Tuesday, June 10, 2008

For the Ladies? For the Fella's?


Last Saturday I was so hungover that I managed to catch both the American Summer blockbuster overflow films in one day - I'm in wintry Australia fyi. I'm sure when those fat bald movie bigwigs (aren't they always?) were sitting in their offices they thought reprise a classic action film - one for the guys and the girlfriends they drag along - extend a smash HBO show - one for the girls and their 3 other girlfriends - holiday mega-movies fun for all sexes!
To tell the truth I have never been more disappointed with the $31 I spent at Greater Union and Hoyts. Never have a longed more for a film produced by Judd Apatow to be released - oh Apatow how did I survive without you? O.K - they were bearable - just but I would have walked out of both with the slightest of encouragement just to get some Vodka to put in my Sex and The City Diet Coke-tail shaker. For both - Indiana Jones: Curse of the Difficult Ending and Sex and The City: The Tearjerker, poor scriptwriting, was definitely a problem. With scriptwriters in Hollywood it seems to be one of those - Which came first the chicken or the egg? scenarios. Do they get treated badly and paid poorly because they are lazy and untalented? Or do they choose to take out their poor treatment on lovers of good-bad films like me and my friends? One for the ages?

Indie Jones! See regardless of Cate's Cannes apologies for her accent, aging superhero Harrison Ford, (the one thats not the guy from the Apple Ad) Shia Le Bouf and the host of usual suspects - the acting/casting was definitely not the problem with Indiana Jones the movie. The main issues for me was the lack of truly funny moments, of classic Indiana stunts, the amount of CGI and the clich├ęd story writing - aliens, I'm your Father and the ever impending threat of the Reds - leave it to Star Wars George! I thought this was supposed be a return to old school - because besides the cinematic cred do you know what makes old movies cool? The fact that they didn't have CGI - to look at a cool stunt and think how did they do that!? Also where was all the usual religious subtext these films are known for? Next thing you know Prince Caspian will be flying away in his flying saucer - nah just kidding - but I always enjoy a good religious metaphor more than it was a dream/they were all aliens/we just invited this new technology as a way to explain the unexplainable.
SATC! no matter what the reviews, the poor word of mouth or the intense merchandising advertising (how many Diet Cokes, tampons/pads, hair straighteners etc can we flog off at this particular oestrogen fest?) every girl/woman between the ages 16-60 was going to see this movie jus' cause. Six seasons - six years, most people have seen the show through that long and thats a lot of nights in. For me that was from the ages of 16 - 21 - formative years my friends, years of emotional nostalgia and attachment. For me SATC was my Erica Jong meets GGW with adventurous fashion statements - for a virgin in boarding school who had never drunk a cocktail and had only recently learnt what the Nike symbol meant (hippie parents), this show was like a parallel universe. People say the media teaches us about sex, consumerism, materialism and all the other good stuff too early - let me tell you I was an eager student and was taking notes. Yeah I cried when Steve turned to Miranda and said 'You're the One' - more than I did when Big said it to Carrie anyway. I still watch the show today - find it numbing and enjoyable, even if I find the strong focus on marriage, babies and getting old is starting to hit a bit close to home.
However by the time SATC the movie had rolled round I had been to New York, I had been to all the stores, streets, clubs they'd spoken about. Plus I'd seen about 1000+ more movies than I had when I was a teenager. Was this why I was disappointed? I don't think so. I think it was the "poor me" story lines, the lack of funny gags (except for Samantha!) - and I'm sorry Charlottes pough-ing her pants only funny in American Pie, and the settling. Going back to the guy who cheated on you and the guy who hurt you and left you at the altar? Not exactly inspiring or exciting or even romantic escapism. Just depressing - like the reality we dread and hope doesn't exist. Don't' we watch TV shows like SATC and see TV for movies to escape from the possible reality of flaws and foibles for the girls that will risk security and settling for the hope of something or someone better. I mean these are the girls who blow their mortgage on shoes - I only (sadly) have to look around my social circle to see people who have settled - I don't need to pay $15 to see it!
PS I'm not even going to dignify the Samantha gets fat story line - please!

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