Tuesday, July 01, 2008


One of my guilty pleasure movies is the 1980 release of Xanadu, starring Gene Kelly in his final dramatic role, and Olivia Newton-John. I was looking at the synopsis online and thought it sounded a lot better as a description than most people give it credit for.

A young album-painter learns a lesson about daring to dream when he is kissed by a magical muse. Throwing caution to the wind, he partners up with a wealthy former jazz musician to start-up a roller disco nightclub, but finds that one of his dreams might be too lofty--even for the powers that be. A modern musical featuring the musical talents of Olivia Newton-John, Electric Light Orchestra, the Tubes, and Cliff Richard, with a touch of cartoon from animator Don Bluth.

Zeus, worried about the fate of a young painter, chooses one of the nine muses who preside over the arts to inspire the artist to greatness. So the lovely goddess Kira descends to earth and encourages her ward to open a disco roller skating rink. First, she locates a clarinet player whom she inspired in the 1940s, and convinces him to return to music by funding the rink. Then the three transform an abandoned building into a neon-lit, rock and roll heaven. But now that the painter's dream has come true, the time has come for Kira to return to Mount Olympus. The only problem is, the two have fallen in love, and do not want to part. But that's what will have to happen unless they can convince the gods that love is the ultimate dream.

Remake of the 1947 film "Down to Earth," starring Rita Hayworth, about a muse who inspires a playwright to write a musical. "Down to Earth" is itself a sequel to "Here Comes Mr. Jordan."

Last dramatic role for dancer/actor/choreographer/director Gene Kelly. He died on February 2, 1996 in California, after suffering a series of strokes, at the age of 83. He was born, Eugene Curran Kelly, August 23, 1912 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Of course the movie has gained in popularity recently since there is now a Broadway show version. But for me, the appeal is a mix of nostalgia and a new found openness to old-fashioned romance and magical, mythological fairy tales.

Speaking of old-fashioned romance - Tara and I did something last night that we haven't done in a long while. Instead of going to my place as we usually do on Mondays, we stayed at her house and watched the Yankees game with Bee and Bug. Bee is still sick, so I made some plain spaghetti for her, which is about the only thing she can keep down besides Cheerios and Jell-O. After the game I took Tara upstairs and we had some private time where we just sat on the floor and talked for a couple of hours, like we used to do when I first started visiting her back in 2005.

I think it's probably been more than a year since we've just sat and talked like that, about ourselves, our life together and our hopes and dreams. Since January, we've been spending most of our private time having sex, and she doesn't care for deep talks in bed like I do. And while sex is fun, I didn't realize how much I missed "just talking" until last night. Things are so different now than they were back in 2005, but through all the ups and downs, and while our connection has sometimes been strained, our love has remained constant. Talk about your modern fairy tale.