Friday night is date night at home at our house. We decided to start the tradition in order to give ourselves something specific to look forward to during the week, have a chance to make some of the awesome internet recipes that I have found, and to start actually watching some of the movies that everyone says are so great.

This past Friday night was our inaugural date night. It was incredible. We made BBQ Chicken Quesadillas, Bruschetta, Cheese Fondue and a Simple Chocolate Cake. We also had a delicious Chianti- Ruffino Superiore, I think. I know that sounds like a hodge podge but it was like having a super indulgent appetizer sampler platter along with yummy wine and chocolate.

I LOVE How Sweet It Is! I have never had a recipe fail from her site. We are going to be making at least one of her recipes each week and our desserts from the ‘Chocolate and Coffee Bible’ linked above. I would recommend all 4 of the dishes we prepared. They were both simple and indulgent. The best thing about the food was that we splurged on cheese, chocolate, and wine- all in the same meal. Three of the most oft-overlooked food groups.

Our movie selection was ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ which is based on the career of George M. Cohan. The movie was number #100 on AFI’s 1997 list ‘100 Years, 100 Movies’. I had seen this movie before and happen to love it. I have a weakness for musicals, films from the 1940’s, and patriotic songs and stories. I was sorry that it was removed from AFI’s 2007 list, but it will remain on my lists of “Favorite Movies” and “Best Movies Ever Made”.

I think one reason it is both to me is because it is the exact opposite of American film noir, both in style and content. It is very light-hearted, inspiring, patriotic, and optimistic. I appreciate film noir but I do not believe that something must be dark or cynical (to put it very simply) in order to be profound or have value. This is a country of legitimate success stories and, in spite of what some people think, actually has a genuine culture. This movie embodies a lot of that. George M. Cohan grew up as a traveling vaudeville performer and became one of the greatest composers and performers in our country’s history. And he received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his songs ‘Over There’ and ‘You’re A Grand Old Flag’. Both of these songs embody and have continued to nurture our culture’s desire to be strong, moral victors who celebrate liberty, attempt to unite under a symbol that represents ideas (not race or status), will fight for our freedom and fight in order to finish and leave (not amass land or property).

Also, I am a fanatic for anything historical that is also accurate and well put- together. This movies succeeds on all accounts. The details are mostly correct, the sets and costumes are well designed, and the song and dance numbers are lavish and inspiring. This movie serves as a good picture of the career of George M. Cohan, and because of its age, as a source regarding film styles in the early 1940’s.  

Just like I believe that certain songs and albums are worth carving out time to experience before you die, I believe certain films are worth it also.