Every once in awhile, I come across some book or movie, something that speaks to me in a profound way, and I just have to share it.
The Man and I love to watch old movies. Turner Classic Movies is our fall back, and we check to see what’s on every night of the week. The Man often falls asleep to it, and sometimes wakes up to it. Last night, as so often happens, he fell asleep, and I realized I was awake and started watching “Middle of the Night” from 1959 with Fredric March and Kim Novak.
You’ve probably never heard of it, but the script was by the same person who wrote “Marty,” which you probably have heard of if you know anything about old movies. I’ve seen “Marty” and liked it – gritty and realistic about what it’s like to be lonely with little chance of finding love. “Middle of the Night” is even better, and it’s unfortunate that it isn’t as well known.
Why am I writing about this old movie no one’s ever heard of? Because it still has relevance, and I empathized with its characters, as some of you might, as well.
Fredric March plays a 50-something business man, which was considered teetering on old age back then, while Kim Novak plays his 24 year-old secretary with whom he falls in love. I won’t give the whole plot away, but suffice it to say that even in 1959, their families didn’t take too kindly to the age disparity in their relationships. And in their own way, their friends and family began to tear away at what they had with their well-intentioned interference. Saying how much they cared for them, not wanting them to make a mistake they would regret, cautioning them against being impetuous, they needled and cajoled and turned something positive into something negative until the couple was bickering and on the verge of breaking up.
Luckily, my own friends and family were largely supportive of The Man and I. But there were some who were (and are) not. And it hurts to have people who love you not be happy for you, out of misplaced “concern” for you. And ultimately, they either accept your relationship, or you have to move on, and if not sever your relationship with them, at least keep them at a distance. Because that kind of negativity will tear anyone down, and no one needs that.
In any case, this is an old movie that still resonates today, and I highly recommend it. It’s amazing how little people change.