I really love this old movie!
It starts from the arrival of an elder couples, Norman and Ethel. They are back to their old house to spend the summer after retirement. Norman is a hard-faced, humorless old man who talks about death all the time. His wife Ethel is pretty, loving, active and life-loving woman. They have different personalities, so sometimes disagreements and argument arise. But you can see they are a loving couple (Norman kissed Ethel’s neck and I think they still enjoying sex, lol).
They have very successful marriage but their relationship with their only daughter Chelsea is complicated. I guess Norman used to be very strict to Chelsea when she was young, a lot of teasing and criticism but few loving words or praise. I understand this as I have very tensed relationship with my dad when I was young. But the kid is longing for love and the dad love his kid from deep of his heart. Love can melt the iron hearts.
Billy, is left to the old couple for custody when Chelsea and Billy’s dad are away to get marry in Europe. He looks revolted, hate life and calling the old ones “Old turkey”. But magically, they are getting on quite well as time went by. He starts appreciate the charm of reading, he enjoy fishing with Norman and he learns how to drive a boat and do all the chores (cleaning fish, setting fire, mending door etc). From a boring and selfish city teenager who only entertains suck face and cruise girls, Billing was changed to a better one.
Observing the friendship between Norman and Billy, Chelsea first feels a pang of jealousy and injustice mixed with self pity. But I am happy to see them reconcile at the end. Maybe Chelsea realizes she can do better or as good as Billy? Maybe she was assured by her mother? or she just love her dad all the time and she don’t want to waste the remaining days in misunderstanding and hatred? When kids grown up, I think they usually have more compassion of their parents as they realize life is short and there are something really important that could not be missed.
A happy marriage is, two imperfect human being come together and appreciate each other’s goodness and never lose patience and humor when they are mad.
Norman obviously doesn’t have adorable personality, but his wife can see through his nastiness and love his true self. And Norman, knowing his wife knows better than himself, console his sadness and insecurity when getting old.
Many friends of mine felt curious why my husband and I have very happy marriage. That is because we know each other, not from who we appear to be, but from who we really are. We never have doubt of each other’s royalty and kindness. I really enjoy everyday with him and I think we can live to our old age like Norman and Ethel:)