“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is a brilliant movie. You will laugh, roll your eyes, agree with everyone, and maybe even cry. Plus it takes place in San Francisco, so this movie really can’t get much better.
Context: Matt and Christina Drayton (Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn) have one daughter, Joey (Katharine Houghton), who they adore. They raised her to be a confident, liberal, self-sufficient lady. However, everything gets turned upside down in the Drayton family when Joey comes back from Hawaii engaged to a black man, Dr. John Prentice (Sidney Poitier). Now, there are two reasons why “all hell breaks loose” at the Drayton’s: 1) This was the 60’s and interracial couples were not popular nor were they encouraged. 2) Racism was still very much alive. So even though Joey had rose colored glasses on, the rest of the world, and the rest of the Draytons, did not. Supplemental Material: “Hairspray”.
The entire movie takes place in one day, which is nice because you don’t have to keep track of things, but it is also confusing because WHEN DOES ANYONE USE THE RESTROOM??!! So the movie starts with Joey and Dr. Prentice meeting Mr. Drayton and Mrs. Drayton at their house in SF. THEN Dr. Prentice and Joey announce their engagement.
(SPOILER ALERT). THEN Dr. Prentice tells Mr. and Mrs. Drayton, behind Joey’s back, that if he doesn’t get their blessing, he won’t actually marry Joey. THEN Mr. and Mrs. PRENTICE hear about this “new girl” in their sons life, so naturally, they fly up from LA to meet her and have dinner at the Draytons. THEN the parents talk to each other about the “situation”, and the dads agree that this is crazy and do not want to give their blessing. HOWEVER the moms are hopelessly romantic, as most women are, and are extremely stoked for the upcoming nuptials.
I will NOT tell you how it ends, so you will have to watch this movie to find out – or read the IMDB plot synopsis. However, watching it is WAY more fun. The build up to whether they will get their parent’s blessing or not is very close to the same anxiety one feels at the end of Pride and Prejudice – you kind of know how it will end, but you leave room for the idea that realism might conquer romance and it stresses you out.
Before you watch it, let me just give you a run down of how you feel about each main character:
Joey – OMG please get a dose of reality…..NOW. I can’t.
Dr. Prentice – Glad you are the logical one in this relationship. However, maybe you shouldn’t go for someone half your age…..questionable.
Mrs. Drayton: How can I be YOU when I’m older? Do I need to buy more scarves? I’m getting excited to be old.
Mr. Drayton: “Hey Spencer……Welcome to the 60’s!!” – Tracy Turnblad
Mrs. Prentice: Can you speak a little louder? I don’t take people who whisper seriously.
Mr. Prentice: Woah, woah woah. No one’s dying. RELAX. Life could be so much worse.
Popcorn Rating: 3 popped corns. 1 kernel
You will NEED to eat popcorn because dinner is supposed to be eaten like 5 different times in this movie and it ALWAYS gets delayed……so you WILL be hungry.
This is a great movie to show to your parents if you’re dating someone they don’t like.