The Invisible Dog and “The Book”

It’s Movie Night and we’re headin’ south.

Janie and I used to go Hilton Head on vacation with some regularity. We didn’t have any money, but Janie’s great friends had a condo there and were kind enough to share it with us occasionally.

Hilton Head was great but we don’t play golf or tennis and the charm of driving 600 miles to stroll through outlet shops plumb evades me, so we would fill our days with day trips to surrounding areas. Beaufort found us hanging over the gate of The Big Chill house. We had Hunting Beach and its lighthouse totally to ourselves. Fripp Island was a new experience for us; a gated island…so much for southern hospitality.

And then there was Savannah. Our first visit to Savannah was one of these vacations from our vacation. We slipped over there one day and wandered around the squares and shops. We even took a horse-drawn carriage tour. We’re suckers for ‘em and tolerant of tour guide mendacity. We understand the guide’s not lyin’, he’s just tellin’ us a story and hopin’ for a tip. I do recall though, a memorable afternoon in Charleston on a horse-drawn carriage ghost tour when Janie corrected the newly-hired guide at every stop. He was mortified which, if you ponder it, might improve his effectiveness as a ghost tour guide.

What can I say? I’m married to a paranormal fact-checker.

On that first visit to Savannah, everyone all day kept referring to “the book”. We didn’t know what they were talking about. Finally, as is miraculous when traveling with me, a bookstore found us and there it was in the window, recently but firmly established on the New York Times Best-Seller’s List; MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL. We bought it. I read it the next day; Janie the day after. We were completely charmed and our southern accents broadened at least 20%.

Then the movie came out and I was charmed all over again.

I’m not qualified to comment in depth on Clint Eastwood’s directorial abilities but I love this film.

I love the music. I loll in the the accents and cadences. The lushness and warmth pulls you through the story. AND I love Kevin Spacey’s performance. His stroll through the park with John Cusack at the beginning of the film and his pressing through the crowd at his party, simultaneously communicating with his voice, his eyes, and his hands with three different people… It was masterful.

How can you not love a film that features;

  • No hint of winter.
  • An invisible dog.
  • A line like; “Savin’ face in the most difficult circumstances, it’s the southern way.”
  • Houseflies on strings.
  • A line like “Billy was known to be a good time, but he was not yet a good time had by all-l-l.”
  • The Lady Chablis, aka Frank.
  • The songs of Johnny Mercer, especially “Fools Rush In”. “Oh, I see the danger there. If there’s a chance for me then I don’t care.” Can I get an Amen?

I love this film and I love Savannah.

Remind me one day to relate how Janie and I were in Savannah for the end of the world.

It’s true!

Oh, the world survived its predicted demise (in case you hadn’t noticed during the last presidential administration), but if it hadn’t, we were goin’ out with sweet sherry on our bedstead and chocolate on our pillows.

“Savin’ face in the most difficult circumstances…”

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