Monday, 15 December 2008

Reviews and Other Disasters

I've been thinking about this discussion thread for several hours now, because it's interesting and because it beats the hell out of preparing basic grammar exercised for the poor souls whom I shall have at my mercy tomorrow.

The question was the following:
Which movie, generally regarded as an otherwise good film, has one or more messages that bug you so much that it's hard to enjoy the movie for its good points?
And while I was thinking about films and about the excellent points the other commenters were making, "Love and Other Disasters" popped into my head.
Frankly, I liked that film. It was just the adorable piece of fluff I needed for my Saturday afternoon. (And I don't think I ever liked Brittany Murphy better than I did in this one.)

Sure, they used every single cliché in the book, but I didn't care. The film wasn't so much a rom-com as a satire about rom-coms. And even if it had been all that shallow...
I like all those clichés, sometimes. I didn't watch "Con Air" for the intellectual stimulation, either.

Anyway, my biggest criticism of "Love and Other Disasters" was probably the fact that Jacks was always at least half naked when she was in her flat.
So what if you're Brittany Murphy and have worked hard to get that body, that is not an excuse. So what if your flatmate is gay, that is not an excuse.
No, not even reading a cookbook called "The Naked Chef" is an excuse.
You are not in some 3rd rate anime, so put some clothes on, dammit!

Anyway, I tried to figure out why this movie, of all things, should spark in my memory while I read the above thread. Was there a message in there I didn't like? (Apart from the gratuitous nudity that was so ridiculously overdone they couldn't have been serious about it.)
So I googled some reviews and stumbled over a review from Variety.

Needless to say, they didn't like it. They didn't like the clichés. They didn't get the fact that it was quite a clever satire.
Yes..."Love and Other Disasters" is the "Starship Troopers" of rom-coms. There, I've said it. Mock me at your leisure.

But the worst part of the review, by far, was this (emphasis mine):

Keshishian's script is sloppy in both setting up and sustaining the sexual identity confusion that fuels the comic engine. This hinges on tasty Argentine photographer's assistant Paolo (Santiago Cabrera), whom Jacks mistakenly thinks is gay, despite such giveaways as his disdain for the fashion world and passion for gritty photo-reportage.
Thank you so much for that illuminating piece of wisdom, Variety.
Congratulations - in a disdainful review about the over-use of cliché, that sentence is zen-like perfection.

I still haven't figured out why I came to think about "Love and Other Disasters" in the first place. But I have a strong need to not read any more of that stuff, so I'm going to be very OOC and just drop it.

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