Monday, August 22, 2011

Movies You Might Have Missed Monday

I’ll pretty much watch anything starring Jimmy Stewart. He’s one of my faves in the world of classic film.

That’s not saying that I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen (Did not particularly care for It’s a Wonderful World, a slapstick detective story with Claudette Colbert). But one I liked that may not be on the radar for most co-starred Rosalind Russell (whom I also loved in Auntie Mame and His Girl Friday). This one’s No Time for Comedy from 1940.

Russell plays Linda Paige, a Broadway actress starring in a play by new playwright Gay Esterbrook. A native of Minnesota, Mr. Esterbrook is due in town (NYC) any minute to rewrite some awkward scenes in the third act. While the director and producer have serious doubts about the play, Linda goes to bat for the green writer and it ends up a success. The same night the first reviews show up in the newspaper, Linda falls for Gay’s small town charm and Gay falls for Linda’s metropolis glamour. They get married.

Four years later, after four successful plays, the Esterbrooks are at a society party where Gay meets Mandy Swift, the bored wife of a rich investment broker. Her meddling meets with Gay’s serious case of writer’s block, and his marriage is threatened. Mandy’s made him think of everything he doesn’t have and hasn’t accomplished, and in his vulnerable state he falls for it. But he quickly finds out that what he’s gained leaves behind all the wonderful things he did have. It ends on an upswing, but that’s the only hint I’ll give you.

This movie reminds me of the Garden of Eden and how it shows up every day in our own lives. The snake tempted Eve by attacking her sense of contentment. He implied that she should be unhappy with what she had because of what he claimed she didn’t have. He presented the argument, and she chose to believe, that all the perfection of the Garden and her fellowship with God meant nothing without the knowledge of good and evil. Thus, she tasted the apple, and we know the rest of the story because we are living it.

In the movie, Mr. Esterbrook has got it good, better than he seemed to realize. In a state of frustration, he leaned toward the apple that dangled in front of his nose that made the argument that the current condition of his life was nothing compared to his ‘potential.’ Oh, there’s a word to screw with a sense of pride if I’ve ever heard one! Well, Mr. Esterbrook leans, but thankfully does not consume the apple, which makes for a lovely and romantic story.

It got me thinking – when in my life am I tempted by the things I don’t have? When I’m stressed out, for whatever reason, I find so often that my sense of contentment is challenged, which tickles my pride, and results in depression and/or sin.

The solution is to count my blessings and to give thanks to God in all things. He knows much better what I need, what I can handle, even what I would like than I do. Sure, sure, present my requests to Him (Phil. 4:6-7), but after that, I must trust in His sovereignty over my life.

That’s where the Peace that passes all understanding comes from. That’s the secret to contentment.

Anyway, if you’re so inclined, check out No Time for Comedy starring Jimmy Stewart and Rosalind Russell! It’s a good one!

Peace out, Dry Ground friends!

(photo by