04 October 2009
A Room With A View
This week's "Take This Tune" is O Mio Babbino Caro, the lovely aria from Gianni Schicci. The opera is about the slap stick comedy that can result when the kinfolk are looking for a will before the body is barely cold. Throughout it all there runs the theme of young love and feuding relatives. Perhaps this is why the aria is used as the theme music in the movie adaptation for an equally overheated story of young love, E. M. Forster's "A Room With a View"
This Edwardian social comedy is about love and propriety among an eccentric group staying at the same Italian pensione and in a corner of Surrey, England. A young English woman, Lucy Honeychurch, while on the requisite tour of the continent in the company of an elderly spinster aunt, manages to faint into the arms of a handsome man when she witnesses a murder. Attracted to George Emerson, who is entirely unsuitable and whose father just may be a Socialist, Lucy is soon at war with the snobbery of her class and her own conflicting desires.
Back in England she is courted by a more acceptable, if dull, suitor, and realizes she must choose between propriety and passion. This delightful tale of young love is based in Forster's quirky but recognizable characters of the period, including outrageous spinsters and pompous clergymen. Written in 1908, A Room With A View is one of E.M. Forster's earliest works. I won't spoil the ending and Lucy's choice for you as you can get the book anywhere and the movie is available on DVD or just watch the whole thing on line starting below or here.
Thanks to the aria, this is probably one of the most enjoyable sets of credits you will get to see.