Do y’all remember the movie Big Business?
It’s one of my all-time favorites and my sisters feel the same. We watched Big Business over and over again when we were kids. The movie stars Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin…and Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin. It was made in 1988 — a great year for both these women, career-wise: Tomlin was all over Sesame Street and Beaches came out that year for Midler. Oh, those 80’s female stars. The comediennes of The Era of The Shoulder Pad. I love them so. They shaped my personality in many ways, to tell the truth.
The movie tells the story of twins separated at birth with a “city mouse, country mouse” theme. Hilarity ensues, partly because the special effects available in ’88 were…rudimentary, compared to what folks do today. So you get Tomlin and Midler interacting with weird, flat-ish mirror images of themselves superimposed on film. But it’s great.
Anyhow, guess what makes several appearances in Big Business? Quilts! Twice! And one scene gives a quilt center stage. I never realized it before, but I watched the movie the other night (while I was sewing, I’ll have you know) and took some screen shots to prove it. The first moment is when Sadie and Rose are in Jupiter Holler at a fair. Look at ’em all!
And the second appearance is when Rune (!) comes to find the country girls in the big city. He brings a quilt to the hotel — he’s gotta have a quilt with him on the trip, of course — and the mercenary wonks who work for the OTHER Sadie and Rose see the quilt and ogle at it. One says to the other in this moment, “Look at the workmanship!” It’s awesome.