29 December 2012


Locus Focus: Take Eighty-Six!

Welcome to Dining Rooms Day: The Movie Edition!

December has been a good month for dining rooms. We've managed to look at one from a long-running Middle Grade series, one from an award winning literary novel, and one from an enduring Victorian classic. Today, I feature a dining room from one of the most memorable comedies of my childhood--one I look at with totally new eyes as an adult. Perhaps I'll pick it apart in a Twelve Things post soon; but until then, I'll only say as much as will fit my Top Secret December Theme.

As for January, which is coming up soon, I don't think we'll be doing Locus Focus then. I'd like to give the "Two or Three" Book Club a lot more time, especially since I have an idea for the next novel that I'd like to sell to everybody. So that will be the bulk of the book content next month. We'll do another room of the house in February. I'm already open to suggestions for that!

The Hillard Family's Dining Room
Mrs. Doubtfire

"Dinner is served!"

That's a lovely looking dining room, isn't it? The Hillard family is stunned at how elegantly their new housekeeper, Mrs. Doubtfire, has set the stage for dinner--and are even more impressed (if my fuzzy memories serve me well) when they taste the food on their plates. It's all part of the show, of course: if you're hungry enough--and the Hillards are--then you'll believe anything acted out on a stage as convincing (and delicious) as that. All the better for Mrs. Doubtfire, who is the newly divorced and desperate Mr. Hillard in disguise.

Earlier, backstage in the kitchen, Daniel Hillard nearly killed himself getting a decent meal on the table. He overseasoned one dish, dropped another on the floor, and set himself on fire. At least he saved the Hollandaise sauce, aye? LOL! Thank goodness for fancy restaurants that deliver!

Perhaps he could have made something simpler, like grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches with a side of pickles, and done it very well. But that would have brought the whole act down around his ears. That's not a meal which a proper middle-aged English lady would serve three growing children and their mother, is it? So it's not a meal for his first night in this role.

What we have here is a nice bit of theatre--and there have been many dining rooms which have doubled as stages. But the family dining room feels wrong as one of them. If there is one thing we should be able to do with our families, it is to be ourselves.

Question of the Week: How important is ambiance to a family's dining room?

Image Source: Mrs. Doubtfire dining room

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