One thing I know for sure, one can never get enough enchantment into one's life. I believe it was fate or maybe just good fortune that in the summer of 1992, I took myself to the movies because the rain that day made it unworthwhile to stay at the swim club where we happened to belong that summer. The movie was Enchanted April and it quickly became one of a handful of my all time favorite movies. It did enchant me from beginning to end. I do not buy movies, as a rule, because I don't like watching them more than once and feel no attachment to owning them, as I do to, say books. But this movie I thought about buying for years after I saw it and finally did buy the video. I watch it whenever I want to escape into my fantasy world of Italian castles and flower laden landscapes; when I want to sit on a mountain side, looking over olive groves, permeated by the perfumed air from the lilacs and wysteria hanging from vines, when I want to feel the kinship of other women who can "feel" the place like I do. Like the character, Lottie is always saying, "I can see myself there". As the newspaper advertisement reads, "To those who appreciate Wisteria and Sunshine...Small Medieval Italian Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean...to be Let.. Furnished for the month of April, servants remain." As my profile on this blog attests, this is where I want to be and who I want to be.
The movie was based on the book, The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim(1866-1942), written in 1922, which I am presently"reading" in my car, aurally, that is. I can not put in words what an absolute delight it is listening to this recording. The "performer" ( reader) is Nadia May and listening to her puts me in mind of days gone by, when my children were very young and one of our (well my) favorite characters was a British Bear, named, Paddington . Somehow, when a story is Bitish and told in that very proper, and ever so charming British English, it holds for me an irisistable attraction that puts me in a state of enchantment and a smiile on my face. That is what reading and listening to Paddington did for me all those years ago and what listening to the book The Enchanted April is doing for me now. It is truly a great pleasure.
I read an advertisement for the book (The Enchanted April, not Paddington Bear) that said, The Enchanted April is for adults what The Secret Garden is for chiildren.
The story has been filmed three times (a silent version in 1925 and two “talkies” in 1935 and 1992) and adapted for the stage twice, in 1925 by Kane Campbell, and in 2002 byMatthew Barber. The play in 2003 was nowhere as good as the book or the movie, nevertheless, I do remember enjoying it. How could I not?