Jul 1, 2020 | by Becky Oeltjenbruns
During this period of continued isolation simple pleasures bring much joy. It’s lovely to receive an unexpected text. It’s wonderful to hear the birds singing their morning ballads. It feels stupendous to see a friendly face on a Zoom or Skype call. All of this indoor time has me revisiting my movie collection. As my fingers thumb through the various titles and genres, I find myself gravitating to certain types of stories. Stories that showcase fantastic friendships keep creeping up to the top of the “must watch” list. I’d like to celebrate three such pairings and tell me about your favorite cinematic companions in the comments…
Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings
Agatha Christie created many endearing and intriguing characters during her literary career, but the duo of Poirot and Hastings remains my favorite. On the surface they couldn’t appear more different. Poirot is a Belgian detective of the highest order, his work style is methodical and his lifestyle is meticulous. Hastings is a good ol’ English chap, his passion is sports cars and he can often be found pining over a beautiful woman. But what may appear as an odd couple masks a devoted friendship. Poirot and Hastings truly enjoy spending time with each other and take their differences in stride. When Hastings insists on attending a tacky play, Poirot may grumble but goes along. When Poirot cooks a Belgian delicacy, Hastings may not be thrilled but tucks in anyway. In a true friendship, patience flows easily because of a strong foundation. Christie gives us clues as to the strength of this foundation every time Hastings keeps Poirot’s massive ego in check or Poirot chides Hastings about his stuffy English ways. When these moments arise, it never weakens their bond. They simply continue on with whatever case they’re currently investigating. Their shared interest in justice preserves their friendship. The key to their camaraderie offers advice to us in the real world. Find friends who care about what you care about. No matter the differences in your personality, a mutual cause will provide you with a fulfilling kinship.
“It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters.” – Unknown
Jessica Fletcher and Dr. Seth Hazlitt
My favorite Murder, She Wrote episodes are the ones based in Cabot Cove. I adore these installments, not for the coastal views, but to get another glimpse at the magic that is Seth and J.B. in action. Seth is the crusty country doctor with a heart of gold. Jessica is the world-traveled, but down-to-earth novelist. While Seth isn’t as involved in Jessica’s investigations as Captain Hastings is entrenched in Poirot’s cases, he remains her closest advisor. Over a slice of pie, Seth serves as a sounding board to Jessica’s discoveries. Oftentimes, just the act of sharing her thoughts with Seth leads her to an epic breakthrough. A strong-willed woman, she is often on the giving end of advice rather than the receiving. But when times are truly tough, Seth is there to speak truth into the moment. When she first moves to the big apple, her apartment has been the scene of a recent murder (naturally). Jessica insists that everything is under control, but who should appear? Seth arrives at her doorstep to offer support. A good friend doesn’t need to be asked, a good friend knows you well enough to come.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson
Recently I’ve been binge watching the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes films. Since the ink dried on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle masterpieces, this iconic investigator has graced both film and radio. With all these iterations to enjoy, why do I adore these particular adaptations? For my money, it’s because of the unique chemistry between Holmes and Watson. Bruce’s performance brings out the amiable side of Watson and Rathbone’s Holmes is focused but not condescending. Their fellowship envelops so completely that the WWII-era settings aren’t the distraction they could be. Holmes and Watson might be the original hero and sidekick pairing. This is the kind of friendship that screen siren Marlene Dietrich described when she said “it’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.” Watson and Holmes often go dashing into the night at a moment’s notice to follow a lead. Watson memorializes these adventures with his writing and this expression of support for his pal Holmes is admirable. Doyle captured something everyone seeks – a friend who is in your corner and who is willing to step out beyond his or her own doorstep to prove it! Dear reader, as we find ourselves in this absence of in-person interaction I hope you are taking this opportunity to bolster your friendships…