When I was growing up (wow, that clause makes me feel and sound 95!), HBO and other cable channels re-ran the same movies over and over again throughout the day. My parents made fun of me for watching the same movies and TV shows that I’d just seen. “You already know everything that’s going to happen!” they teased. And that was the point; I took comfort in knowing that I would reunite with familiar faces and enjoy with the same good feelings.
The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March reminded me of this phenomenon. Three women in their 20s and early 30s–sisters Isabel and June, and their cousin Kat–have been soldered together by grief. Their lives take them in different directions, but another family emergency brings them back together at the Three Captains Inn, where they were raised by Kat’s mother, Lolly. Lolly is a huge Meryl Streep fan and hosts movie nights where the women are able to reconnect and apply some of what they’re seeing in the movies to their current situations.
I opened the book, saw the list of Meryl Streep movies that the characters were going to watch, and had a palpable desire to watch a Meryl Streep movie. One night, a few chapters into The Meryl Streep Movie Club, I looked up Heartburn, starring an early 80s Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. I streamed the movie on my computer and laughed at lines written by the late Nora Ephron.
Movies can be an escape or an education, but they can also be a touchstone for another time in our lives. We change, and that causes what we see and feel about a good movie to change. For instance, I’d never watched Heartburn as a married woman, so the infidelity and family rupture that it caused were much more poignant. Plus, I couldn’t get Carly Simon’s synthesizer movie score out of my head for about a week afterward!
I asked author Mia March, via Twitter, if Meryl Streep had read the novel. She said that copies had been delivered to the actress’s “camp” but she had no confirmation that Streep had seen the book. That’s too bad. Not that the Oscar winner needs help getting people to watch her movies, but Mia’s book will definitely make you want to see many of them again.
If you pick up a copy of The Meryl Streep Movie Club, you’ll see that it’s set at a bed and breakfast in Maine and written by an author from the same state. So why is it on Southern Spines? We are fortunate to be a member of the She Reads Blog Network. Each month, She Reads selects a book for the network to read and write about. The selection for September is Mia March’s The Meryl Streep Movie Club. She Reads has already selected books by Southern Spines authors Claire Cooke and Kimberly Brock. We’re pleased to partner with them and it’s nice to step outside our geographic boundaries occasionally. Hope you won’t mind.
What is your favorite Meryl Streep movie? Or is there another movie you have watched a hundred times? Share it with us in the comments below.