I was late to this dinner party, but I finally watched 1967’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” the other day. And man, did I thoroughly enjoy this. Those who know me well, know that I love me some classic films and everything “swingin’ 60s”…and this movie is the best of both worlds. You’ve got Sidney Poitier (the sophistication and confidence that he oozes on the screen is undeniable and unmatched) in his prime AND one of the most (if not THE most) iconic film duos/couples of all time, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.
I love me some Hepburn! Her characters are always strong, stylish, witty and fierce. Her “Joanna Drayton” is no different. For me, this is one of her best roles…definitely memorable. And her wardrobe was to-die-for! Definitely old age life goals for me.
Although it was released in 1967, this very well could have been 2020. For some reason some folks still get caught up on interracial couples SMH. But this film did a really good job of telling the story of a young white woman who brings are new fiancé (who just happens to be black) home to meet her parents. Her parents are liberal so she thinks everything is going to go swimmingly…Poitier’s characters is much less naive. This film confronts the “liberal facade” head-on and with sincerity. There was only one thing that I really took issue with…well not issue with really, it just kind of stuck out to me…this was another example of Hollywood kind of easing the guilt for the white viewer. The film the liberal parents not have as strong an objection to the union as the black maid or the black father (they are the unreasonable ones who need to learn a lesson here LOL). But that’s to be expected in 1960s Hollywood, I guess.
The film also did a pretty good job of touching on the generational divide, especially when it comes to expectations and race relations. Cecil Kellaway‘s “Monsignor Ryan” was delightful and the moment I heard the maid Tilly’s voice, I instantly recognized her…”Weezie” from “The Jeffersons” (Isabel Sanford)! Overall, I highly recommend this classic.
Currently streaming on Criterion Channel (not sure for how much longer though).