Monday, December 23, 2013

"White Christmas" Ramble

Betty and Bob from White Christmas are my favorite movie couple. They're not exactly a sexy, erotically
charged couple, but they are great, so I don't care that this post doesn't match the blog. It is still about character, after all.

I'm Betty. I've always been Betty, ever since I was a kid. Older sister. Responsible, honest, safe sister. She doesn't party. Misbehaving is beyond her experience. And in this movie for once, just this once, the responsible, safe sister gets the guy without having to change.

She doesn't need a makeover. (In fact Bob rejects the idea of so much as changing her hair color at the beginning of the film.) She doesn't have to "find herself" or "learn how to live."  Betty is quiet, strong, ethical, independent. Bob loves her for it and she doesn't have to change at all for him to love her.  And the movie revolves around Betty and Bob, the safe characters. The wild characters of Judy and Phil are the secondary story-line, focusing all of their attention on the two main characters (albeit for selfish reasons).

"But where is the character development?" you ask. Screw it.  Let Judy develop into someone who isn't a manipulative liar or let the General develop into a man who knows how to accept help. Betty is perfect and lovely and she's even the fat sister! I know Rosemary Clooney  isn't remotely fat, but compared to Vera-Ellen (who suffered from anorexia)....she made me feel good as a size twelve D-cup teenager when my little sister wore a double-zero.

Betty is awesome because she is a proper role model, who proves you can get the guy by being yourself, even if "yourself" might not feel particularly exciting. I think it's important to have characters like her in the center of a story sometimes. Because quiet, sensible people deserve to have stories and romances written about them that accept and celebrate their sensibility. (Yes, Betty did run away instead of confronting Bob, but I blame that on the writers, not the character.)

My mom and I watched White Christmas together every year when I was a kid and teenager. We don't get to spend a lot of time together any more, but I still watch it every year. It's not the most exciting love story, or the most passionate, but it's me.

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