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December 23, 2003

Mona Lisa brings smiles

By Amanda Shope

If you think Mona Lisa Smile is going to be just your average “chick flick,” then you are very wrong.

Though the film mostly attracted women to the theater, by the time it ended, they were ready to bring their husbands, sons or boyfriends back to see it with them.

This movie shows the strain on young women attending all-girl colleges half a century ago and the ups and downs of their lives and looming marriages.

The story is set at the prestigious Wellesley College campus, located in New England, during the fall of 1953.

Teacher Katherine Watson, played by Julia Roberts, leaves from California and travels to Wellesley in order to teach art history. When she arrives, she expects students to want to learn about art, but gets a big surprise when most of the students have already finished the entire textbook and syllabus.

She learns later that most of the students who attend there have been taught that getting married and starting a family is more important than furthering their education.

Naturally, Ms. Watson, who is unmarried, begins to try to show her students that life goes beyond marriage, and that learning is important.

She soon runs into trouble from her coworkers and even a student, Betty Warren, and the new teacher begins to wonder if she will receive an invitation to teach at Wellesley again in the following year – and if she would even want the job again.

There are many twists and turns to the plot, many of them marriage-oriented, that makes the film a must-see for those of us who enjoy seeing a few marriages, mistakes, divorces and even the occasional new love.

Although I can’t tell you the ending, I can almost guarantee that Mona Lisa Smile is a movie that even the men of America will enjoy and want to see over and over again.

So catch  Mona Lisa Smile, in theaters now, and enjoy the 117 minutes of love, lust and life lessons.

 

 

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