22 Sep When I was in Love With Capt Von Trapp
Last night we introduced Bella to ‘The Sound of Music’. Which meant I had to sit there and watch it too, of course. Leaping to my feet often, to burst into song, so I could show these children how I know ALL THE WORDS to ALL THE SONGS.
So what if I don’t sound like Julie Andrews, so what’s your point?! I know all the words and even lots of the super cool moves and that’s what matters. Dammit.
I hadn’t seen it for a long time, maybe not since I introduced Maria and the Von Trapps to Big Son and Big Daughter when they were little. It all came rushing back to me though, especially my girlhood crush on the formidably handsome Capt Von Trapp. Yes, I swooned over Christopher Plummer back then. So suave, so controlled, so severe yet bitingly sarcastic and funny without meaning to be? And hiding a tortured, lonely heartbroken soul…*sigh*. The scene where he sings Edelweiss is enough to make even the most hardened cynic melt into a puddle of romantic tenderness. My ten year old Samoan girl self daydreamed of that special moment sometime in my future when a tall, dark and handsome (grouchy) admirer wearing epaulettes, would play the guitar and sing to me of the Austrian national flower. (which would be an obvious metaphor for his love and adoration for my brown girl adorableness. Of course.)
Hey, maybe that’s why Daniel Tahi plays the guitar?! #revelations
Maria and Georg’s love story was my first introduction to that age-old trope of the mean male love interest who was mean because of some horrible scarring event in his past, and the transformative power of the love of a ‘good’ woman. Can’t get much more ‘good’ than a singing nun after all. But yes, The Sound of Music was the epic romance of my childhood and Georg my first romantic anti-hero.
However, watching it as a forty year old is a little different from being entranced as a kid. This time the Baroness wasn’t the horrible manipulator that she was thirty years ago. This time the feminist is me cringed when Georg was an absolute jerkface to the Baroness – a woman who had patiently wined and dined him, endured his prickly (rude) manner, gotten to know his seven children (instead of running a mile in the opposite direction) and was going to marry him (even though she was filthy rich and didn’t “need” a husband to provide for her in that almost medieval time of patriarchy.) And after months, possibly years of dating, he breaks off their engagement and five minutes later he’s with Maria in the gazebo, telling her how much he loves her. Really Georg?! Really? How fickle you are with your severe charms! Say no Maria! Run for the Alps Maria!
Okay, but then I was like, yeah, run away Maria so Georg can ask ME to dance the Austrian folk-jig with him in the courtyard …
So maybe I’m not so enlightened after all. Or maybe that’s the sign of a truly great movie? It can still
con sweep people away, forty-five years after it’s original release. Even after I googled Von Trapp and discovered that Plummer didn’t even sing Edelweiss in the movie…it was dubbed.
How did the children find the movie? Bella was rapt. (As were all the other children.) But unlike her corny romance-addled mother, Bella wasn’t captivated by epaulettes, guitars and sternly gorgeous naval captains. No, she and her sisters, had lots of questions about WHY the Von Trapps had to run away, why were the soldiers after them, what was happening in Austria? Which led to discussions about the Nazis and Hitler and the Second World War. How are you people even my daughters?! hello, what about the REAL issues, what about Christopher Plummer?!
What movies defined your childhood?