Friday, June 12, 2009

Revolutionary Road


I watched this movie again yesterday for a second time, and wow, what a fantastic film. It touches on the discussion of whether or not people were really happy with the “conformist” kind of lifestyle encouraged in the mid-50’s. Where all the men wore suits and hats and went off to work while the women all stayed home and were Mom’s and housewives.

My own Mom said she didn’t like the little “coffee klatches” the neighbor women would have, because the women were really quite mean-spirited. And because she didn’t participate, the women literally turned their backs on her and gossiped even worse about her.

Right after she got married in ’47 the other women in the office (she continued to work after the War because my Dad needed her to) all were having children and as badly as Mom wanted kids, we didn’t come along until 12+ years later. But because she didn’t have kids to talk about the other women tended to shun her.

Mom was a wonderful, friendly intelligent person, and she admits discussions about curtain colors and baby crib designs did tend to bore her a bit, but she tried to “fit in.”

There is a notion that past eras were somehow “all wonderful.” You know, a gentler time when life was simpler and people seemed happier.

It’s all relative.

I once read a Los Angeles newspaper article printed in the late 40’s-early 50’s about how “much better” life was a generation prior to that. A woman in perhaps her 60’s waxed nostalgic about the early days in L.A. when you could cross the street without worrying about getting hit by a car, how many open lots there were to play in as kids, things like that. I have the article somewhere and when I find it, I will post it.

It’ll open your eyes to, to the notion of “simpler times” all being relative.

Meanwhile, the mid-century set design for Revolutionary Road was fantastic. I watch a lot of movies for that very reason.