Could It Be Love?

         Picture this--our beloved chauvinistic male Torvald of the 1879 Henrik Ibsen play A Doll's House, filmed twice in 1973 by Joseph Losey and Patrick Garland, is walking down the dimly lit street. He (David Warner/Anthony Hopkins) hears a charming voice call out to him asking if anyone would like to buy some flowers.

         Torvald is perplexed. Where is this flower girl from? He cannot seem to place her accent. Strangely curious, he decides to buy some flowers. Since his wife, Nora (Jane Fonda/Claire Bloom), has left him he has not associated in any meaningful way with women much and takes every chance he can get to talk to the "little skylarks." He motions to her; and she gladly brings him the flowers, anxiously awaiting her two bits. Her name is Eliza Doolittle she says with brazen assurance of herself. We remember her from George Bernard Shaw's 1913 Pygmalion, Anthony Asquith's 1938 movie, Alan J. Lerner's 1956 My Fair Lady, and George Cukor's film. Torvald is drawn to this strong-natured Eliza. Is there anyway they could hit it off?

         I think not. Unless Torvald can ever change his view of women and what they are capable of, Eliza Doolittle (Wendy Hiller/Audrey Hepburn) would never have him. She certainly would not stand to be referred to as a small creature or a child, especially after her experience with Professor Higgins (Leslie Howard/Rex Harrison). It would be a wonderful thing for Torvald, though, to have a strong women like Eliza really put him in his place. However, I do not think love could ever be a possibility with the two unfortunately. Eliza is definitely too independent. She has never depended on a man for financial stability, nor has she wanted a man to give it to her. We all know Torvald would have to be the breadwinner.

         Sad to say, this little encounter between Torvald and Eliza could never in a million years amount to anything but a flower transaction.

Josh Coffey

Table of Contents