Scent of a Woman

We were channel surfing the other night snuggled on the couch flipping in an earnest attempt to find a movie that would hold our attention. There were several options that looked interesting. Rick stopped when he came across “Scent of a Woman.” It’s one of those movies played on television on a regular basis. Rats! Almost thirty minutes of the movie was already gone. I hate when that happens.

“You know I’ve never seen that movie from the very beginning to very end,” I said.

“Me neither. I’ve seen plenty of it, but in bits and pieces. How about we stream it and watch the whole thing?” Rick said.

If you have never seen the movie … in a peanut shell it’s about what happens over a Thanksgiving weekend between a flamboyant retired Army colonel, Frank Slade, and a poor prep school student, Charlie Sims. Charlie, portrayed by Chris O’Donnell, is hired to be Frank’s caretaker for a few days. Cranky Frank is played by Al Pacino and won his first Oscar for the role.

Frank has recently become blind. He also has an interesting gift for being able to tell what perfume scent a woman is wearing. The guy does have a tiny sliver of a charming dimension to him. There is a very memorable dance scene. Frank teaches the tango to a beautiful young lady sitting all alone in a swanky restaurant waiting for her date. The whole scene is breathtaking.

But back to what happens before the tango. So poor Frank is having major issues. Poor guy. He’s recently become blind because of a dumb accident and living with young family members in a dumpy garage apartment. The dude is not a happy camper and expresses his displeasure with quite a potty mouth.

Now Charlie is himself having quite a crisis. He is on the verge of expulsion from his prep school over a prank he witnessed from afar right before the Thanksgiving break. The headmaster is focused on poor and moral Charlie and it looks like he will be the fall guy in the whole sordid affair when school resumes. Major tension ensues.

The part of the movie Rick and I never saw was the “prank” the rich kids performed on the headmaster of the school. It’s pretty awesome! I always wondered why the headmaster had his big boy pants in such a wad. Now I totally get it. The whole movie made so much more sense after seeing the first thirty minutes.

My guess is we’ll be using the television as a source for older great movies to stream from now on. No more missing key parts of character development like why the rich kids were such twits … or the headmaster was lacking moral character … and why I really, really cared about Charlie Sims.

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