Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

I love Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

I've watched this film more times than I can count and I never stop loving it. It's Jimmy Stewart's acting (which isn't really acting at all because you could tell me he was Jeff Smith and I'd believe you); it's Jean Arthur's Sanders being so damn vulnerable and touch all at once.


The only trouble with this film is it gets me excited, it gets me riled and it always leave me with lofty expectations of the American government. I always end up standing while watching it, or pacing the living room, like some deranged person. I get angry about the awful, underhanded people and get restless towards the end, with the filibuster. And when the movie ends on their happy note, my hopes are dashed because we can never have anything like that as long as man governs, because man is a creature of greed.

I guess, in the end, I am most bothered by the fact that nothing quite works this way in the real world. With the happy endings and politicians admitting the error of their ways. If I thought I could do a good job, I would try to be the real world [female] Jefferson Smith. I can't be clever enough, though, or neutral enough, and no one will ever be that good.

It's a crying shame.

Where are the Jefferson Smiths of this world?

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