Friday, 12 April 2013

Family Film Night

Unfortunately we didn't have Family Film Night this week due to work commitments, so I thought I would share one that we watched a few weeks back, a film chosen by myself.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

This is another classic film, set in and filmed during the 1960s, focusing on the (then) controversial subject of interracial marriage. Interestingly, six months before the film was released, interracial marriage was illegal in 17 US states.  

I am a fan of Sidney Poitier and watched this film first during my own Sidney Poitier film marathon. To briefly surmise, the film tells of a young white woman, Joanna (Houghton), who has a whirlwind romance with Dr. John Prentice (Poitier) whom she meets while on holiday. The two plan to marry and fly to San Francisco to break the news to her parents (Tracy and Hepburn). She struggles to comprehend how her liberal parents, who brought her up to respect and value other races as equals, will not accept John as her husband. The story follows Joanna's parents as they come to terms with their daughter's choice of husband and deal with the effects of an impending interracial marriage.

The reason I really enjoyed this film was because of the depiction of the characters. Joanna's parents, who are shocked at the pairing, are not evil, racist characters. They are believable parents who recognise the difficulties their daughter and her fiance will face. Considering this film was released in 1967, during the height of the civil rights, the topic focused on highlights the problems faced by many during this era. The plot is comedic in parts but also thought provoking and at times teary. The characters are portrayed with feeling and emotion, ensuring that the parts are believable and sympathetic. All in all, a fantastic film and well worth the watch!

Here is a quote from the film that I absolutely adore. It is when John is talking to his father, who also disagrees with the union.
"Let me tell you something. I owe you nothing! If you carried that bag a million miles, you did what you're supposed to do! Because you brought me into this world. And from that day you owed me everything you could ever do for me like I will owe my son if I ever have another."

I have been using this quote ever since with my parents! ;)

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