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How ABBA Changed My Life (02/06/2007)

released: Feb 06, 2007

description: A young man, Jack Longley, takes one last look at his room at Wordsworth Academy before heading out into the world. His father has come to pick him up, and tells his son that he hopes now that he's graduated, Jack will come work with him. Jack tells his father that he already has a job at a literary magazine in Boston. His father, though saddened by this news, tells his son that they are proud of him - even his mother, as sick as she is. The next morning, American Bibliographic Inc is bustling as Miss Beasley chastises Penelope for not invoking enough of a feminist spirit in her latest deconstruction. Jack enters the office and introduces himself as the new hire. Von Schtuben immediately takes him under his wing. As Miss Beasley continues to come down on Penelope, Claire enters the office and asks for a job. Von Schtuben hires her immediately. Later, the entire staff of the literary magazine is out at dinner. Miss Beasley asks Jack to read some of his work to everyone, and he does so. Impressed, she asks Jack to come in with a new poem tomorrow. Infuriated by this, Claire marches to her comfortable upper-middle class home to do the same thing. The two struggle with their respective works all around the city of Boston all through the night. The next morning, Jack enters the office and is immediately asked to share his new poem. His poem, describing his experience at a Red Sox World Series game, is sub-par, and Miss Beasley asks Claire to share what she has written. Her poem is far superior, but just as she finishes, Von Schtuben enters and informs everyone that the Japanese have just bombed Pearl Harbor and the country is at war. This immediately changes everyone's perspective - Miss Beasley decides to feature poems that Von Schtuben wrote during World War I instead of Jack or Claire's poems. The staff forlornly sits at the bar later that night. They leave one by one, until only Claire and Jack remain. The two are reflecting on how the world will change now that they are at war when Jack receives a telegram from his father - his mother doesn't have much time left and he needs to come home immediately. Claire drives Jack to his parents' home, where he says his final good-byes to his mother. Jack feels that he might have gathered enough tragedy and pain and is ready to write some poetry - but he can't do it alone. Together, he and Claire work through the night to construct a poem. They march into the office the next morning and share it with the rest of the staff. It is a patriotic piece that ultimately inspires the country at all levels. When they are finished, everyone agrees that it is excellent, which unfortunately drives Von Schtuben to take his own life. Later, after the staff has laid Von Schtuben to rest in a patriotic celebration, Jack and Claire remain behind and confess their feelings. The two poets ultimately became national heroes through their works of inspiration.

cast & crew:

Directed by . . . Jason Chin
 
Claire Biggles . . . Kristen Studard
Doctor . . . Michael Johnson
Franklin Delano Roosevelt . . . Michael Johnson
Hospitalized Soldier . . . Jorin Garguilo
Jack Longley . . . Rob White
Joseph Stalin . . . Colleen Breen
McCoy Von Schtuben . . . Michael Johnson
Mr. Longley . . . Sean Kelley
Mrs. Carter . . . Colleen Breen
Mrs. Longley . . . Colleen Breen
Ms. Beasley . . . Mel Evans
Penelope . . . Amy Verdon
Red Sox fan . . . Jorin Garguilo
Soldier in Trench #1 . . . Colleen Breen
Soldier in Trench #2 . . . Sean Kelley
Soldier in Trench #3 . . . Mel Evans
Soldier in Trench #4 . . . Michael Johnson
Telegram Boy . . . Sean Kelley
Waiter . . . Sean Kelley
Winston Churchill . . . Jorin Garguilo

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trivia:

  • The name Miss Beasley was taken from the name of one of the two Scottish Terriers to inhabit the White House. However, she is actually a Ms.
  • Since the movie is set in Boston several songs (''Higher Power'' & ''More Than a Feeling'') by the great 70's band Boston were part of the score.
  • In the sonnets of Giacomo da Lentini, the octave rhymed a-b-a-b, a-b-a-b; later, the a-b-b-a, a-b-b-a pattern became the standard for Italian Sonnets. For the sestet there were two different possibilities, c-d-e-c-d-e and c-d-c-c-d-c. In time, other variants on this rhyming scheme were introduced.

    The first known sonnets in English, written by Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, used this Italian scheme, as did sonnets by later English poets including John Milton, Thomas Gray, William Wordsworth and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

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