Sunday, May 31, 2015

The latest in taking back the rom-com - this one doesn't do it

By way of my actor buddy Matt comes this article about a new romantic comedy called Man Up.

The co-author Tess Morris has interesting things to say about romantic comedy:
The curious thing about the romantic comedy is that it has become more maligned than arguably any other genre of cinema. “The number of times I get into conversations with people where they’re dismissive of romantic comedy, which makes me so furious because you don’t dismiss all thrillers, you don’t dismiss all horrors,” says Morris with visible exasperation.
But this is how bad it's got with romantic comedies:
The art of romantic comedy is something of a passion for Morris and Pegg. “I did an essay at university that was a structuralist comparison of Annie Hall and When Harry Met Sally,” Pegg recalls. “I got a first for it. I read it the other day and I didn’t understand it – it’s completely indecipherable to me. It’s like stereo instructions. But, basically, I tried to say that When Harry Met Sally is like a piece of prose, and Annie Hall is a poem because it uses cinematic devices figuratively, like poems, and it rhymes scenes, whereas When Harry Met Sally is a continuous narrative. It wasn’t saying either one is better. Though Annie Hall is better.”
These are examples of romantic comedies - Annie Hall and When Harry Met Sally. Ugh.

I used to like Annie Hall, but Woody Allen's advancing old man creepiness has completely ruined all his old movies for me. And "When Harry Met Sally" is one of the earliest rom-coms to suffer from insufficiently hot male syndrome. I still haven't seen "When Harry Met Sally" because I just do not want to see Billy Crystal in any kind of sexual situation.

And that's why I don't feel compelled to see Man Up - the leading man, Simon Pegg, is not very attractive. And the woman playing against him is younger and more attractive.

One of the reasons old tyme rom-coms were successful is because half of them starred Cary Grant. You have to have an attractive man to have a proper rom-com, otherwise you're just catering to male fantasies of unattractive men being entitled to hotter younger woman - the way things are in ALL OTHER HOLLYWOOD MOVIES.

And that's the problem with men having too much control over rom-coms - because then it's all about meeting the desires of men at the expense of women.

My actor buddy Matt is much better looking than Pegg - he should be in this movie.

One of the comments attached to the article makes a really great point about When Harry Met Sally:

The idea that the central axiom of When Harry Met Sally is, "Can men and women ever be friends?" is what makes me dislike the film so much. First of all, that's a fucking nonsense question, but secondly, it's not even the actual plot. Harry and Sally are never friends, they're two people who are sexually attracted to each other when they first meet but are unable to act on it. When they are later able to act on it, they do. The actual question driving the film is, "will these two people who want to have sex with each other end up having sex with each other?" If the film and its fans were more honest about this instead of making it about really shitty gender politics which never even come into play, I might be better persuaded of its greatness.
Good for you ZachBraffFan42069 - quite astute!

Completely off-topic: why do Brits call their dresses "jumpers"? Why not just dresses? When I read this:

Tess Morris is reminding Simon Pegg about the day she met him. “Do you remember, I was really sweaty? I’d bought a new jumper – it was my Simon Pegg Meeting Jumper – but it was a very warm day, and then I walked really fast, and I was late and I was incredibly nervous. And I thought that as you hugged me, all you could probably feel was the warmth of my sweaty jumper.”

What I imagine she's wearing is this: