Thursday, March 10, 2016

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers {1954}

*solemn voice*  Angels, the time has come.  My feelings will not be repressed; you must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love this movie.

Which movie, you ask?  Well, assuming, for the purpose of including cheesy and overdone preambles to reviews, that you did not actually see in the title of the post, I'm finally here to review one of my favoritest of all favorite movies…Seven Brides for Seven Brothers!  And all the people said, "Amen."  (Heh.  Not.  In all probability, all the people groaned, "Lord in Heaven, spare us, we pray.")


I'll be upfront about this right here and right now:  this movie is ridiculous.  It's silly and it's politically incorrect and there are multiple opportunities to say, "This is so wrong on so many levels," while watching it.  At least, that's the impression I've gotten from watching it with other people.  Me myself, however, well, I have to be honest.  This movie is one of my favorites of all time.  And I mean that.  If I were ever actually able to make a top ten list of movies, I'm almost morally certain this movie would be on there, and pretty high up on the list. 

This movie makes me really, really, un-containably, irrationally happy.  So, in all likelihood, this review is going to be all over the place--full of pictures, inside references/jokes, references to other movies, and unashamed gushing about Howard Keel.  

SO LET'S DO IT ;)


Okay, okay, first things first.  Setting.  Basically, there's this guy named Adam Pontipee.  This is back in the olden days, when the west was still being settled.  One fine day, he comes traipsing into town to trade his furs and stuff for supplies, and he casually mentions to the storeowners that he's also in the market for a bride.  Yep--this crazy backwoodsman actually intends to find a wife that day, marry her, and carry her back to his homestead in time for evening chores.  (He doesn't put it like that, but he doesn't put it much better.)  And you know what's even crazier?  It works.  After surveying "what the town has to offer" in his lordly fashion (which really means just walking around town noticing women and singing an unfairly catchy tune in his unfairly heavenly voice), he meets "the one."  Her name's Milly, and she's all "spirit and fire and dew," but also kind, hardworking, and, not to mention, beautiful.  Adam somehow persuades Milly to marry him (THAT DAY), and they do actually get hitched.  How he manages this I'll never know--it's not like he sang to her (which, it must be confessed, would earn him a heck of a lot of points in my book).  But anyway, Milly explains her feelings lucidly enough, and her guardians have no choice but to agree.  So Milly goes back with her new husband to his homestead.  What hubby failed to mention, however, is that he has six adult brothers…who all live with him on his farm.  (I can only suppose this is because they ain't hardly ever seen a girl before, and thus haven't settled down on their own.)  Milly is quickly and sharply disillusioned with the new life she's chosen, but does she complain?  Nope.  She buckles down and whips these seven rowdy mountaineers into shape, before letting them loose on society, changed men (or so she thinks).  


This movie has a lot of dancing and singing, in case you hadn't picked up on that.  There are so many rollicking, feel-good numbers in it--and that's one of the reasons I love it so much.  It makes me happy in a way I don't think any other movie has made me happy :)

Now, let's talk about Howard Keel for a moment.  We have to get it over with sometime ;)  I think you all know this, but Howard Keel is one of my favorite actors.  And yes, the greatest attraction is his voice, which is undeniably one of the greatest things I've ever heard in all my livin' life.  I also do have quite a bit of respect for his abilities as an actor--I've seen him in mostly musicals, 'tis true, but I also saw him in a more serious role in the John Wayne Western The War Wagon (which movie, by the by, is OH MY GOODNESS).  Admittedly, Adam is an idiot.  He's ridiculous.  He's insensitive.  He's slightly egomaniacal.  But for some reason, I adore watching him.  I think it's because he's fictional--I get to poke fun at how he just doesn't understand life, but I also get to laugh hysterically at his antics.  You can read more about why I love Adam here, but for now I guess I just want to clarify, if any of you haven't seen this (WHAT?!) and are considering doing so (yes do), that Adam Pontipee has serious issues.  The guy incites his brothers to go and abduct a bunch of young women.  But he's also really lovable and adorable and his voice is like legit the best and he changes by the end so it's okay anyway.



And since that came up, let's talk about the middle of the movie, yes? ;)

SO.  Basically, Milly has been, as I said, whipping these boys into shape (and believe me, they needed it).  Eventually, it's time for a barn raising back in town, and Milly is debuting the new-and-improved boys, hoping to get them a bit of a cultural experience. (And also to know how to treat girls.  Because--and take careful note of this--offering a girl a "chaw of chewing tobacco" is NOT how to treat girls.  Grabbing her as if she were a flapjack is also a practice upon which society frowns.)  So off they all toodle to town in the wagon.  (That wagon is practically fathomless, by the way.  I hadn't thought about it before, had you?  Think how many people fit into that wagon bed by the close of the movie!)  

Btw, Adam is a bit clueless (no surprise there) as to what Milly has been doing with the guys, and he's none too happy when he discovers that she's "turned them into a bunch of mama's boys." BUT, he's powerless to stop the course of true love (of course it's true love if you see a girl and have an epic-beyond-all-description dance with her and then spend your chore time lamenting your loneliness, you silly cynic), and boy meets girl, boy dances with girl, and boy and girl apparently fall into, if not love, very deep like.  (I am using a positively horrific number of run-on sentences and parentheses in this review.  Apologies.)

Speaking of that epic-beyond-all-description dance scene, I'm going to include it for you, because I love you.  And because this scene is probably my favorite scene out of the whole movie (maybe--I don't know--I can't decide!).  So, here 'tis.  "I defy you not to roar."  (I don't actually know what that quote is from, can anyone enlighten me?)


I JUST.  

Clearly, I'm finding it hard to blog about this wacky, exuberant, beautiful burst of glory that is SBfSB, but I will say I'm having fun trying ;)

Also, I feel like I should mention Milly.  'Cause that woman.


I aspire to be Milly when I grow up.  Yep.  I say that most times I watch this movie ;)  See, I love her, because while she does show a sliiiight *ahem* lapse in judgment when she marries a guy about twenty minutes after meeting him, when she gets to the farm and finds her dreams are going to be unfulfilled and her life is going to be very different from what she anticipated, she doesn't sit around and mope.  She settles into her new role and doesn't complain.  She knows when to be firm and when to be gentle; she knows when to refuse to tolerate the guys' idiocy, and when to be understanding.  So, yeah.  Basically she's flawless :D

So here's a spoiler:  Adam's idea of "talking" with his brothers is to brainwash them into abduction.  Mmhmm.  After the barn dance/raising (which turned into a total fiasco when all the men decided they needed to prove their manliness by having a good ol' cat fight), Adam's brothers are depressed, because they like the girls they met a lot, but they know the girls' fathers (to say nothing of their plentiful admirers) would never let them marry them.  So Adam, being the sage and goodhearted big brother that he is, in essence tells them that if you can't get them legally, why not go and kidnap them?  After all, the Romans did it, and they were paragons of civilization.  Here's what happens:


(I included that video because this scene is my second favorite in the whole movie, if not my first.  As you know, I'm indecisive.)  Now, clearly, this is ridiculous and wrong and preposterous, but you know what's really sad?  I find it absolutely, irrevocably hilarious.  I mean, LISTEN to the LYRICS in that song.  They're pure gold--pure sexist/wrong/stupid/pernicious/amazing/amusing gold.  

And SPOILERS it all ends up okay, because during the months that the girls are stuck up in the cabin (Milly forthwith banished the boys to the barn--in one of the very few actually serious scenes in the movie), they fall in love with the boys and forgive them, and all's dandy and happy.  And then spring comes, "the pass is open!", and the cavalry rides to the rescue, except that the girls no longer want to be rescued.  "It's all quite entertaining," but I really need to get off the computer, so I'm going to wrap it up.  Let me just say that the ending is happy and golden and I loves it :)

Quick note as to content:  It's fine, really, but there are some veiled innuendoes.  The bachelor brothers tease Adam the first night Milly spends at the farm, and there are just a few grins and chuckles from the six of them.  Also there's a scene in the bedroom itself (not a bedroom scene, though), which is a bit…odd.  I mean, they're married, so it's fine, and it's not like they show the beginning of anything, but…it's just an awkward situation.  I don't know how to explain it xD


In conclusion (finally), this is one of my very favorite movies (you've said that already).  And you know what?  I never get tired of it.  Like, literally.  I've watched it more times than I care to try and count, and it still wholly delights me.  Adam's ridiculous sexism, Milly's boss-ness, the dances, THE MUSIC, the colorful costumes, the various romances (especially Adam & Millie and Gideon & Alice), everything.  I sometimes watch it twice in one sitting.  #trueconfessions (Actually, I usually just go through it selecting scenes, but still.)

This is my golden musical.  I loves it a whole lot :)








  


43 comments:

  1. Wonderful review! I can't wait to watch this soon!

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    1. Thanks so much, Abby! Ooh, yay--I hope you love it :)

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  2. So much fun! I can't wait to watch it from beginning to end! The reason I say that is because I have seen some of it on TV, but never the whole thing. :)

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    1. Ohh, Morgan, I think you'll LOVE it! So go watch it ;)

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  3. This movie!!!! One of my absolute favorites since I was a little girl!!! And yes, the storyline is a little ridiculous, but you have to keep in mind that it was inspired by the book "The Rape of the Sabine Women," which was inspired by true events.

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    1. Yes!! Ahh, good point. It's not SUPPOSED to be that serious, and yet it sort of is in a way :) Love it!

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  4. This was such a fun read! I grinned and grinned, cuz I LOVE this movie. It's my second favorite musical movie of all time. It never gets old, and it always puts me in a good mood. Howard Keel and Jane Powell... I love them both so much. And I could listen to Howard Keel sing any day all day. He has the most marvelous voice.

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    1. Thanks! EXACTLY--it always puts me in a good mood, too :) I really want to see more of Jane Powell! I've seen quite a lot of Howard Keel, but this is the only JP movie I've seen, more's the pity.

      YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT HIS VOICE. (And out of curiosity, which is your first favorite movie musical? :D)

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    2. Jane Powell is my dad's favorite, so we had a lot of Ms. Powell growing up. We used to watch Royal Wedding a lot, which I haven't seen in years now, but used to really like.

      #1 favorite for me has always been "South Pacific." Shoulda put that in the first response, lol!

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    3. That's so cool! I really want to see RW!

      Ooh, good one--I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard t'is great :)

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  5. Aw, I love this film :) Saw the stage-show once, but it just wasn't the same without Howard Keel! (Although, the brothers were shirt-less a lot, so that almost made up for it :P)

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    1. Me too! :) Ooh, you did?! Hahahaha xD I'd like to see a stage version, but at the same time I'm afraid I'd just be super critical since it's not the same as my beloved movie :P

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  6. Oh goodness yes! You've summed up my feelings so completely! This is also one of my favorite movies of all time but it is SO hard to show other people because it is just odd.
    My dad's favorite line from the movie is when Millie gets to the farm and she asks the brothers if they live around and one of the brothers replies "Not 'round, here."
    And no it's basically impossible to chose a favorite song. The barn dance scene though is one of my favorite things ever and Sobbin' Women is horribly hilarious!
    Ah! Now I want to watch it again! It's just so ridiculously perfect. :)

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    1. Eeeeep, thanks, Lois! It really is hard to explain to other people :P

      Haha! And how she replies, "I guess I should have picked some more sorrel..." xD

      Yes, yes and yes!!! You should totally watch it again. Now is always a good time to watch SBfSB ;)

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  7. "I defy you not to roar," is said by Captain Brown to Miss Deborah Jenkins in Cranford when discussing a book (I think it was "The Pickwick Papers" or something like that - a Dickens novel anyway).

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    1. Kerry, thank you! That was bothering me ;)

      I've only watched Cranford once; I guess that's why it slipped my mind!

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  8. Looks like this is one of those movies I should probably give a miss to. I'm afraid it would just make me angry . . . I mean, I know it's just supposed to be funny and silly and not-taken-seriously. I understand that. But the problem is, I'm just one of those people who CAN'T not take stories seriously. I always, always, always find myself thinking about the consequences, and implications, and all that . . .

    It actually became a sort of joke when my brother and I were kids; because every single time he would tell me a silly story of the "situational humor" type--you know, where you're just supposed to laugh at the crazy situation and not think about its real-world implications--I would ALWAYS ask him one question: "But what happened after that?" And he would always throw up his hands and moan, "You're not supposed to worry about what happens afterwards!!!!" I did, though.

    So basically, yeah. I'm not a good candidate to watch "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." I would be sitting there the entire time, wanting to shoot Adam Pontipee with a blunderbuss or something, instead of enjoying the music and dancing and all that.

    I'm glad you can enjoy it, though--really, I am! And the costumes are cute, and Jane Powell is quite pretty :-)

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    1. I understand, Jessica! (Though I'm sorry, for your sake ;-P) In all seriousness, it IS horribly unrealistic and even somewhat brutish in manner--though, as Ivy put it, it's a spin-off of a brutish historical act.

      Haha! I get that, really I do. And honestly, Adam could use being shot with a blunderbuss. But he does change by the end, so it is resolved. If it wasn't resolved, I'm not sure how much I'd love it :P

      Thanks! Yes, she's a doll :)

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    2. Oh, he changes by the end, does he? That's lucky for him. *ominous frown*

      (Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.)

      No, seriously, though--it's fine. We all have different tastes, after all, don't we? And what a dull world it would be if we didn't. :-)

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    3. Haha, yes, indeed t'is ;)

      Just so :)

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  9. Oh, THIS! Okay, so I actually skimmed this, because I bought this movie at the bookfest in January, and I still haven't been able to watch it yet! Two reasons: One, it goes for a really long time and two, I can't convince many people in my family to watch it. >.< So I am desperately waiting to see it still! (There are still 5 other movies alongside it that we've not watched, since we bought them from the Bookfest, so it's not the only one.) But I CAN'T WAIT TO WATCH IT! :D And I promise that once I do, I'll come back here and squeal all about it with you. ;)
    ~Miss Meg

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    1. Squeeeepp you did?! Oohhhh, I can't WAIT to hear what you think of it whenever you're able to watch it, Miss Meg! :D

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  10. oooohhh how I LOVE this movie too! I've watched it several times, and I love the soundtrack!!! I love Milly! And the kidnapping scene, and all the brothers are hilarious!!! Gah, Ima need to watch it again now.
    I also really love Meet Me in St. Louise, which is one of my favorite musicals. Newsies, Fiddler on the Roof, and several others are also my favorite! :D :D :D

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    1. Morg, isn't it fantastic?!?! Ahhh, I need to see MMiSL. I've heard only good things about it, can't wait! :)

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  11. OLIVIA! This review was positively DELIGHTFUL! SO MUCH FUN! And you're right, this movie doesn't really get old. I mean sometimes I don't feel like watching it, but overall it's amazing how many times we've fallen back on it when looking through our movies for something fun to watch. :)

    "(He doesn't put it like that, but he doesn't put it much better.)" Hahaha! So true! That made me laugh. :D "How 'bout it?" "How 'bout what?" "How 'bout marrying me?" Ah! A proposal to melt a girl's heart! NOT! Haha. :D

    Your summary of the story was excellent, Olivia! Just excellent. Very well written, and highly entertaining. And oh! I want to say so much more, but words are failing me. I LIKED THIS POST!!! So many things you said made me smile. :) And I like this movie. (All the brothers! Aww. They're just so endearing.) And I totally understand why it makes you happy!! It's just FUN! Why wouldn't it make you happy? :D

    ~Miss March

    P.S. By the way, did you realize there actually are "F" names in the Bible? In the book of Acts there's both a Felix and a Festus. I guess whoever wrote the script didn't do all their research. Haha. ;) But anyhow, Frankincense is much more amusing than Felix or Festus...and it works much better for the story, too. :)

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    1. *squeals* Aww, thanks, Miss March! I'm SO glad you enjoyed it; your comment made me so happy :)

      Adam is a real Casanova ;D

      THANK YOU! I had a lot of fun writing it :)

      P.S. Hahaha! I hadn't even thought of that before! I guess 'cause all of the brothers' names are from the Old Testament except Frank's?

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  12. AHAAA YES THIS MOVIE MAKES ME SO HAPPY. Like you said, it's definitely not a movie to take seriously (I meaaan) but it's SO MUCH FUN. AND SO JOLLY. (And 'Sobbin' Women' is dreadful as well as fastastic and FUUUN.)

    "But he's also really lovable and adorable and his voice is like legit the best and he changes by the end so it's okay anyway." <<< HAHAAH.

    Okay, so I loved this review. :-D You said everything so perfectly.

    ~ Naomi

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    1. EXACTLY! Just so; t'is delightful :D

      Haha, seriously, though ;)

      Dawww, thaaaaaanks, girl :)

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  13. This movie is so ridiculous. *happy sigh* I love it so much. ;-)

    This was probably one of the first musicals I saw....I haven't watched it in eons, but when I was younger I probably watched it half a dozen times, and the lyrics are still leftover in my brain so I randomly burst out singing the songs on occasion. Your review is GREAT! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on everything.

    (And I'm right there with you on Howard Keel love.)

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    1. Precisely my thoughts, Emma ;)

      Me too! I've grown up on it. Aren't the songs great? They're so easy to burst into :)

      Aww, thank you! I'm so glad you liked it :) (Howard Keel = <333)

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  14. "Yep--this crazy backwoodsman actually intends to find a wife that day, marry her, and carry her back to his homestead in time for evening chores." That made me laugh.

    But seriously? He manages to find his soulmate in twenty minutes. And then it just ACCIDENTALLY slips his mind that he has six brothers living with him. Badly done, Adam Pontipee. Badly done indeed :P And then suggesting that his brothers go steal themselves some girls!!

    I understand, it's supposed to be funny - and I'm glad you like it! But I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't watch it. See, I watched "State Fair" a little while ago, and that's one of those movies that EVERYBODY likes, but I didn't. I think I took it too seriously or something . . . which is what I always do. And I'd probably have the same problems with Seven Brides For Seven Brothers :\

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    1. Yep--that's about it! He's purely ridiculous ;)

      Hey, I get that! Oh! I haven't seen SF yet, but I want to. Yeah, you definitely have to take it with a grain of salt, so... :P

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  15. I have only seen it once, but I loved it and I really need to watch it again!! I do go and find as many videos as possible on YouTube and watch them every few month.

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    1. Aw, I hope you can see it again soon, Bailey! Scenes can be just as good though :D

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  16. Wait... are you implying that there are people who find fault with this movie? How is that even possible? Sigh.

    I have to admit those brothers are all really gullible, though. They let both Milly and Adam change them and their minds and basically are just up for anything anyone tells them to do. But... they're so rascally and adorable that who cares?

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    1. It's mind-boggling to me, Hamlette. Ah, well. *shrugs*

      Haha, yeah, they reall are. They're so naive, it's adorable xD

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  17. I was so excited to see this post pop up on my dashboard!!
    One can always use a dose of SBFSB fangirling!!
    I practically grew up on this movie and cannot count the times I've seen it:)
    And the songs and the costumes are all so gorgeous and there's so many funny scenes:)
    "The Golden musical" - what a fitting description!

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    1. Just what I say, Rose! A little SBfSB is always in order ;)

      Me neither! Yes, there really are :D

      Thanks! I thought so ;)

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  18. Oh my word, I loved this! I watched this movie ENDLESS times when I was younger. I remember watching it with my siblings and cousins at our grandparents' house. Yes, this movie is ridiculous and the plot should be horrible and yet it is glorious!! It's just so funny and adorable and so happy, like you said. I love also how the big the cast is; it feels like everytime I watch it I notice something that one of the brother's doing something in the background. :D

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    1. Me too, Faith! Oh! You do the thing with noticing a new brother-ism too?! Ahh, yes, I love this movie :) Thanks for your comment!

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  19. I LOVE THIS MOVIE SO MUCH!!! I don't own it though :(
    So. Much. Political incorrectness. Bless yore beautiful HIDE? Are you kidding me? XD
    Oh that despairing polecat dance makes me laugh so much. Like ballet with axes what?!
    Sobbin Women is like one of my favorite, most awkward songs ever!
    Yeah, there's quite a bit of awkwardness. Especially the ending...

    Oh and Gideon is OBVIOUSLY the best brother

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    1. Hahaha! I know, right?! I mean, I wouldn't consider myself politically correct as a general rule, but THERE IS A LIMIT.

      "Ballet with axes…" xD When Caleb executes that superb pirouette, though…

      Hehe. Yep. Yes, he really is!

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  20. AMEN AMEN AMEN!!!!!!!!! LOVE. THIS. MOVIE. SO. MUCH.

    YES. Adam's voice is superb!!!! Love listening to him!!!

    MILLIE'S REFORMING OF THE BROTHERS IS AWESOME!!! GO MILLIE!!

    And the Barn dance is EPIC!!! LOVE that scene!!! AND THE KIDNAPPING XD XD XD Gotta be my favorite part!!
    "Hurry up Gideon!"
    "MEOWMEOWMEOWMEOW!!" *meowing increases to a frantic rate* GOTTA LOVE GIDEON!!!!

    And the "I defy you not to roar" quote is from Cranford! You're welcome! XD

    Again on Gideon. HE'S MY FAVORITE!!! Love that boy to pieces!!! 1. Because, *ahem* he's the cutest ;) and 2. because he's just sweeeeet!!! When he apologizes to Millie for starting the fight at the barn raising I'm just like "COME HERE YOU SWEET DARLING BOY!! I STILL LOVE YOU!!!!!"

    Awesome review Olivia! And I totally agree with you! I couldn't care less about the sexism and the lack of brains that the brothers seem to possess (albeit kidnapping), CAUSE THIS MOVIE IS HAPPIES ALL THE WAY FOR ME!!!

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