Not all movies age well. Something that may have been terribly important as a child may not seem quite as interesting as an adult. Beware watching nostalgic movies.
Unaware of this precaution, my husband and I decided to show the kids, “My Fair Lady” this weekend.
My parents loved “My Fair Lady”, this was the play and movie popular during their courtship and early marriage. Whenever it came on television (remember the days when you could only see old movies when they randomly appeared on network tv?), this movie was on. I memorized each and every song, knew word for word the “what’s to become of me?” monologue. Yes, I knew that the end seemed to drag a bit, but what about that Ascot Races scene with the designer hats and the elegance of the Embassy Ball?
Alas, watching this movie as an adult was not as much fun. The pacing was off, it seemed to drag. The choreography was rather dull- perhaps I am too used to the shaking booties of hip-hop videos. I had never realized that by the time you get to the intermission, all the big action scenes are over. The last half of the play is Eliza and Henry Higgens fighting. My kids were fidgeting during the “Get Me to the Church on Time”, and we had to force my daughter to stay seated during “Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like A Man?”. Too bad there wasn’t an Eliza Doolittle version of “Why Can’t Men Treat Women like Human Beings instead of Property- giving us the right to vote would be a good start”. There were also scenes that made no sense- like the Brighton Beach ring that Eliza seems to cherish. Was there some explanation in the stage version, was it edited out for the movie, would it help to rent “Pygmalion”?
Take heed, beware of watching your favorite childhood movies. You may be sacrificing youthful innocence on the altar of adult discernment.