Writer, actor, producer and director Garry Marshall passed away and took with him one precious example of entertainment’s best quality: sentimentality.
He was sheepish about the sentimentality of Happy Days, The Odd Couple, Pretty Woman, Princess Diaries, Laverne & Shirley, among others but he was not apologetic.
Why is it that sweet, sappy, naive, gentle, kind behaviors in art are perceived less valuable than harsh, skeptical, slick, angry and mean behaviors in music, books, television and film? Why is sentimentality maligned? It seems a perfectly nice emotion.
If art imitates life, and a good number of smart people believe it does, there is plenty of room for those sentimental moments of wonder, foolish hope and happy endings.
Alas, without Mr. Marshall, they will be a little harder to find.