On Friday night, Husband and I did something we rarely do, and we went out to dinner and a movie. We don’t purposely avoid the movie theater, we’re just usually ice cream and Netflix on the couch sort of people. But Friday marked the opening of Big Stone Gap–a movie about the area my family hails from–so naturally, I’ve been counting down the days. (Plus, Jenna Elfman in Big Stone Gap? We’re big fans.)
The movie is based on the book of the same name (which you can purchase by clicking here), and I have to say I was a little disappointed with how the story and the relationships were translated to the big screen. One of the first reviews I read said that it would have been good for Trigiani to let someone with a little more big screen experience execute the story. But I also totally see Adriana Trigiani’s desire to own her story and make the movie where she imagined. Regardless, there are two things worth mentioning.
The town really does do it up right for the holidays. Check out this picture of how they decked out this weekend.
First, Adriana Trigiani chose to tell her story in it’s homeplace. She shot in southwest Virginia where her story is set with the townspeople themselves fleshing out the cast. And it shows! Big Stone Gap shines, and you really get a feel for the landscape and the community when you watch the movie. From all the interviews I’ve read with Trigiani about the movie, I loved this line the most:
Movies are a living art form. They last for all time when properly cared for. American movies about American workers should be made in America. I love Canada, but I can’t fake Big Stone Gap in Canada.
The second thing worth saying: All hail Jenna Elfman! When you this notification popped up on my phone the other night, I completely swooned.
I mean: Jenna Elfman, you guys! Jenna Elfman who was the embodiment of this quirky, long-legged girl’s dream when she played Dharma. And, should we talk about the hair? We should at least mention the hair.
Watching Jenna Elfman on twitter and instagram all weekend was amazing. She loved Big Stone Gap, and it showed–from her coverage of all the festivities (there was a parade and a red carpet) to pictures with townspeople that kept showing up in my Facebook feed!
So in praise of Jenna Elfman, here are 4 things she nailed when she played Big Stone Gap’s Iva Lou:
1. Iva Lou was in touch with her sexuality. I will never understand women who shrink from this one. I love that with any character I’ve seen Jenna Elfman play, she just owns it! Iva Lou’s sexuality made her a fun, quirky character to watch and also made her a little more powerful.
2. Iva Lou was smart. Jenna Elfman always manages to perfectly marry quirk and brains. Like any smart woman, Iva Lou knew that orchestration was a stronger tool than pushing.
3. Iva Lou was a touch superstitious. And really, most of my favorite women from our region are. (On next week’s reading list: Chinese Face Readin’.)
4. Iva Lou was a fierce friend. It is fun to watch the women in this movie interact: Elfman, Ashley Judd, Whoopi Goldberg, and newcomer Erika Coleman. The movie is as much about their relationships as anything else.
If you go see Big Stone Gap, I’d love to hear what you think! Tweet me, post on our Facebook wall, or just comment below.
Tomorrow, I’ll be posting about some of my favorite podcasts, which will include… Jenna Elfman’s 😉