My friend, Rita, and I are submerging ourselves in the “most wonderful time of the year.” Our Seven days of Christmas special kicked off tonight in the best possible way. A screening of It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen right in the heart of the West Village would have been treat enough. But there was more!
Donna Reed’s daughter Mary Owen was there to introduce the film that her mother starred in. The movie was made when Mary was a baby, and she says she never knew what the big deal about her mothers career was until a friend took her -at the age of 20-to go see the film.
She shared insights – like the fact that both Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra had just returned from war before embarking on making the film. And in doing so, she highlighted the tension of that time filtered a little into the production.
It’s almost the 65th anniversary yet the film is still as relevant as ever. It gets me every time – the poignant message that a man is nothing without his friends and that no matter how bad things have become there is always a way out through faith and friendship.
So this Christmas Rita and I will be ringing as many bells as we can so there are enough angels getting their wings to be around for the next year.
P.S. We finished off the evening on the excellent suggestion of a man called Forte who works at Cafe Wha who said we should go to the winter garden at La Lanterna and eat a slice of their pumpkin cheesecake while sipping on a glass of wine. A fabulous spot it turned out to be – and a great one, we decided, for a romantic rendevouz, especially with the live jazz playing in the even more intimate venue downstairs.