Monday, June 30, 2008

Overcoming Time, Space, and Objections

So this weekend, I saw two movies. The first was Wall*E ... which I'm sure we'll get to later. It's the second movie I want to talk about ... because, while Wall*E was great ... it's the second movie that fascinates me ...

Last night, TCM showed (uncut and commercial-free, I might add) Jimmy Stewart's Harvey. It was the first time I've ever seen this classic 1950 movie ... and it was ... pleasant. Pleasant is a word we don't use much anymore ... but a word that fits. Because, as Elwood P. Dowd would say,

"In this world, you must be oh-so-smart or oh-so-pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. And you may quote me."
Wouldn't it be great to live like Elwood Dowd ... assuming the best of everyone ... even when given proof of the worst. In the first half of the film, you presume he's a simple-minded drunk who just happens to hallucinate a six foot rabbit instead of a pink elephant. But by the end, you understand that Harvey isn't a symptom of his personality ... Harvey is drawn to Elwood because of his personality.

I aspire to be Elwood Dowd ... kind and generous and ... yes ... pleasant. I don't necessarily want to see a giant pooka ... but if that's what it would take to live the peaceful, charmed life of Elwood Dowd ... well, then let me give you one of my cards.

Well, I've wrestled with reality
for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state
I finally won out over it.

Elwood P. Dowd - Harvey