Saturday, February 16, 2008

LOVE-FEST MOVIE SPOTLIGHT, DAY #4: "Anne of Avonlea"

(OK, so I should have posted "Day 4" yesterday, but it was a bit busy with Halle's play and all.)
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I'd be surprised if you had not at least heard of my next love-fest movie choice, whether about the movie itself or the classic books by L.M. Montgomery. As far as the movies go, my pick is #2 in the series, which is a set of three (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story).
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"Anne of Avonlea"

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This takes place after Anne has "graduated" and becomes a schoolteacher, who also writes stories only to collect rejection slips. She so desperately wants to be a writer, but her imagination causes her to over-romanticize her characters.

She makes the acquaintance of a handsome, rich, bachelor (Morgan Harris), chases a cow, and wins (to her chagrin) a baking soda company's writing contest. She acts as Diana's maid of honor, and refuses Gilbert Blythe's marriage proposal; which sends her to teach Kingsport Ladies' College, an exclusive girls school, where she meets opposition from one of the teachers, Miss Brooke, and the Pringle clan (one of whom is the rich, handsome bachelor). But while Anne enjoys the battle, and the friends she makes, she discovers that she left her heart somewhere else and returns to Avonlea, only to find her true love, Gilbert Blythe dying of Scarlet Fever.

The scenery is breathtaking...someday (one of many "somedays" I frequently talk about) I want to travel to Prince Edward Island for myself. I'd love to go with my mom (come on, Mom...let's start saving up those Frequent Flyer miles and just do it! Let's stop talking about it and plan our trip!). Accompanying the beautiful backdrop in the film is the soundtrack/score. I wish I could put it on my blog so you could hear it.

I remember as a teenager enjoying the occasional "Anne Saturday" with my mom, where we'd do nothing but sit back and watch both (the 3rd installment wasn't out yet) 3-hour videos of the Anne movies.

I've seen other television and movie versions of Montgomery's books and I just don't think any of them hold a candle to Megan Follows' "Anne". She was perfectly cast and brought the character to life in a way that I think Lucy Maud Montgomery had in mind when she published her stories in 1908. And anyone who has also seen it will not disagree that Jonathan Crombie was the ideal Gilbert. Focused, reliable, unselfish and down-to-earth, yet incredibly handsome and alluring. (If you'd like a moment to drool, scroll down to see his picture.) Who doesn't love the angsty gazebo scene??? Just say it: You love each other!


The journeys that Gilbert and Anne take individually before they finally find their way back to one another is magical and romantic. It's also got a lot of humor thrown in. Seriously, if you haven't seen these movies, make it a top priority! Set aside an afternoon/evening to watch them--you can find them at movie rental stores and most libraries. You'll be so glad you did! And they are appropriate for anyone in the family. Younger children most likely wouldn't be able to follow the story line, but it's just nice to know that even if they are in the room, they will not be exposed to anything even close to crossing the line.

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It's jam-packed with memorable quotes, but since we are centered around the romance of the movie, here are the ones that give me the most butterflies:

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Anne Shirley: You just think that you love me.
Gilbert Blythe: Anne, I've loved you as long as I can remember. I need you.
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Gilbert Blythe: What are you thinking?
Anne Shirley: I'm afraid to speak or move for fear that all this wonderful beauty will just vanish... like a broken silence.
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Anne Shirley: There's a book of revelations in everyone's life.
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Anne Shirley: It's not what the world holds for you. It's what you bring to it.
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Gilbert Blythe: (said as he lay dying) Anne, There's not going to be any wedding anymore... I called it off. It wouldn't be fair to Christine. There would never be anyone for me but you.
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Anne Shirley: I promise I'll always be here if you need me. Good friend are always together in spirit. Let's not change Gil, let's just go on being good friends.
Gilbert Blythe: Friends, huh? I thought we were kindred spirits.
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Anne Shirley: Fred is... extremely good.
Marilla Cuthbert: That is exactly what he should be! Would you want to marry a wicked man?
Anne Shirley: Well, I wouldn't marry anyone who was really wicked, but I think I'd like it if he could be wicked and wouldn't. Ha Ha! I love that!
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Anne Shirley: Our friendship, it won't ever be the same now. Why can't he just be sensible instead of acting like a sentimental schoolboy?
Marilla Cuthbert: Because he loves you.
Anne Shirley: He loves me? I can't know why.
Marilla Cuthbert: Because you made Josie Pye and Ruby Gillis and all of those wishy-washy young ladies who waltzed by him look like spineless nothings.
Anne Shirley: Marilla, he's hardly my idea of a romantic suitor.
Marilla Cuthbert: Anne, you have tricked something out of that imagination of yours that you call romance. Have you forgotten how he gave up the Avonlea school for you so that you could stay here with me? He picked you up everyday in his carriage so that you could study your courses together. Don't toss it away for some ridiculous ideal that doesn't exist.
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And of course, the best line of the movie, as Anne accepts Gilbert's humble proposal:

I don't want diamond sunbursts, or marble halls. I just want you.

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What are your favorite parts of the ANNE movies?








2 comments:

Melissa said...

I just finished reading the books for the first time... you got me pumped up to see the movies now!

Jen&Luke said...

I love all of the Anne movies!! I have fond memories of having Anne movie marathons with my mom and sister!

"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."



Thomas Jefferson