Driving Miss Daisy  

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Driving Miss Daisy
1989, on VHS, from the library

You should know
Yeah, that’s right. There’s a whole slew of classic movies – a canon, really – that I have not seen, or had not until recently. I’m trying to correct that.

Some people have problems with this film. Yes, Hoke has an air of “Magical Black Man” about him that can make the viewer a bit uncomfortable if s/he is looking for it. But since the plot of the movie is about race relations and employee-employer friendships, all tied up with an idealistic bow, that really comes as no surprise.

Daisy Werthan is a wealthy Southern Jewish woman with what’s made clear early on is far too much pride for her own good. No longer able to drive, she has no choice but to accept the services of the driver her son, Boolie, hired for her.

Hoke, the driver, is as meek and polite as he’s expected to be given the place and time, but as he gets to know the Werthans better, he rapidly picks up on exactly how much BS he can – and should – put up with. This being the movies, Daisy finds herself respecting and even liking him, in spite of herself.

Their partnership evolves as they age and the times change, and in the end, there is a tenderness between them in their advanced old age. It’s a sweet, if slightly cheesy, film.

Question to those who’ve seen it: do you think, in retrospect, it deserved to beat Born on the Fourth of July, Dead Poets Society, Field of Dreams, or My Left Foot?

See it if...
You're like me and are trying to catch up on pop-culture canon... or if you just like a nice, simple story. But avoid it if you have a tendency toward finding things offensive when no offense was meant -- again, the movie is about race relations, so if you're looking to be offended, you will definitely be able to find something offensive here.

The rest of the Internet
The original play.
The IMDb page and wikipedia article.
Decent reviews at Rotten Tomatoes.
Roger Ebert weighs in.

Awesome link of the week
The Simple Dollar is a personal finance blog I've come to particularly like. The author, Trent, pulled himself out of financial ruin and takes the time each day to share his experiences, from how to have fun while pinching pennies to what personal finance books he finds most useful. He's an entertaining writer, and is always willing to reference fellow bloggers and take on challengers. I personally have bookmarked posts on Maximizing EBay sales, building a net worth spreadsheet, making homemade laundry detergent, free, fun weekend activities and other frugal weekend projects, ways to make leftovers better, indoor gardening, and writing thank-you notes.

Completely unrelated note
I'm considering changing the template of this blog, but I've been having some trouble uploading any of the ones I've picked out. I'm open to help or suggestions (and I wouldn't turn down a template, either, but don't go to any trouble).

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