February 3, 2011

Accepting the room with a view




Room with a View (Merchant Ivory, 1985) is one of my all time favourite films for it brims with humour as Miss Lucy Honeychurch, a young woman in 1908 who is full of passion yet holds it reserved embarks on a journey to Florence and discovers love. Upon seeing Lucy play the piano in the pensione lobby, Mr Beebe announces "If Miss Honeychurch ever takes to live as she plays... it will be very exciting for both us and for her." Lucy "Mother doesn't like me playing Beethoven. She says I'm peevish afterwards." Mr Beebe "Naturally, one would be stirred up."


The movie begins with a desire, a proposal and an awkward acceptance. Lucy's chaperone Charlotte declares that their room is not
what they had expected "We were to see the Arno, south rooms with a view. Instead of which we have north rooms without a view" The accommodating Mr Emerson and his handsome son George kindly offer their room which has a view only to completely embarrass Charlotte and cause a fuss. Mr Emerson "Women like looking at a view. Men don't. It's obvious they should have the rooms. These niceties go against common sense! Every kind of sense. I don't care what I see outside. My vision is within. Here is where the birds sing and where the sky is blue." Charlotte "What an impossible person!" And so after much carfuffle, the view is accepted and the room is theirs.

Kind gestures, offers to help, and complements can make us squirm and in our stubbornness they can be difficult to accept. The next time I am so kindly offered a room with a view I will graciously accept it with no carfuffle at all!

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