Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Father of the Bride by Edward Streeter

  • THE BOOK
    • Father of the Bride by Edward Streeter
      • This version of the book has illustrations by Gluyas Williams
        • Williams, a cartoonist, was born in San Francisco in 1888 and died in Newton, Massachusetts in 1982.
    • Published in 1948
    • Other works by author include Mr. Hobbs' Vacation; Merry Christmas, Mr. Baxter; Dere Mable; and Thats me all over, Mable.

  • THE PREMISE
    • Mr. Stanley Banks' daughter Kay is getting married. The story follows his point of view as he experiences the frenzy surrounding the wedding.
    • He experiences the following:
      • Having a talk with Kay's fiance, Buckley
      • Meeting Buckley's parents
      • The engagement party
      • Choosing the caterer
      • Trying and failing to keep the guest list down
      • Getting used to the idea of "losing" his little girl
      • The wedding and reception
    • Two movies have been made based on the novel:
      • "Father of the Bride" in 1950 starring Spencer Tracy as Stanley Banks and Elizabeth Taylor as Kay, the bride. Elizabeth is at her most radiant in this film.
      • "Father of the Bride" in 1991 starring Steve Martin as George Banks and Kimberly Williams as Annie, the bride.

  • MY THOUGHTS
    • This book was a gift from my best friend, Lady Chardonnay. Thanks, Lady C!
    • I love the Spencer Tracy-Elizabeth Taylor movie and it is faithful to the book with a few minor changes.
      • Sorry, I have never seen the Steve Martin version. I know many people love it but it does not look faithful to the book.
    • This was fun to read and one thing that surprised me was the inclusion of a couple of prhases that would never have been allowed in films of the early 1950s. Stanley's favorite epithet seems to be "Good God!"
      • Here's an example:
        • "The Society Editor would hand your copy to the office boy, who would bitch the whole thing up anyhow."
      • Here's another:
        • One of the caterer's staff: "Too many God-damn bushes out here. Ought to get rid of 'em."
      • I find it hypocritical of society that it was perfectly fine for these things to be in books but they needed to be kept at all costs from the movies!
      • The movie is definitely rated G but the book is PG!
    • What's also amusing is the fact that I am older than Stanley Banks! He mentions his age, 50, a couple of times. Well, 50 in 1948 was "old" compared to 55 in 2017, right?!
    • The story has a few quaint moments, notably in the prices for things that would make today's father of the bride weep. 
      • Stanley wants to keep to a budget where the price per person is $3.72 and this includes everything: food, flowers, champagne and cake!
        • With the guest total as 572 early on, this translates to a cost of just over $2,100. I just looked up a local caterer choosing their "Light Garden Wedding" as closest to the book's reception plan and they estimate a cost of $45 to 70 per person!! That's a total of $25,000 to $40,000!! Not counting the flowers or anything else. 
        • I'm now obsessed with going through the menu options at this local caterer!
          • Pineapple Upside Down Cake is $8.50 PER PERSON! 
          • "Sonoma County Bounty Display" aka cheese, crackers and fruit cost $8.25 per person.
          • Street Tacos are $6.20 per person.
          • Deviled Eggs are $48 for a tray that serves 12-15 people. "Traditional deviled eggs but with the tang of Dijon mustard" is just how I make them anyway and for less than $48!
        • I think today you could probably hire a food truck or two and it would be cheaper than actual catering!
        • This might be one of those things that's like how I feel about room service: a good idea in theory but I am way too cheap to pay so much extra for it. 
    • Well, that was a fun discursion!
      • Dang, now I'm hungry for deviled eggs.
    • Anyway, this book was fun and I enjoyed the author's writing style. The illustrations were a great addition too. 
    • Recommended for those who enjoy a quick fun read with gentle humor.
    • ★ ★ ★

2 comments:

  1. I learned a new word today, discursion. I am now hungry for deviled eggs, too. Good God, make some now and don't bitch them up.

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  2. Dijon mustard in deviled eggs?? Ughy-pew. But then again, I top mine with caviar (a jar I buy at Stop & Shop); would you guys even try them?

    So glad you liked the book!! I laughed mightily while reading it, though there was one scene that made me bawl (maybe the dad seeing Kay in her wedding dress?) and I read it to Woody and he bawled too. Children should never grow up, never never.

    The Steve Martin movie is a totally different entity, but I enjoyed it as its own thing. But you're right, the amount of money people spend on this nonsense is madness. Steve Martin is quoted a price for a wedding cake, and he stares blankly and says, "It's just flour and eggs, right? Not gold dust??" Seriously!!

    xoxo your BF

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