I unintentionally watched Yours, Mine and Ours, the movie that was the basis for The Brady Bunch a few weekends ago. It came on and I was too lazy to turn it off. Well, lazy, but also intrigued by how old the main characters were supposed to be since Lucille Ball was playing the military widow who moved from Seattle to the Bay Area with her eight children, one who appeared to be no older than three.
Lucille Ball was 57 when this movie was made. Fine, I’ll suspend my disbelief and accept that a 54-year-old woman could give birth in 1968, but SPOILER ALERT she gets pregnant AGAIN before the end of the movie.
My boyfriend seems to think that I enjoy policing (my word, not his) women because I often call out casting impossibilities. This isn’t about saying women are too old for X,Y, and Z, and blaming delusional vanity on the actresses, it’s that by casting older women in younger roles, aging is clearly transmitted as undesirable, not to mention forcing the audience to go along with a plot that’s completely fantastical.
But the point of this post was to highlight one of my favorite types of movie scene, older women drinking in bars.
Civilian nurse Helen North (Lucille Ball) is taken out on a rare date by Navy officer Frank Beardsley (Henry Fonda) to Señor Pico (created by Victor Bergeron of Trader Vic’s fame) in Ghirardelli Square. It’s a swingin’ place where the olds have little breathing room to sip their Irish coffees among all the hippie-era youth. Helen’s false eyelash gets dislodged and her slip, which she insisted on wearing with the miniskirt her daughter made by cutting her regular-length skirt fell down onto the floor. Frank then crawls on the floor, among all the young, exposed legs, trying to retrieve it. Typical fish out of water antics.