An Affair To Remember

An Affair To Remember

Nicky Ferrante (Cary Grant) is a playboy who has just become engaged to a wealthy woman. Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) is a former nightclub singer being kept by a wealthy businessman.

Both have spent their youth enjoying the lavish attention bestowed upon them by intimates with affluent means. Nicky will soon be assured of the lifestyle in which he has become so fond. Terry hopes the same will happen for her someday in the near future.

One of the great pleasures of watching the movies is that they offer us a glimpse into worlds totally different from our own. An Affair To Remember begins by taking us for a leisurely voyage on an ocean liner in a time when passengers began their evenings sipping pink champagne cocktails while dressed in tuxedos, evening gowns, furs, and expensive jewelry. This tear jerker then changes course and takes us on a journey of the heart.

The couple meet by accident when Nicky sees Terry with his cigarette case, a gift from a conquest he has just recently loved and left. He can prove it’s his case because it has an inscription engraved on the inside. It’s an inscription so fiery that it could light his cigarette. Even though he is engaged and she is true to her man, they decide that dinner together will, nevertheless, be admissible.

Both discover that the evening has been enticing. But when the ship’s photographer takes a photo of them together, Terry realizes that to continue to be seen together would be inadvisable. However, after an accidental meeting in the swimming pool, Terry agrees to join Nicky for a visit with his eighty-two year old grandmother.

Grandmothers display unbridled joy at seeing their grandchildren, fascination with their talents and abilities, and unconditional love. Janou (Cathleen Nesbitt) lavishes such attention on Nicky. She marvels at the gift Nicky has brought her, a portrait of her late husband that he painted from memory. Wise grandmothers can see into the ways of love, and Janou sees Nicky and Terry together.

With a little coaxing Janou agrees to play the piano before they return to the ship. Terry sings along to this song with a haunting melody. As these three walk out of the elegant home to say goodbye, Terry lovingly drapes Janou’s beautiful shawl around the shoulders of this sad matriarch. The parting of Terry and Nicky from his wise and enchanting grandmother in her picturesque garden overlooking an azure sea, is the first scene to pull at our heart strings.

Before the day is over Nicky and Terry see their destiny through Janou’s eyes. After sleepless nights and restless days the star-crossed lovers decide to meet in six months at the top of the Empire State Building in New York. In the meantime, he will attempt to make a living by painting. She will return to Boston to sing in a night club.

At the end of the six months both have been faithful to their dream and are eager to reunite. But an accident keeps them apart. One lies in the hospital while the other waits for hours until a thunderstorm lights up the night at their rendezvous point high in the sky.

An Affair To Remember doesn’t end happily ever after all wrapped up in a pretty bow. Nicky and Terry must travel alone for a while as they grow through their individual sufferings. When they meet again they must decide if the strength of their love will see them through an uncertain future.

As a memento, piece of jewelry, or article of clothing passes from one generation to another, status, a privilege, a responsibility, or good fortune is often bestowed upon the recipient. If the recipient is lucky, a wish is fulfilled. Take note of the shawl, how it comes to pass to the next generation, what it inspires, and where it leads.

Will Nicky and Terry continue to see themselves through Janou‘s eyes? Will the memory of a grandmother’s love and encouragement provide the assurance they need to see them through whatever trials they may yet encounter? Will Janou’s wish be granted?

An Affair To Remember was nominated for an Oscar in the categories of Best Cinematography; Best Costume Design; Music, Original Song; and Music, Scoring.

It’s the remake of the 1939 movie, Love Affair, starring Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne. Widescreen viewing is recommended. A minimum of three lacy hankies is required.

Recipe for Pink Champagne Cocktail:
Place 1 lump of sugar in a vintage champagne glass, coat sugar with 2 or 3 dashes of bitters and fill with chilled pink champagne. Sip ever so slowly.

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