevent a long distance relationship?


The specter of the long distance relationship for Esther and John rears its head when Mr. Smith is offered a job in New York. His family is now faced with the emotions of separation from the home they love just before the World’s Fair.


The question, “Can you be happy anywhere as long as you’re together (with your family)?” is a powerful one. The stories from my group, often center around the first time the ladies moved away from the families to start new ones with their husbands. 


As I look at this film with my clients/ groups I am reminded why I enjoy it! It deals with some serious themes with great sweetness, allowing the characters to sing about them.   When the characters sing my group sings! (Think automatic speech goals here).  Who doesn’t know Meet Me in St Louis, The Trolley Song and The Boy Next Door?   Who doesn’t have great memories of their first crush? Everyone recalls a holiday memory from Halloween to Christmas!


Is there a better place to explore the joy, sadness and change in family life than through the holidays with Judy Garland and the Smith family in Meet Me in St. Louis?


Share your thoughts with me!


Happy Halloween!


See you in November for Thanksgiving with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire at Holiday Inn!









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