Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Appallingly hostile, sexist, award-winning claptrap

I just read the screenplay for the late-90s movie, American Beauty.

We're supposed to hate the cold, bitchy wife, and feel sorry for the poor meek husband, who's lusting after his daughter's friend, a brazen hussy.

Riiight. The rich white dude is just sooo powerless, victim of the system, his boss, his wife, and wah-wah, his daughter thinks he's a loser.

And we're supposed to get into his hatred and hostility towards them, and see the teenybopper as temptress, with rich white dude again powerless in her presence.

Ahd while it's supposedly so understandable that he's digging the underage hussy, we're supposed to hate his wife for cheating on him. I mean, boo-hoo, he's having a mid-life crisis. How come the woman never gets to have a mid-life crisis?

Sorry, but it's hard for me not to see this as an arty excuse to hate women and dig jailbait, guilt-free.

Oooh, but wait, dude's actually a grrrreat guy, as he heroically doesn't deflower the girl, redeemed as he bleeds at the end of his life, loving his wife, and thinking tender thoughts about his daughter.

I call bullshit. Yes, it made me mad.

How bout this for something less "ordinary" (ordinary = bad, apparently):
Take the Kevin Spacey character and the videocam boy (Wes Bentley) in the script and make them female. Now take the Annette Bening character and the Mena Suvari character and make them male. And, try the Thora Birch character as a teenage boy, and Chris Cooper as a woman. More interesting, no? A different power structure as well. Tho the homosexual homophobe being "bad" is still tripe.

Just don't make another women-hating movie and try to tell me it's special.

2 comments:

  1. STANDING AND APPLAUDING!
    I enjoyed the movie, but mainly because I loved Annette Benning's character. I cheered when she shot her husband.

    I thought most of the rest of it was icky.

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  2. Well, I didn't see the movie - just read the script - in the script, the military neighbour shoots him. She's obviously thinking about it what with the glock and all, but she doesn't do it.

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