What I enjoy most about this film is how the sleepy, seemingly unchanged Southern way of life comes apart slowly for this family…and then comes together again in a new version.
The movie opens with scenes of moonlight on water, and from there, we are gifted with wonderful moments that spotlight a relaxed and comfortable way of life.
Youngest daughter Lucille seems like an old soul, taking care of her father after her mother leaves them unexpectedly. I get a sense of how she wants everything to stay the same and fights for the permanence of the life she has envisioned.
But none of the family members stay the same. The father, Warren (Albert Finney) gradually begins to move beyond the four walls of the old family home, perfectly portrayed with spreading verandas and live oak trees surrounding it. His new woman friend (Piper Laurie) is like a breath of fresh air.
Meanwhile, his wife Helen (Jill Clayburgh) has moved into an independent life, one that allows for change.
When oldest daughter Rae comes home with a new husband, and announces her pregnancy, another change is forced upon them all.
Another favorite scene is when Rae, her husband Billy, and Lucille go out to a night club owned by a friend (Alfre Woodard), and Rae gets up to sing. Her husband is stunned. He knew nothing about this version of Rae.
In fact, the themes of this film are all about change…and how, in spite of what any of them want, change is inevitable. And not necessarily a bad thing.
A feel-good movie that shows that change can bring a richness to life, in spite of one’s fears, Rich in Love is one I’ll enjoy watching over and over.
I especially loved Finney’s portrayal of Warren Odom, as well as Suzy Amis’s ability to inhabit the role of Rae Odom.