As it turned out, of course, the owner was just a creepy old dude who hired a succession of 16 year old girls with dark hair and large breasts to work at his store, and no one really cared what I had to say about things after all. Sigh. This would later turn out to be the story of my life. I spent most of the money I earned there in my 3 month stint on cigarettes and coffee, and of course some pizza to share with my friends who would hang out across the street spanging and being all punk rock and stuff in Oxford Square. Those were the days!
Anyway, this is the storyline! Once again, I'd say "Spoiler Alert!" but it's not like you're actually going to bother watching it, so whatevs. Ok, so there's this chick, Marguerite/ Violetta/ whathaveyou, and she's a courtesan and has a fancy sugar daddy who is a Baron of some kind. Then she meets Armand/Alfredo and they fall madly in love, but she feels really insecure and worries about the whole having been a courtesan thing messing shit up. But they're so in love! Love, love, love, and he doesn't care because he loves her so much. Then they go to his country home and she meets his Dad. Daddy is specifically not cool with the whole her having been a courtesan thing (because he's an uptight old person) and plays on all her insecurities, telling her that if Armand/Alfredo stays with her, it will ruin his life and also the lives of everyone in their family. She feels really, really bad. Wouldn't you? I would feel like shit. So Marguerite tries to do what's best and totally gives Armand the Harry and The Hendersons treatment.
And then she gets consumption. Of course! So she's all alone, dying and poor- and Armand figures out what his dad did and comes to her side just as she's about to die. And it's really fucking sad. Then she dies and Armand and his Dad both feel terrible, and everyone feels terrible because in spite of the fact that she was not perfect, she was a really nice and selfless person who only wanted to do the right thing, and now she's dead.
There have been like 85,000 adaptations of this work, and the lead role was at one point considered to be like, the female equivilent of Hamlet. It's pretty much the original Hooker with a Heart of Gold story. But more than that, I think the reason it resonated so much and for so long and through so many things is that it has like, the worlds most emotionally satisfying ending.
Hear me out- yes, it's really, really fucking sad. A whole box of Kleenex worth of sad. But if one must die, I suppose the best thing you can ask for is that everyone who was ever shitty to you would feel really bad about said shittyness, and for everyone in general to come to the realization that maybe you really were the best, most noble person they'd ever met, and for those you loved to realize they love you. Also, Robert Taylor hanging out wouldn't be so bad either. See?