It's pretty tough to find a film to watch at home as a family that everyone will enjoy. 'Fairytale, boy-meets-girl romance' combined with 'all action/sci-fi' really doesn't pop up that often. Just recently, #1 teenage son was away in the UK for a swim competition and one less child (and it doesn't really matter which one it is) does make the film challenge a bit more straight forward. Let's be frank - a film that keeps Hella happy makes for much better family harmony and rhapsody and #2 teenage son has always been a child who'll stare at anything that moves ... a plan was beginning to formulate. Time to educate our children in one of the classics. Nothing heavy - we'll save The Godfather and Gone with the Wind for another day - instead, a classic feel-good movie. Anyone for a bit of Sleepless in Seattle?
I hadn't watched it for ages. Years probably. In the past we've struggled to convince the children that any film from before 2000 is worth a look - the unsophisticated special effects plus mobile phones that look like bricks just don't seem to cut it for a generation of sophisticated techno-savvy kids ... but I was hopeful with this one.
I loved the film when it came out in the 90s, for its heartwarming sentiment and its simple humour but I also remember reading at the time that the director had tried hard to ensure that this was a timeless film, so that it wouldn't be tragically dated in 20 years. So had it worked?
I was amazed by how much of the film I remembered - word ... for ... word ... even. Freaky. Maybe I'd watched it more times than I'd chosen to remember or perhaps it's testament to the great writing -
Annie - Destiny is something we've invented because we can't stand the fact that everything that happens is accidental.
Jonah - Talk to her, dad. She's a doctor.
Sam - Of what? Her first name could be Doctor.
Jonah - Thanks for dinner. I've never seen potatoes cooked like that before.
Annie - When a man is a widower, why do we say he was widowed? Why don't we say he was widowered?
Walter (giving Annie an engagement ring) - It was my grandmother's. I had them size it down. She had really fat fingers.
But was it timeless? The music? ABSOLUTELY. The costumes? Tom Hanks's voluminous trousers were a bit off but I guess that fashion could have come back around again by next season. And Meg Ryan's red velvet Christmas dress? Questionable. And hair was big - for men and women - not sure that styling products were really a thing back then.
But the big question for me was whether I would still adore Tom Hanks's waterside home in Seattle. Back in the day, it was my dream house ... and it hasn't lost a thing for me 20 years later. Love, love, love it.
In summary, a perfect, pretty timeless film which Hella gave the big thumbs up. #2 teenage son went to bed 40 minutes into it, but he was SO tired that I'd like to think that would've happened whatever the film.
So some things really are timeless classics, but often they need a little tweak or two in order to nail it completely (TH's trews - case in point). And here's a perfect example ... Banoffee Pie - a classic dessert from the 70s/80s - slightly dated in its own right, but with a couple of tweaks you can create a dessert that captures the flavours and those gorgeous textures, but looks much more 'now'. And as a bonus is easier to make than the original version.
These Mini Banoffee Trifles are a deconstruction of the pie and are layered in little glasses. They are my all-time favourites. I love, love, love them and in fact, they are the ONLY dessert that our whole family agrees on as being complete perfection.
So what makes me sure that you will love, love, love them too?
- They are easy ... so VERY easy. It's more about construction than creating. No special skills required here.
- They are also quick to put together - particularly if you've followed the advice here of always cooking the caramel in bulk so that you have it to hand to use at the drop of a hat.
- They are utterly delicious - crumbly, oaty biscuits; slices of banana; a drizzle of lemon juice (prevents the bananas from going brown but also cuts through the sweetness like magic); swirls of caramel sauce; softly whipped cream and a sprinkle of toasted, flaked almonds. Heaven.
- The fact that they are in individual glasses means there isn't any need to portion out.
- These little beauties are very happy to be made ahead of time, so are great if you want to be super organised.
- A perfect treat to take round to a friend's when you've promised dessert.
So bag yourself a timeless classic in your dessert repertoire. A true 'feel-good' dessert for sure ...