05 September 2013

movie night; or how a coffee table turns into a drive-in

movie nights are awfully fun. Movie nights become even more fun when turned inside out, from the idea of going to a theater and spending a decent chunk of money for just a ticket let alone snacks into the idea of a night at home with as many snacks as one might want.

Sometimes, especially when it's a movie I've never seen before, I turn out all the lights and light a couple of candles, make sure the dog is sleeping, and focus entirely on my television. Other times, movies are something that's running in the background while I do something else. In the middle lie movies watched when a friend or two come over and we watch and chat and snack.

Typically, generally lighthearted and easy-to-follow movies fall under that latter category. I especially love classic movies from the era of big studios, beginning with the advent of talkies in the late 1920's through the early 1960's.

Don't get me wrong, fascinating French New Wave films are great, but if a person has to spend all her time paying attention to the movie, it's not a time to catch up and hang out with friends. Just last Christmas, my Book Club girlfriends and I brought in the holiday season with a British romantic comedy triple feature and sleepover. Currently, I'm planning a classic unknown holiday films repeat for this holiday season. {think Christmas in Connecticut, The Man Who Came to Dinner}

That still doesn't say anything about one of those nights where you and a couple others just need a fun-filled pick-me-up movie and snack night. That's alright, because that is exactly what happened last night. One of my oldest friends has yet to watch a widescreen version of the Warner Brothers classic musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

It's glorious Technicolor and sort of hokey, with seven burly and unshaven backwoodsman brothers on the hunt for wives. There's plenty of inappropriate sexism, and plenty of women who push their men right back. I've a soft spot for Howard Keel in just about anything, and all I need to make my night is grown people breaking out into fantastic song and dance. and the song and dance is fantastic, with director Stanley Donen best known for directing and co-choreographing movie musicals starring Gene Kelly.

As for snacks, I went a little nutty. With a general classic movie mood, I picked out all sorts of traditional movie theater candies and made some popcorn on the stove. Since we needed to pretend we were eating supper, I tossed some Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Strips {recipe soon!} in the oven and sliced some cucumber chips.

With just a few fun bowls and serving vessels, my coffee table went from magazine rack to drive-in food stand. It's easy peasy and tons of fun.

"Be well. Do good work. Keep in touch." - Garrison Keillor

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