Monday, February 26, 2018

Got Luck? It Could Happen to You! #MovieMondayChallenge

On the last (or fourth) Monday of each month, a group of bloggers participate in a #MovieMondayChallenge, hosted by C'mon Get Crafty! We decide on a topic, genre, or specific movie to use for inspiration and everyone gets free reign to create something wonderful!
This month's challenge was. . . . "LUCK! Everyone was allowed to choose their own favorite film so long as it was inspired by the challenge word.

I knew as soon as I saw the word 'Luck' which movie I wanted to work with - 'It Could Happen to You', the 1994  romantic comedy set in New York City that opens with the narrator, Angel, introducing the main characters as Frank Sinatra reminds us that 'fairy tales can come true, if you're young at heart'.

The short summary of this movie - which is very much a fairy tale - is this: Charlie Lang (Nicolas Cage) is a good cop who lives a simple yet satisfying life with his wife Muriel (the hilarious Rosie Perez) - who may be leading the same life but is experiencing it very differently. Where he sees cause for contentment, she sees not enough and she resents him for his lack of ambition for more.  Muriel dreams of more, and she fully believes she deserves more.

Muriel tells Charlie to buy a lottery ticket, which he does.  This is where it gets complicated (well... complicated by feel good rom-com standards) - at a coffee shop, he and his partner get lunch and Charlie realizes he doesn't have enough cash to leave a tip.

He tells the waitress, Yvonne (Bridget Fonda) that if he wins the lottery, she can have half.  For obvious reasons, she figures she'll never see that tip - even further confirmed by a series of terrible events that had already happened to her that day, including a leech of an ex who has drained her account, forcing her to declare bankruptcy.

So of course you know what happens next, right?

Charlie wins the lottery for $4 million and gives her half!  Of course, Muriel isn't at all happy about that turn of events - she was busy freaking out about needing to share the money with other winners before she'd even had a moment to enjoy having won - when she learns he gave away half, she is livid and before long, she demands a divorce. And all the money.

Meanwhile, Charlie and Yvonne slowly develop a relationship with each other as they share their new wealth with their community in NYC, and deal with the conniving Muriel trying to get all of the money in the divorce.

Seems clear the connection to luck, doesn't it?  Except it isn't so much about the lottery, even if that is a catalyst for the plot. Each character has a different idea of what luck is and how it relates to them.

Charlie begins the movie from a place of contentment. He believes he has enough and enjoys doing things for others and spending time with the kids in the neighborhood.  As the movie goes on, we see the money mainly disrupting that contentment until he figures out how to use it to fulfill the dreams of people around him, in large and small ways.  Charlie truly enjoys making luck for others.  

Muriel is the opposite.  Muriel wants more... of everything.  She believes it is her destiny to be very wealthy and as soon as the money comes in and Charlie starts giving it away, she ditches him and starts campaigning to keep it all.  Muriel believes in luck - and she believes she's owed a lot of it.  In reality, we only ever see her happy in brief spurts when she's shopping or rubbing shoulders with other wealthy people, and that happiness is fleeting because there is always more she doesn't yet have.

Yvonne has yet a different idea about luck - she believes she has terrible luck (and to be sure, a lot of unpleasantness has happened), and is convinced she doesn't deserve anything good to come her way.  Tellingly, while Charlie was giving money away and Muriel was spending it as quickly as possible, her first act after receiving $2 million was to treat herself to a jar of macadamia nuts.  She's definitely not thinking 'big', but she has a deep understanding of the value of small comforts.

Meanwhile, in spite of her belief that she not only has bad luck, but in fact is bad luck, she buys the coffee shop and keeps working there, welcoming customers on the margins of society. She make a regular customer, a man with AIDS, feel welcome and cared for, and sets up a table in Charlie's name, where anyone can get a meal for free if they can't afford it.

Without sharing the entire plot - at the end, each of these characters return more or less to the financial state where they began - no one permanently joined the ranks of the very wealthy.

But there were happy endings for Charlie and Yvonne and not so happy endings for Muriel and Yvonne's ex, Eddie.  Not because of money, but because generosity and kindness make Charlie and Yvonne feel as if they have everything they need, and so for them,  a return to a normal life of connectedness to their community and each other is, truly, lucky.

Maybe luck, good or bad, is a way of seeing what happens to you and how you respond to things beyond your control.

So, I had several ideas for this one including making a menu board inspired by Yvonne's coffee shop, or even trying to make some homemade scratchers that could be tucked into a card.

But - in our own turn of events - after I signed up to participate, my husband and I decided to look for a larger apartment, and we found the right one - but it meant needing to move soon instead of mid-summer as we'd thought we would.

So we've been decluttering, and I truly have neither the time or space to do anything crafty right now.  But what I did have was this fun  little cross stitch piece I'd finished that I'd been meaning to put into a frame - Plum Street Samplers' free chart, Got Luck?  This is a fast stitch, suitable for beginners and can add a sweet little touch to your March decor.

I tucked it into 4" x 6" IKEA Ribba frame that I hope to paint as soon as I'm able. (I also need to take it out and iron it before it goes into the frame permanently)

I bought a bunch of these IKEA frames, in varying sizes, a year or so ago when they were on sale - they're very handy for quickly framing needlework, and the thick sides means they can stand freely, making them very versatile.

Now let's see what everyone else was inspired to create for this month's #MovieMondayChallenge!! If you'd like to join our Facebook group, you can request an invite here.


  1. I remember watching this film years ago, it was fun and not too taxing to watch if I remember correctly.
    Your cross stitch is very sweet, you make me laugh about ironing it, did you notice when you took photos to share? That's normally when I realise things need a quick iron!

  2. Love to cross stitch. Found you on Tuesdays with a Twist Link Party

  3. I haven't seen that movie for many years, but I remember I really liked it! Your project turned out very pretty! Thank you for hosting and sharing on Party in Your PJ's.

  4. I love love love this movie! That is such a cute cross-stitch, I want to make one! Pinned!

  5. I love this. I used to cross stitch, but my eyes aren't that great these days. I loved the movie too. Thanks for sharing on Sunday's Best.