I am quite certain I overheard one of my daughters quoting Mr. Collins in the 1985 film “Pride and Prejudice” as we were eating our Christmas dinner at their Aunt Debbie’s:
“And what excellent boiled potatoes. It’s been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable. To which of my fair cousins should I pay the compliment?”
Subsequently, for the second year, which formally designates this as a tradition, 10 women from 12-year-old Raegan to 81-year-old Betty, gathered on invitation to watch the film in Aunt Amanda’s living room. My daughters got me hooked watching it after they read the classic Jane Austen novel in high school.
My sister Leta was a newbie to the film and asked lots of questions when the plot didn’t make sense. Chloe, who guessed she had viewed it up to 10 times, answered many questions, along with Phoebe, who confessed to watching it over 15 times — twice last month with her college roommates before finals.
I’ve probably watched it five times — and really started to love it in the last three.
It was heartwarming to see six young cousins cuddled with blankets on the floor, as we elder women called dibs on the reclining couches equipped with footrests. My brother Chris brought pizza and made popcorn — and I’m pretty sure he watched 95 percent of the movie when he wasn’t taking care of his three younger sons. Chris developed an honest dislike of the film when he first saw it at the Historic Artcraft Theatre last year.
Taking his wife Amanda on a date, he didn’t realize it was “Reel Women — Vintage Wine” night at the Artcraft and as Chris defines the evening: “It was the first time I saw the movie and I was with my wife and over 400 women — who were reciting in unison every word of the movie.”
He added: “Amanda and Nev (14-year-old daughter) love the film — I don’t really get it.”
Twenty-five-year-old Chloe told the story about how impressed she was that her boyfriend in high school said that he and his buddy loved the film. After she was married, she and Michael began watching the film together for the first time, when he became confused and exclaimed: “Hey, those two don’t end up with each other?”
Chloe: “Michael, you said you and Patrick have watched this film numerous times and loved it?”
Michael: “Well we would always start the film — the music is beautiful and the scenery is awesome — but we’d always fall asleep about 15 minutes into the movie.”
When I returned home that night, the hubby was bingeing on his third film in a cowboy series.
May your new year be without pride and prejudice, but full of people and films you love.
Janet Hommel Mangas grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.