Friday, 22 July 2016

Frankie and Johnny

The movie came out in 1991. I saw it in the cinema.
What I didn’t realise until this week when Garry Marshall died, was that it was yet another of his amazing movies, may he rest in peace.
I just watched the trailer to remind myself, but it looks like a romantic comedy. Two people who work in a diner fall in love. He - Al Pacino - is the chef chasing the waitress - Michelle Pfeiffer. He says in the trailer that they should be married and that they definitely should have kids. They are fated to be together because of the Frankie and Johnny song. Nathan Lane is her BFF and he’s funny and adorable as always.
Garry Marshall made some of our favourite romances and this one sticks in my memory for another reason.
It was 1991. I was in my twenties.
There is a scene… spoilers for those who haven’t seen it… where Franky tells him she can’t have children because of something her abusive ex did to her.
But this scene… oh, my god this scene. It hit some woman in the audience in a way that she was not prepared for.
She … sobbed. Loud, heart rending sobs.
Her heart… oh, my god, her heart. I am a sympathy crier. And I’m crying now just remembering how distressed this woman was and it was a very long time ago.
And we all knew. It was her. She was seeing her story on that screen and she was not ready for it. It smacked her sideways.
Stories can do that. The best ones do. They resonate.
But I have always regretted that I was so paralysed; stuck in my seat when all I wanted to do was get up, find that woman and give her a hug because by God, she needed it.