In Which Our Heroine Still Loves Hepburn

15 February 2004

Here's the thing about knowledge and experience: they're one o' them there vicious circles. If you know more about stuff, you know what's out there to try, and if you try doing stuff, you want to know more about what makes it nifty and how it started and all that. Books are the worst for this. They make me want to read other books, but they also make me want to travel and see plays and listen to various pieces of music and all sorts of other, horrible, time-consuming things that interfere with sitting on my butt staring at the walls.

Just vile and dreadful, is what.

Because I'd otherwise be such a champion butt-sitter.

We watched "The Philadelphia Story" yesterday afternoon, and I loved it. Loved loved loved it. Even though I think they got the couples wrong way round at the end. You should see it if you haven't. It's lovely and funny, and it does things that very few romantic comedies do. Specifically, it did not base the entire plot on trivial misunderstandings. Things people misunderstood were deep and genuine misunderstandings of themselves and other people, not lies or fluffiness. ("Oh, I thought he was your fiancÚ! If he's your brother, let's get married!" No. This is not that kind of movie.) And characters grew. They did. They understood themselves and the world better at the end; they tried to understand themselves and the world better.

What we tried to figure out, after it was all over, was whether Katharine Hepburn was the only reason for that in the first place. This movie, and the play before it, was written just for her; the "hearthfires and holocausts," I think, could not have been faked. The ferocious intelligence, the incredible high standards...those are hard things for people to imitate. Meg Ryan could not have played Hepburn's role. Drew Barrymore couldn't. None of the "romantic comedy" heroines of my lifetime could, I don't think. (Nominations for an exception to this are quite welcome.)

What we were wondering, then, is whether good actresses weren't insisting on taking funny roles, or whether funny roles weren't being written for them. Hmm. I'm not sure I've conveyed it properly there. What I want to know is a chicken-and-egg sort of thing.

Ah well. We were feeling kind of nasty all around, so we watched "Kiki's Delivery Service" in the evening. It was a good choice, I think: a fun movie, and not one I would grump at for not featuring someone like Katharine Hepburn.

Last night was no better, for me, at least. I think I remember waking Mark up whimpering. It's just not good. It'll pass soon. But it's not good at all.

Despite feeling really nasty, I've been working pretty well on the book and on some short story stuff. So that's a good thing. There are lots of good things around here, really. It's been a nice, peaceful weekend. And we get another week before Mark has to make another trip back to California.

I'm still tired from last night. If you want to read more, Wendy and Cait have said more about lies and mistakes in their schooling. That's what I've got. The rest will go into fiction, I think, maybe into an e-mail or two. I may finally get my pictures posted from Winter Carnival and Kari's shower and all that. I may not. We'll just have to see tomorrow, I guess.

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