Movie Monday: An Affair to Remember 1957
An Affair to Remember is considered one of the greatest romance movies of all time. Even modern movie-goers who have never seen it still find themselves somewhat familiar with the movie, because modern movie-makers can’t help but pay homage to the old romance by showing the movie playing in the background, or even by having characters refer to it in their conversations. (Sleepless in Seattle, anyone? Although I suppose that movie’s hardly modern any more. Sigh.)
The movie, so beautiful to watch, has such subtleties in the acting that before you realize what’s happened, you’re completely invested in the character’s lives as though they might be your own. Nickie Ferrante (played by Cary Grant) is an infamous playboy, though recently engaged to a rich American woman, who finds himself completely intrigued by Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) while cruising his way back to the sates on an ocean-liner filled with busy-bodies and gossipers. Terry surprisingly shows no interest in Nickie, probably encouraging his affections even more than if she had. But of course, though she has been in a long-term relationship with a rich and affectionate man of her own, she begins to fall hard for Nickie, as he does for her.
The two of them decide to try to make it on their own, without being “kept” by their wealthy partners who can only give them mere illusions of love. If after six months, Terry and Nickie still want to be together and have been successful at supporting themselves, they decided they would meet at the top of the Empire State Building to being their new lives together.
Without telling you what happens, I must say, I might liken this plot-line to a modern-day Jane Austen type of romance. Forbidden love between two poor people who are betrothed to others to improve their social situation. They go six months without even talking to each other, and there are so many things that should be said. The scene where they do see each other again is so filled with tears (in my own eyes more than their own), that I couldn’t help but think of Elinor and Edward at the end of Sense and Sensibility. Such an amazing emotional scene!
So if you like 1950s Americana, if you adore romance, and if you don’t mind a lump or two in your throat (and maybe even tears!), An Affair to Remember is for you. Its smart sensibilities are universally adored, and guess what ladies, I think you could even convince your man to enjoy this one on a date night. (Pssst! I even caught a glisten in Phil’s eye at the end!)