If Elsa and Fred teaches us anything, it’s that romance never dies. People do. But love lives forever.
Elsa and Fred, starring Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer, tells the story of a pair of neighbors who fall in love, perhaps for the last time.
The story centers on a scene from the movie, La Dolce Vita. Elsa dreams of re-enacting a scene from the movie. Fred helps her, albeit begrudgingly at times, fulfill her dream. Along the way the two fall in love. It’s funny how two people at the end of their lives learn how to take baby steps in romance.
The premise of the story brings up an interesting question though. If you could act out a scene from your favorite movie, what would it be? The opening scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark would be my first choice. It’s not quite the romantic way to go, but that’s what so great about the question.
Elsa’s favorite scene is set in Rome, Italy, at the Fontana di Trevi. The actress Anita Ekberg runs into the fountain and invites the actor Marcello Mastroiani to join her. There’s lots of embracing and kissing that follows. A little mushy for my taste, but it fits right in Elsa’s wheelhouse.
But what are the five most memorable scenes in movies? Here is my top five:
5. Raiders of the Lost Ark has plenty of memorable scenes. As exciting as the opening scene is, it is not the most memorable. Discovering the Well of Souls and stealing the Ark from the Nazis are up there. But removing the Ark from a chamber full of snakes is the best scene in the movie. All things being equal, stealing the Ark from Nazis seems much easier than removing it from a room full of venomous snakes.
4. The Masters scene from Caddyshack is a fun scene. Seeing Carl Spackler blow up a row of flowers with a rake is incredibly funny. Hearing him commentate on winning the Masters while he’s blowing up the flowers is doubly funny. That would be a scene worth re-enacting.
3. The Blues Brothers has plenty of memorable scenes. Playing the blues to a bunch of rednecks would be frightening and entertaining at the same time. Being chased through a mall by police cars would be awesome. It would be fun to drive an old police car through a mall, as long as no one gets hurt.
2. Field of Dreams is filled with memorable scenes and lines too. Who can forget, “If you build it, they will come?” The scene at the end when Ray plays catch with his dead dad is one of my favorites. I don’t know if I could play catch though. That scene always makes me cry.
1. Armageddon is a guilty pleasure. Bruce Willis makes the ultimate sacrifice, giving up his own life to save all the people of earth from certain doom. While it would be difficult to re-enact the scene in which he blows up the asteroid and saves the world, it is my favorite part of the movie. I would love to blow up an asteroid.
As for Elsa and Fred, it is filled with romance. Fred is at the end of his life. He is a recent widower who fell out of love with his wife. Elsa shows him how to love again and how to be happy, perhaps for the first time.
The two make an unlikely couple and a perfect couple. This is a love story for Baby Boomers. Take the grandparents. Take the kids. Have the grandparents explain how beautiful Shirley MacLaine once was. Have them talk about what it was like to fall in love for the first time. Have them share their dreams with their grandchildren.
Elsa and Fred is in theaters November 7 and is rated PG-13.