Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s late morning in Lithia, Florida, on Monday, February 21, 2022. It is a mild, cool (but warming up), and “Florida winter” day. Currently, the temperature is 76˚F (24˚C) under sunny skies. With humidity at 62% and the wind blowing from the east southeast at 11 MPH (17 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 74˚F (24˚C). Today’s forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 86˚F (30˚C). Tonight, skies will be clear, and the low will be 61˚F (16˚C).
I woke up earlier on this Presidents’ Day tired – I watched the original version of West Side Story again because The Caregiver wanted to see it before she sees Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical that is best described as Romeo and Juliet transported to 1950s-era Manhattan’s West Side, where instead of the Montagues and Capulets, we have two rival street gangs – the “American” Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks.
That was not in my original plan for Sunday; I intended to watch The Color Purple (1985), Spielberg’s adaptation of Alice Walker’s 1982 novel that centers on the experiences of several African-American women in 1900s America. This was Spielberg’s first “serious” movie, and it’s famous for several reasons, including:
- The acting debut of comedian Whoopi Goldberg
- The acting debut of Oprah Winfrey
- The backlash in some quarters over Spielberg’s giving The Color Purple a happier ending than the novel’s
- More backlash over Spielberg’s reluctance to portray a lesbian scene between Celie (Goldberg) and another character
- The “Spielberg snub” at the 1986 Academy Awards
I saw The Color Purple only once; it was shown on cable sometime in 1987 or ’88 – I honestly can’t remember – and I watched it then (it might have been during one of those promotional free previews for HBO or Cinemax on what was then Dynamic Cablevision (now Comcast’s Xfinity cable service). I think it was aired at a late hour or maybe I was distracted because I don’t remember any of it.
As you know, recently I went on a small spree on Amazon and bought most of the Spielberg movies that I was missing in my Blu-ray collection (I couldn’t get them all; 1983’s Twilight Zone: The Movie’s Blu-ray, which was released by Warner Home Video 15 years ago, is out of print or OOP, and third-party sellers on Amazon are asking outrageous amounts of money – it’s now going for nearly $100)). Before that spree, I was missing not just The Color Purple, but also Hook, Catch Me if You Can, and The Terminal.
I suggested to The Caregiver – who had taken her boyfriend to the hospital yet again earlier yesterday morning – that we watch The Color Purple in the afternoon after I did my blog post and she came back from going to the supermarket. She was initially enthusiastic, but later she said, ”I want to see the original West Side Story before I see the new version in March.”
I’m tired and have a headache, so I won’t delve into how that went. For now, I’ll give you two takeaways:
- At one point before March 2 – the earliest date that Disney+ will offer West Side Story for streaming – The Caregiver is going to ask if we can watch the 1961 version
- I did not watch The Color Purple, so if I want to see it, I will probably have to watch it alone; I don’t think The Caregiver is really interested in watching it
Oh, dear. It’s now past noon and I really do not feel well. My head hurts – it’s a dull but persistent headache – and my eyes are weary, so I better wrap this post up, stat. So until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch up with you tomorrow.
 If you must know, I do own Catch Me if You Can on DVD, but I wanted to complete my Steven Spielberg Blu-ray collection since I prefer that format. I don’t have all of Spielberg’s movies on standard-definition DVDs, either.