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Here are some really bitchy comments about movies.

1.  You know what always makes me clench my teeth and stare down at the movie theater floor instead of the screen?  A climactic scene that involves the hero(es) making an impromptu speech(es) about the revelation he/she/they’ve just had in front of a large group of people who have assembled for another purpose entirely.   Or sub meltdown for impromptu speech.  Or sub battle with the antagonist.  Just any melodramatic airing of dirty laundry in front of a crowd.

I hope you’re all enjoying the farmer’s market, but right now I need you to listen to this cliche’d and overwrought Aha! moment I’m going to try to explain to you total strangers at the top of my lungs as though that were a measure of my conviction!  Aren’t I just so quirky and whimsical and raw?  Hooray!  

Isn’t half the fun of a movie supposed to be that you’re getting to watch characters do intimate stuff like you’re a fly on the wall?  Isn’t half the fun of being alive that you get to do intimate stuff in private?  Everybody talks about how awful the people on reality TV are, but then they pay to go see movies where the characters have to do a monologue about their feelings in front of everybody and their mom.  I mean, at least the reality kids can create the illusion of intimacy by talking one-on-one to a camera in a closed room.

Anyway, the point of this rant was to say that I did not enjoy Crazy Stupid Love.  I shouldn’t have expected better from a RomCom, but I let myself because it had Ryan Gosling and a very high score on Rotten Tomatoes.  But if that’s what critics consider a good RomCom, then…I don’t even know anymore.  Can’t they just make something like His Girl Friday again?  Something that Jimmy Stuart and Carey Grant would be proud of?  Something where the characters don’t have to vomit their every thought out loud?  Please?

2.  Will someone (read: Emily) please explain to me what the appeal of a movie like Contagion is?  They showed the preview before Crazy Stupid Film last night, and…all that tension and paranoia and sudden germophobia?  And then you have to go out and live your life after having seen something like that?  We know bad things are going to happen.  We know we probably won’t be well enough prepared when they happen.  Why do people want to see a movie illustrating with gut-wrenching specificity just how bad it’s going to be?  What’s the draw?  I mean, that scene where they show all of the people Gwynneth Paltrow has touched?  Why would you want to see a movie that makes you afraid of touching other people?  I like touching people!  I don’t get to do it near often enough.  Why would you want to be paranoid about that?

I’m sure if you’re a science person it’s really interesting to hear all the stats on the imaginary virus, and lord knows geography nuts like me get a kick  out of seeing how transmission patterns develop, but why actually show all that suffering?  And then show other people struggle desperately, futilely, to stop other people from suffering?  You’re not opening anyone’s eyes; we all already know about this crap.  This is just gratuitous unhappiness, which should be an oxymoron.  I don’t understand.  Please explain.


One response »

  1. The thing about touching people: it’s okay. Really. The bad, bad shit that you get from touching people you can get just as easily from touching their stuff, or the wall they brushed up against, or whatever. It doesn’t matter because there’s nothing you can do. Contact with microbes WILL HAPPEN.

    Also, a ton of shit is just aerosolized and hanging out in the air. Remember my birdflu panic? Well, it turns out that freaked out contagion paranoia shit is just too hot to sustain. You gotta let it go. Wash your hands before you eat stuff. Don’t bite your fingernails.

    But really, just don’t think about it. Because you don’t have access to one of those CDC spacesuits or a negative pressure living space anyway, so if some shit is going around you are certainly just going to catch it. I will catch it first, because it will waltz into my job coughing and puking and bleeding all over the place. By the time we do all our tests and figure out that it’s the plague, too bad so sad for me, I’ve just been holding this person’s hair while they vomited for 5 hours. People don’t live forever.

    Besides, what are you supposed to do with sick, contagious, dying people? You can’t just seal them up in a box. You have to wash your hands and wear your face mask and go in there and touch them, because they’re scared and they need you and you’re a fucking human being.

    WHEW. Bit of a tangent, there.

    I will not be watching this Contagion movie, though. That shit sounds like it will hit a little too close to home. Feel you on the RomCom’s though. I like Ryan Gosling, but movies must be SUBTLE. I like very, very quiet dramas, where you have to squint to see the change in emotional tone. Saying too little is good writing, but it takes good acting to make it work.


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