23 October 2013 | marylois-788-910304
A Heart-Touching Valentine to Bygone Days
TWO WEEKS WITH LOVE is a rarity, a movie that sets out to capture the innocent charm of the early 20th century, and succeeds. A brave confection, built on a rather silly premise, it artfully presents the conflict in the heart of a 17-year-old girl who yearns to grow up and whose parents yearn to ignore it. Jane Powell is delightful as the adolescent who has a crush on the dashing man, and Ricardo Montalban hits just the right note of sophistication and kindness as he begins to fall for her. Debbie Reynolds is perfect as the wisecracking younger sister who knows what she wants and how to get it (and "it" is Carleton Carpenter), and two little brothers add just the touch of innocent mischief we would expect from little brothers in those days. Louis Calhern is delightful as the fumbling father, and Ann Harding is elegant and regal as always as the mother.
I don't see how anyone could interpret this as the same movie as DIRTY DANCING, except they both took place in Catskills resorts. It is truly about a loving family and how they cope with growing pains all around. The later film was no such thing, with a different set of characters and a totally different story line. It was certainly a different kind of resort as well.