Friday, November 19, 2010

Dramatic Devices, Big and Small.

Recently I watched a really lovely film called Last Holiday (1950, directed by Henry Cass). The story concerns a boring young salesman with no real friends or romances to speak of. He finds out he's going to die soon, so he gets all the money he can and goes for a holiday to a posh resort. A junk dealer sees him shopping for suitcases, realizes he's the size to fit some expensive clothes he acquired, and so now the salesman has a posh new look.

At the resort, he's a new man, since he's determined to enjoy life. Everyone loves him and finds him mysterious. Because of his clothes and where he is, they assume he's wealthy. He gets betting tips and offers for jobs and political appointments. People ask his advice, and he's not shy, and they find this refreshing.

It's all very ironic, since he could never do this during his normal life. Eventually he finds out he's not really dying--and I won't spoil the ending for you.

It's all very charming, but it also made me realize something.