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Oh my gosh, MAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is absoposilutely my FAVORITE of all your "cinemusings" so far ever on this board!

I hope you are getting PAID to write because you get stronger and better when I think you can't

possibly improve on what's already written.

 

You just watched this movie ONCE and already got SO MUCH from it and put into words

what I was just grasping at?....perfection!

 

Ohhhhhhhhhhh.....so THIS is why I keep returning to this board in spite of....becuase

of TERRIFICLY individualistic posts like JackFavell's, rohanaka's, butterscotch, Grimes,

MadHatter Molo and so many others---none of which read Rhoda-robotically identical to

anyone else nor are concerned with spamming us with favorite actors from East/West/North

by Northwest Peoria.

 

 

 

>

> But if you don?t look out, and you?re not careful, and you?re not listening carefully...you might learn something while you?re laughing.

>

 

 

That is certainly true. I never, ever complete the experience of watching Lubitsch until hours after watching one of his movies. Suddenly I realize I didn't really "see" what I just watched...I'm finding it out later! So many "Wait a minute! Did he really say THAT when I heard THIS?"

 

>

> Sara Allgood as Mrs. Maile / Ernest Cossart as Syrette - There is comfort for them in everything in its place and a place for everything...and everyONE. When Mrs. Maile waxes on about playing with dolls as a child...and she?s a servant even then, well... And this maid and butler seem to have a kind of courtship going on that?s kind of cute. It was amusing when the butler speaks about being spoken to < gulp > as an equal. (Horrors!) Subtle Lubitsch commentary.

>

 

OH yes, the dolls! lol! What a scene she describes out of her childhood---and I've known kids like this, believe it or not. You really are BORN with certain attitudes toward life...

 

> Helen Walker as Betty Cream - What a silly name, improbable name: Betty Cream. Peaches 'n cream complexion...cream of the crop??? Walker acquitted herself quite nicely in the world of Lubitsch. (She so reminded me of today?s Reese Witherspoon). I think it?s all about having a grasp on the comedy; and for me...that means NOT playing it like it IS a comedy. I loved Helen Walker in this movie. She?s so willfully self-centered and everyone buzzes around her. She?s to the manor born; she just expects to be the center of attention. (I know I shall find Moira?s essay on Helen Walker a delicious read and can't wait to devour and savor it).

>

> She's so blissfully unaware of anyone or anything else around her. She's not willful with it. She's just Betty Cream.

>

 

You've summed her enigmatic (to me) character brilliantly---now I feel I understand her better. "She's just Betty Cream"---that says it all!! I agree with you, Helen Walker is delightful.

 

 

> "You have the most charming way of tossing bouquets. Just as if they were bricks!" says Bellinski to Betty.

>

 

Oh great Jehosaphat, that is one of my favorite Lubitsch lines of them all. Hahahaaaaaa!

But so much of the brilliance of the line is in Boyer's delivery!

 

>

> One scene that just tickled me was when he was talking to the Chemist Wilson about Cluny. As the chemist is a little distance away after their conversation ends, Boyer?s Bellinski calls back Mr. Wilson, who comes scampering over. (He knows his betters, perhaps?)

>

> Bellinski: ?You don?t drink, do you??

>

> Mr. Wilson: ?No.?

>

> Bellinski: ?Good.? And he turns and walks away.

>

> The way Boyer turns and walks away cracked me up. I re-played that scene a couple of times. It might not sound amusing here, but you have to see it to know what I mean. You know what I mean? The way he takes off his vest,folds it before getting beaten up by young Adam as he stands watching...and the scene dissolves to the next is amusing to me. I love dissolves in movies. They don't really use them to great comic effect in movies any more.

>

 

That is one of the best scenes I'm so glad you appreciated how subversive that whole conversation Boyer had with Wilson was, it's amazing. Haydn's whole comportment is like a darting rabbit...or a squirrel. Oh, those wonderful character actors. What a perfect foil for the super suave Boyer.

 

 

> Bellinski...is he an opportunist? Does he play everyone for a fool? Is he even really a writer? Is it a case of mistaken identity (?Soooooo, they call me Concentration Camp Earhardt?? in ?To Be Or Not To Be?). To see him turn up directing the sheep through the street was funny to me.

>

 

I do believe Belinski is definitely as Grimes says, a "shyster". But shysterism is more or less a mode of survival for him---he's no longer safe in his home country and has to flit about. Lubitshc won't "color in the lines" for us too much, but he always had a fondness for people who lived by their wits. His films are full of them and he insists that we admire them for just what they are. Honester in their dishonesty than the stuffy respectable types are in their phoniness.

 

> She's gone. My God, she is gone. And I feel the loss while looking at this film. I don?t mean to be amazed by the Pretend of Acting. It?s just that I?ve seen the beautiful Jennifer Jones in so many different incarnations, it's sometimes a speed bump to realize this is the same person. Look at her in "Love Letters" as the earnest and sincere Singleton, or as the unhappily married indiscreet American housewife, or happily married housewife with a gray flanneled husband, or the faithful and unflappable Bernadette, or as backwoods / wrong-side of the tracks / lusty Ruby Gentry, or as a Eurasian doctor...and then play the materialistic and unsatisfied as Emma. One time she is just the plain old American daughter in war-time "Since You Went Away." And who can forget Pearl...sexy, fiery, masochistic Pearl Chavez. ("LUTE???!!!!") But here...in ?Cluny Brown? Jennifer Jones is different yet again; a little ditzy, mostly misunderstood. She?s so unaware of her power that she almost loses her power. And her ?Persian cat feeling? is very, very...well, MEOW!

>

 

Wow, that's the best tribute to JJ I've read in along while. You took me through all her wonderful roles (except where's Jennie?) and reminded me what a varied and starry career she had. One of the best any actress could hope for because all her women were dream followers. I'd love to have had her career.

 

> Cluny has such WONDERMENT in the way she sees the world (which complements Bellinski?s joie de vivre...or is that opportunism? I'm still working through that). Every time Society attempts to clamp down on her enthusiasm and spirit it hurt me to feel that. How she?s viewed in the tea & crumpets scene when her real identity is discovered...and worse still, being judged by the Chemist when she broke out into plumbing at his mother?s birthday party...OMG, it just really broke me down. Poor little waif, it hurt to see her shamed like that. (But what she saw in that stuffed-shirt of a chemist, I?m sure I?ll never know. As Dix would have said: Aww honey, you shouldn?t have...?) I found Jennifer Jones very good in this.

>

 

I felt the same way about seeing her brought brutally down to earth. But what an interesting contrast between how the Carmels handled the revelation she was the new maid to how the domestics handled it. They were embarrassed, to be sure, but they didn't let it ruin their manners. So English! :D But Syrette, he looked about ready to have an apoplectic fit to see "Ruby" taking tea with the Gentry.

 

And how was the mistake first made? Because they saw her arriving with the Colonel, who took Cluny as she was and made no real surmises, he seemed to think she "belonged" alright. They all did, so their first impressions were RIGHT but they second-guessed their own feelings and set aside "who Cluny was" when they found out "what Cluny was".

 

> I love the dialogue, the use of metaphors and misunderstandings:

> * ?You?re the most selfish man I?ve ever seen. You don?t even know me and already you?re not interested in me.?

>

> * ?You see, she?s not dressed for plumbing. But what woman is.?

>

> * ?So many foreigners do have foreign names.?

>

> * ?Have you heard of the Nazis?? ?Oh yes. German chaps. Always wanted to see one.?

>

> * ?Oh darling trust me, please trust me.? ?Darling if I trust you now I?ll always have to trust you and I won?t.? She sounds literally like Bette Davis as she adds: ?Now what have you got behind your back??

>

> And my very favorite:

>

> * ?Sometimes an omission is an admission.? I think I'm going to use that this Friday nite.

>

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to recap some of the most wonderfully whimsical dialogue in filmdom.

 

> No one says what they mean in ?Cluny Brown.? It?s the most NOT on-the-nose dialogue I think I might have heard.

>

 

I agree, it's part of the fascination of the film.

 

> It?s obvious that Bellinski (Boyer) and Cluny Brown (Jennifer) like each other. When she talks a little out of context, Bellinski jumps right in there and joins her illogical Logic. He?s not afraid...he?s with her all the way. In fact, he might be a little blooeey himself:

>

 

Ha! Yes and isn't it wonderful. They have their own world, their own place within the cockeyed world around them.

 

 

> ?We must go on being friends. And since we?re not our types, that should be easy; today, we?re not our types. Tomorrow, we might not look so bad to each other.?

>

> We are made privy to a private moment of Bellinski?s when he rehearses what he would say to Cluny:

>

> ?Pacts are made for two reasons. One to be kept, the other...to be broken.?

>

 

Love those moments---Boyer's performance is a marvel. Soooo many nuances, so many conflicting emotions and impressions and they all register in his delivery and face. I cannot believe he is seldom mentioned among the great screen actors.

 

> He?s about to invite her out. But gosh darn it, she already has a date with the Chemist Wilson. What the-- Watch poor Bellinski as he fiddles with his tie:

>

 

 

I need to go back to that scene...I missed the tie fiddling.

 

 

> ?The glass of beer I was going to offer seems so flat after all those bottles and vials filled with magic.?

>

> And with that baritoned sexy French accent and coal-black eyes....Cluny, is ya k-krazy?!!! I can smell the Seine coming through his pores.

>

 

Lol! What a line! You're right only I smell something more pleasant: the chestnut trees in the rain..that's when Paris smells its sweetest (as per Sabrina, a Lubitsch laced comedy by Lubitsch acolyte, Billy Wilder).

 

> Lubitsch lets us see that Cluny subconsciously thinks about Bellinski b?cuz she references him when she hopes Mr. Wilson notices her hat and how she hoped he would think it was a ?garden on her head.?

>

 

Oh yes! What a wonderful little moment that you recalled. It does speak of the power Adam already has to awaken her awareness...unbeknownst to her.

 

> Characters don?t say what they mean...(The Maid and Butler say what they mean, if I remember correctly). Lubitsch also uses the ploy of having Bellinski and Cluny Brown say things that the viewing audience understands, but the characters within the film do NOT understand. Wasn't there a scene with Reginald Gardiner (who was wonderful too) where Bellinski is explaining something to him that the audience already knows. It makes perfect sense to us...but then Gardiner (as Mr. Carmel) says: "That's much too deep for me, Bellinski." Again, I busted out laughing.

>

 

Gardiner is hilarious, so like Betty Cream. He is a flower, a decorative satellite in high society.

 

> Lubitsch?s commentary on politics or social mores:

>

> * The rich can afford to travel. But they?re very closed and xenophobic. They let nothing and NO ONE in.

>

> * Servants knowing their place and servants knowing other people?s place. They seem to be the most rigid in holding that position.

>

> * Bellinski tells Mr. Carmel to stay angry and he will get through what will come.

>

 

Brilliant observations...this is the way Lubitsch likes to handle "The Serious" in life. Never, ever comes on stridently or preachingly. To Be or Not To Be (ah, that is the question, along with "Where is my place in life?") is about as overt as he ever got on "The Serious" and it's still a darkly subversive comedy for the time (Most people couldn't swallow it, it was too far ahead of its time). They wanted "The Serious" to be taken....seriously!

 

Like Chaplin, but in a different style, Lubitsch ripped away the dignity cloaking evil and could reveal so much about ourselves by making us laugh at them---only later on we realize we are, at the same time, laughing at ourselves, at life itself in all its wasteful absurdity.

 

>

> I've heard of "Cluny Brown" for years. Years. I thought it was some kind of costume drama. (Bleh!!) Never even ventured to see it. Absolutely no interest. Then I get the DVD of this movie. (Thank you out there!!!!) I skim over what some of you posted below, which whets my appetite. Then I watch it. All of it. The music in the opening credits herald this to be the world of the Absurd. And I really enjoyed it.

>

> And I'm now here to say I love "Cluny Brown.? The dialogue, the acting...the message.

 

I'm so glad. :)

 

Squirrels to the nuts!"

Cluny-JJ2.jpg

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I love you guys. I really do. _This_ is why I come here.

 

and now I'm crying, reading about Jennifer/Cluny and I realize that it hurt me too to see her put down for simply being. Jennifer was a wonderful actress, able to capture that very special niche for those of us who understand what it is to be different inside. I love to see her win out in the end and find her dream.

 

and just when I dry my eyes, along comes MissG, to say that under appreciated Charles Boyer is among the great screen actors. I have to wipe my eyes all over again.

 

Just wonderful, wonderful reading today. Thank goodness for you people.

 

Photobucket

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I think he has different films for different occasions, or maybe for different feelings.

 

Cluny Brown, to me, anyway, goes directly to my emotions. I cannot watch it like I do other films. You have to feel it. That is why I am having a very hard time writing about it - because it's hot-wired into a place where I have no words and I can't process it glibly or make it translate to a place where I CAN find the words for it.

 

Parts of *To Be Or Not To Be* (do I capitalize that whole title?) makes me an emotional mess...like Felix Bressart's Shakespeare speech.

 

*The Shop Around the Corner* is filled with another kind of emotion for me.

 

I could break down and cry watching the Lubitsch musicals and comic silents, because they are so fairy tale in quality, so let's pretend-ey, but that's more just me rather than something inherent the movie.

 

I think you either feel Cluny Brown or you don't.

 

Um... I mean.....you know what I mean. :)

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> I think he has different films for different occasions, or maybe for different feelings.

>

> Cluny Brown, to me, anyway, goes directly to my emotions. I cannot watch it like I do other films. You have to feel it. That is why I am having a very hard time writing about it - because it's hot-wired into a place where I have no words and I can't process it glibly or make it translate to a place where I CAN find the words for it.

>

 

That's how I feel about it. It's much harder to analyze and put into words than any of his other films.

 

> Parts of *To Be Or Not To Be* (do I capitalize that whole title?) makes me an emotional mess...like Felix Bressart's Shakespeare speech.

>

 

:) That speech is lovely, I do adore Felix. He is often the soft, warm heart in Lubie's films. When he tells Ninotchcka "They can't censor our memories" I become a mess.

 

> *The Shop Around the Corner* is filled with another kind of emotion for me.

>

 

Yes, yes, I know. For me it's the "warmest" and most familial of his films. I think it hearkens to his childhood and the family business.

 

> I could break down and cry watching the Lubitsch musicals and comic silents, because they are so fairy tale in quality, so let's pretend-ey, but that's more just me rather than something inherent the movie.

>

 

That's so lovely, Jackie and I don't think it's just you. I feel the same way. Like he whipped us up on a cloud and took us to his kingdom. He creates Wonderlands like Alice never saw.

 

 

> I think you either feel Cluny Brown or you don't.

>

> Um... I mean.....you know what I mean. :)

 

Yes, I do indeed.

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Yay.... I just did a quick google and Cluny is a youtube... I have NO clue when I will get the time to watch... but reading even just a portion of all of this is telling me I will have to figure it out. OH wowsa. (good golly.. I just get ONE movie crossed off my wanna see list in time to add another!!) sigh...

 

But I will try and make time soon. (but may not be able to until the weekend) But thanks for bringing this one to my attention folks. I will look forward to it.

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Jaxxxx, I love the screen cap of Cluny and Bellinski looking through the window. Jennifer Jones looked so fashionably and smartly dressed that I...wow!! Finally at the end of the movie, Jennifer looked soooooo...Jennifer.

 

You and Miss Goddess (and thank you Baby-T) comments on my post are really so appreciated, I can't quite express it with any coherency. Just know I don't do this frivolously. (Not even in Rich's horror/sci-fi thread). I don't phone it in. I don't robo-post. I don't cast off bon mots like S*** doused in perfume. I don't need an anti-thread. I don't need to tear a film apart to make ME feel good. I don't need to shred anyone's faves if I'm not quite feeling it. I don't need a multitude of names to express my love for classic films. (You only need a multitude of names to cowardly hide behind, anyway). I don't need to thumb my nose at the Moderators. All I need to do is really take my time and really give thought to what I say. That's what these great old films deserve. That's what TCM deserves. Sometimes my efforts pay off. How? Well...being complimented by the best, is truly high praise indeed. Encouraging PMs are another way.

 

Thank you so much, guyz. I will soon turn to looking at your wonderful posts on this great new find of mine: "Cluny Brown."

 

"Cluny Brown." What the heck took me so long??? < Doh!! >

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You and Miss Goddess (and thank you Baby-T) comments on my post are really so appreciated, I can't quite express it with any coherency. Just know I don't do this frivolously. (Not even in Rich's horror/sci-fi thread). I don't phone it in. I don't robo-post. I don't cast off bon mots like S*** doused in perfume. I don't need an anti-thread. I don't need to tear a film apart to make ME feel good. I don't need to shred anyone's faves if I'm not quite feeling it. I don't need a multitude of names to express my love for classic films. (You only need a multitude of names to cowardly hide behind, anyway). I don't need to thumb my nose at the Moderators. All I need to do is really take my time and really give thought to what I say. That's what these great old films deserve. That's what TCM deserves. Sometimes my efforts pay off. How? Well...being complimented by the best, is truly high praise indeed. Encouraging PMs are another way.

 

Oh I most definitely agree! Each classic film has it's own definition, and by that I mean they have their own highest praise to the hard work put into each one. They do deserve it, b/c so many people now-days take them for granted! It makes me sad, b/c really, they let yourself drift off into this other world that you love so much and don't ever want to leave!....Oh goodness, I sounds like Alice in Wonderland...but you get my point! Heehee! You really did a great job Cinie-T!

 

Edited by: butterscotchgreer on Apr 6, 2010 4:33 PM

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Maven, what can I say about your CLUNY BROWN ramble that hasn't been said by everybody else? Your passion, analysis, intuition, powers of description, sheer joy, is just mind-boggling. I certainly cannot add anything unique in my perspective of this wonderful film. I've got Jennifer Jones on my list in Jackie's Greatest Characters thread, and everything I think about her as Cluny, you have brought out with remarkable clarity.

 

The scene that resonates the strongest with me is the gently satiric way Lubitsch films Cluny's wistfully romantic/domestic rapture listening to Mr. Wilson's piano interlude. The poignant wash of emotions brushing across her face, that longing for a peaceful "place" (so at odds with her wildly adventurous subconscious desires for adventure, freedom, individuality that Boyer represents) is very touching to me. This may sound odd, but at that moment she reminds me a bit of her Madame Bovary, restless and yearning for some special picturesque location in the world that will magically create a safe haven for fanciful girlish dreams of idealized love.

,

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I totally can see your correlation between Cluny Brown and Emma Bovary. (See that's why you're the doctor...and I am the patient). That scene you mentioned shows the wheels actually turning in Cluny's head as she tries to "make" herself enjoy this and "make" herself fit into place. It was subtle, but you've pointed it out.

 

That's why I was soooooo shocked when I saw Cluny at the end with Bellinski, smartly dressed

and smiling and hmmmm....natural. Even though we couldn't hear what she was saying, she

looked so natural and like she belonged in the world.

 

Thanxxx so much for your compliments. They're appreciated more than you'll ever know. See, I get all sentimental and mushy about movies, while you get to the fine laser-beamed point. (You're Eve Arden and Ilka Chase all rolled into one, don'cha know!) All I can say, again, is that I really love classic films...as many of you do. Your praise means a lot, Bronxie.

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Yay -- I love being compared to Eve and Ilka!! Thank you my Maven!

And, since I am now Lisa Vale, I want to publicly come out and disinherit my bad seed daughter June, who had been simply abominable to Aunt Charlotte.

 

Like Emma, Cluny had been "told" by society what she could and couldn't aspire to by virtue of her sex and position in the social strata.

(But Dr. Bovary seems like Rosanno Brazzi compared to Mr. Wilson)

 

When I initially saw CLUNY BROWN, I was sort of shocked to see Jennifer all chic-ly dolled up towards the end -- it didn't make sense to me at first -- there seemed to be more of a romantic attraction by her towards Belinski than he about her, and I just couldn't buy them as a couple, except if I viewed the story as basically a Cinderella tale of sorts, with Cluny's "prince" rescuing her FROM the castle.

 

For some reason, I keep thinking this wasn't set in 1938 England, because it has a more Victorian feel to it. The way Cluny is treated by the Carmels (talk about a different kind of tinkle with another kind of bell as Lady Alice rings it with the most painfully exquisite hidebound noblesse oblige, during the crumpets-and-tea scene) as well as the servants, perhaps I'm naive, but I didn't think the class system was still so prevalent during that "modern" time. Cluny seemed very 19th century to me, or at the very least, Edwardian. But then sometimes I also feel there is a certain timelessless to her character.

 

Edited by: Bronxgirl48 on Apr 10, 2010 5:32 PM

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I came up with this test when I was in Vienna, waiting for Louis Jourdan to give me a tumble. I had a lot of time on my hands and so managed to get myself a degree in psychiatry.

 

It also makes beautiful Christmas wrapping paper.

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> {quote:title=Bronxgirl48 wrote:}{quote}

> I did.

>

> We ran into Capucine, David Niven, and Claudia Cardinale.

 

:D

 

Where was Inspector Clouseau? Oh, still in the slammer I bet. But oh, boy, when he gets out... ;)

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Yes I do recall Curd's fondness for singing and music. Does he still have issues with the piano playing? I hope not.

 

One of my favorite songs, "It Had Better Be Tonight"...it sounds so much better in Italian. So does "Hello".

 

I had a jumpsuit exactly like Fran's, sans the jeweled applique. I'm wondering now what happened to it....but that's another story.

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> {quote:title=MissGoddess wrote:}{quote}

> Yes I do recall Curd's fondness for singing and music. Does he still have issues with the piano playing? I hope not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nah, Curd's a relatively well-adjusted guy now.

 

I'd forgotten how sexy and good-looking he was as a Chinese/Dutch soldier with Ingrid Bergman in THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQH1k40kknA

>

> One of my favorite songs, "It Had Better Be Tonight"...it sounds so much better in Italian. So does "Hello".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just heard It Had Better Be Tonight on YouTube for the first time in English. You're right. I don't think I've ever head Hello though (in any language)

 

Oh, heavens, Viv as Mrs. Treadwell just did her impromtu Charleston from SOF...

>

> I had a jumpsuit exactly like Fran's, sans the jeweled applique. I'm wondering now what happened to it....but that's another story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had hair like hers in the 60's but unfortunately not the jumpsuit.

 

Now you've got me intrigued...

 

Edited by: Bronxgirl48 on Apr 11, 2010 1:26 AM

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> My hair looked like Fran's on my wedding day.... but I didn't wear a jumpsuit.

 

How gorgeous, Jackie! I love that style, I'm sure you looked divine. I wish I

could wear my hair up but it really does not suit me at all, I don't have the right

face shape for it.

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