I hated it the first time I saw it.
(Okay, don't tell!)
In my defense, I was only 12 or so. I just couldn't figure out why Lucy suddenly claimed she loved George when she'd spent the whole movie insisting that she didn't. What did I know?
I saw it again in my mid-teens and was hooked. At that age I decided George Emerson was just the swooniest guy evar (or for the next five minutes, anyway). I can't remember why I gave it another chance, but I'm glad I did. It led to a love of Merchant Ivory films and E.M. Forster's books.
Though I always enjoy a re-read of ARWAV, it's not my Forster favorite. That distinction goes to Maurice. Unfortunately, the movie version of Maurice did not turn out to be as good as the book, or even as good as the ARWAV movie. But if you're interested in seeing a young Hugh Grant, you might want to check it out.
The other night, I was thrilled to find ARWAV in the Instant Watch section of Netflix. So, as that implies, I instantly started watching.
Of course hubby had to walk in during the pond scene (if you've seen the movie, you know the one I mean). I remember being incredibly embarrassed by that scene when I was 12 - after all, I was watching the movie with my parents (gasp! The horror!). Hubby simply gave me the "What are you watching?" look, shook his head, and went on his way. After all, I wasn't making him watch, so he was probably breathing a sigh of relief.
Miss Lavish's opinions on travel and tourism have seeped into my bones ("No, Miss Bartlett, you shall NOT look into your Baedeker...we shall simply drift...Now, this is what I call an adventure.") and the Emerson's ideas of the world intrigued me even when I hated the movie in that first viewing.
George has one of the best quotes in the film. Reverend Beebe tells him it is not coincidence or fate that has brought the Emersons to Summer Street, but being "naturally drawn to things Italian, as are we and all our friends."
George replies "It is fate. But call it Italy if pleases you, Vicar."