I’m always surprised (although it’s obvious that I shouldn’t be) that the storylines I’m most attracted to are those with writers as the protagonist. Whether it’s a book, television show or movie… if there’s a writer involved, it holds a certain magic that I can’t find anywhere else.
John-Boy Walton was my first love. The episode “The Achievement” is still an all-time favorite. Richard Thomas, the actor, later portrayed another writer in one of my guilty pleasure films, Stephen King’s IT.
Jo March of Little Women lives my life. An awkward tomboy, dreaming of something beyond her home, she left… only to return to the family she loves and write about them.
Julie Powell wrote about Julia Child who wrote a cookbook. And not just any cookbook. Mastering the Art of French Cooking is still on my Wishlist. For those of you new to Frankly, My Dear… the movie Julie & Julia inspired me to start blogging.
Eat, Pray, Love is another wonderful story about a writer trying to find herself.
But it’s Under the Tuscan Sun that grabbed my attention this weekend.
Although I’ve had the DVD for several years, it’s been quite a while since I last watched it. For Mother’s Day, I did just that. Dot treated me to a Starbuck’s Apple Pie Frappuccino [Note to Self: Get more of this. Often. It’s the coffee-law!] and I settled into my Writer’s Corner (chair. It’s a chair.) and was instantly romanticized by the story of Katherine. Oh, you thought the movie was about Frances, the writer? It is. But my story is about Frances and Katherine, her new Italian friend.
During her season of finding herself, Frances confides in Katherine. Katherine takes her under her wing and encourages Frances to lose her fear of, well, everything. Katherine enthralled me, and the characters around her, with her zest for life. She drew Frances out of her shell. She commanded attention wherever she went. And she almost always wore hats. The big brimmed, feminine kind of hats that Audrey Hepburn would have adorned. If Katherine were real and you were lost in a crowd, you’d need only to look above the heads for her hat, and you’d be lost no more.
I don’t want to ruin the movie for you if you’ve not yet seen it. So I’ll skip any spoilers. But I must mention the dress. The white dress. It’s not a wedding dress. It’s simple yet elegant. Cinched with a simple yet elegant black belt. And Frances, after consulting with Katherine, wears it confidently.
I saw that dress. I saw a writer, who on a whim moved to Italy, and bought a white dress. I saw confidence and adventure and romance and life and courage…
I want that dress!
Not because I want the characteristics it portrays. But because I am finding myself already full of those characteristics and I can think of no better way to show it than to wear such a dress.
A year ago I wouldn’t have thought to wear a dress. Unemployed and feeling less than accomplished, a leg riddled with eczema patches… a dress most certainly wasn’t in the cards.
Oh, but it’s so much more than just about wearing a dress. It’s about grasping life with both hands and yet letting go. It’s eating the ice cream cones in the hot sun. Drinking wine in the backyard. It’s celebrating the failures and acknowledging the successes that come with every day of just waking up and being alive.
That dress is about being alive.
I. Want. That. Dress.
It is definitely worth saving my pennies for. If I have any extras, I’ll just toss them into the Fountain when I finally get to Italy.
And believe me. I’m getting there.
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!
You may also enjoy reading:
Mojo Movie Review of the Week: “Eat, Pray, Love”
Mojo Movie Review of the Week: “Julie & Julia”
Building a Better Me: Making (Better) Memories
Where are you, Paul Varjak?
Mojo Movie Review of the Week: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
When I Get To New York
If I Could, I Would…
My Personal History of Coffee (and a Keurig Review)