Revisited my aging VHS copy of this 1956 classic: Tea & Sympathy offers a prescient analysis of bullying, the violence of enforced gender codes, and rituals of homosocial normativity (enforced male merriment). At the same time that it oddly confronts the homophobia enmeshed in gender policing head-on, it also constantly elides its own nascent queer politics. The voice of conscience throughout, Laura‚??s sometimes proto-feminist / sometimes Mrs. Robinson-esque character is ultimately forced to retract/ repent her radical actions in a moralizing epistolary that closes the film. The protagonist, Tom (John Kerr) redeems himself by becoming a published author of a tell-all memoir.
"But there are bittersweet memories, and they can be pleasant." Laura (Deborah Kerr)
"Years from now, when you talk about this--and you will--be kind." Laura (Deborah Kerr)