Friday, January 4, 2013
In case you didn't read the reviews before you went the theater, here's a cheat sheet:
If you're watching a film about a man trying to decide between women, odds are pretty goods it's billed as Serious Drama and will be applauded for its "insight into life and love."
If you're watching a film about a woman trying to decide between men, odds are pretty good it's billed as romantic comedy and it won't win any awards.
A woman is courted by two men.
This is how is plays out in the movies:
90.0% - One turns out to be a total jerk and the other is Mr. Right. The choice is easy and destined to work out.
9.0% - It's a tough choice but one of the men nobly bows out or dies, or they both do, or the woman does, usually by suicide or she ends up with some unexpected third guy.
0.9% - It's a tough choice. She chooses ones. The other is heartbroken but eventually gets over it.
0.1% - She chooses to remain single.
This is how it plays out in real life:
90.0% - It's a tough choice. She chooses ones. The other is heartbroken but eventually gets over it.
9.0% - She chooses to remain single.
0.9% - One turns out to be a total jerk and the other is Mr. Right. The choice is easy and destined to work out.
0.1% - It's a tough choice but one of the men nobly bows out or dies, or they both do, or the woman does, usually by suicide, or she ends up with some unexpected third guy.
In case you are watching a movie about romantic pursuit and have to leave before you catch the ending, here's what happened:
If you're watching a film about a guy under 16 pursuing a girl, he'll impress her in a sport, competition, disaster or alien invasion by succeeding, through hard work and a zany unconventional last-ditch-effort plan while gaining enough confidence to finally ask her out directly, but instead choose his loyal but Hollywood-plain best-friend since childhood.
If you're watching a film about a guy 16-30 pursuing a woman, he'll disguise himself and/or get close to her under false pretenses but when it all comes out she'll forgive him. Otherwise he'll end up with the cute (but not necessarily sexy) outcast who helped him with the ruse.
If you're watching a film about a guy over 30 pursuing a woman, she'll be younger than him and either re-invigorate his routine life with her refreshingly spunky sense of adventure and carefree charmingly-bipolar personality or she'll draw him into committing a crime, betray him and leave him to die.
If you're watching a film about a gal under 16 pursuing a boy, she'll disguise herself and/or get close to him under false pretenses but when it all comes out he'll forgive her. Otherwise she'll end up with the clean-cut (but just a little dorky) school outcast who helped her with the ruse.
If you're watching a film about a gal 16-30 pursuing a man, they'll be fiercely competitive school or career rivals despite their obvious chemistry until they unite against a common threat and instantly forgive all their past insults. Later they'll ignore the fact that their highly-driven, competitive natures mean that they'll probably go back to fighting when, post-adventure, they try to have a real relationship, but by then the movie will already be over so who cares, right?
If you're watching a film about a gal over 30 pursuing a man, then it's a movie no one has heard of because the studio didn't believe in it, pulled the marketing and dumped it on a few screens in March.
If you're watching a film about anyone pursuing anyone and it doesn't work out (gasp!) and someone ends up (double gasp!) single, then it is must have been either Melodrama and somebody died just when their perfect love had beaten all the odds or it was Art and the characters were talky intellectuals/artists with iffy ideas about fidelity and the lesson will be that emotional entanglements suck, but we can't live without them, enjoy the good times while they last and have a laugh at its absurdity now and then (but don't bother re-evaluating your life or, you know, being a self-centered jerk).
And if the film was about anyone pursuing anyone of the same gender (triple gasp!), then it was definitely Art, though it might still be Melodrama too. The ending was that society couldn't tolerate their forbidden love and at least one person got killed. We definitely won't get to see a complicated long-term sustainable homosexual relationship or find out that it looks a lot like a complicated long-term sustainable heterosexual relationship, but nobody wants to see a movie about complicated long-term sustainable relationships anyway so no big deal.