Tuesday, January 27, 2009
He's Just Not That Into You #2 -The Chick Flick
According to a recent article in The New Yorker movie genres can be broken down into the following target audiences:
Young Men: "young males like explosions, blood, cars flying through the air, pratfalls, poop jokes, “you’re so gay” banter, and sex—but not romance."
Young Women:" Young women like friendship, pop music, fashion, sarcasm, sensitive boys who think with their hearts, and romance—but not sex (though they like to hear the naughty girl telling her friends about it). They go to horror films as much as young men, but they hate gore; you lure them by having the ingénue take her time walking down the dark hall."
Women Over 25: "Older women like feel-good films and Nicholas Sparks-style weepies: they are the core audience for stories of doomed love and triumphs of the human spirit. They enjoy seeing an older woman having her pick of men; they hate seeing a child in danger. Particularly once they reach thirty, these women are the most “review-sensitive”: a chorus of critical praise for a movie aimed at older women can increase the opening weekend’s gross by five million dollars. In other words, older women are discriminating, which is why so few films are made for them."
Older Men: "Older men like darker films, classic genres such as Westerns and war movies, men protecting their
homes, and men behaving like idiots. Older men are easy to please, particularly if a film stars Clint Eastwood and is about guys just like them, but they’re hard to motivate. “Guys only get off their couches twice a year, to go to ‘Wild Hogs’ or ‘3:10 to Yuma,’ ”
So there's some truth to this stuff obviously or they wouldn't be making zillions of dollars but its pretty boring to think we always fall into these specific areas. For instance, my Dad loves Clint Eastwood but even though he owns a Harley I bet he'd rather shovel snow then watch Wild Hogs. And my boyfriend's dad loves anything with Meg Ryan, Keira Knightley, or period piece costuming. Sam and I both loved the car chases in The Transporter as much as we love the bitchiness of Gossip Girl (actually I think he even likes Dan and Serena more than me).
So when I saw the trailer for "He's Just Not That Into You" my first thought was "Sam's dad is gonna love this". Though I am going to roll my eyes through the whole thing I'll probably see it cause its got the always funny Justin Long (if you don't understand check him out as Dr. Lexus in Idiocracy or Brandon St. Randy in Zack and Miri Make A Porno).
Justin Long, Kevin Connolly, and Bradley Cooper made this video about all the cliches that aren't in "He's Just Not That Into You". I think they're lying, its going to be all those and worse.
I wish that they could just admit it was a chick flick or get all post modern like Scream. Remember the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.
So basically I can deal with some of chick flick cliches, but others just seem so outdated for 2009. Like the BBF - Otherwise known as the black best friend.
The Los Angeles Times has a great article about it here.
Catherine Pinkney, a former Paramount Studios executive, added, “Historically, people of color have had to play nurturing, rational caretakers of the white lead characters. And studios are just not willing to reverse that role.”
As we can see from the Oscar supporting actress nominations the nurturing mother role is still one of the best offered to Black women these days. The Black Best Friend is a fairly newer version, always the supportive and sarcastic best friend. As Latoya Peterson from Racialicious points out "We’re always the punchline, never the bride". She also notes that the cast of He's Just Not That Into You is pretty pitiful sounding..... Tokyo Girl #1 and #2, African Woman #1, 2, and 3, and Hot Girl.
In He's Just Not That Into You, Drew Barrymore has both an Asian and a Latino best friend. If Wilson Cruz or Leonardo Nam ever got to be main characters I would totally see their movies.
After all its Wilson Cruz I have to thank for my favorite part of My So Called Life.
(Wait till 3 minutes in when he dances)
The phenomenon known as Manic Pixie Dream Girls is another of my Chick Flick pet peeves. The Onion AV club describes her as "that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.". Here's a rundown of a few - from spacey hippie chicks to whoever happens to be in Zack Braffs latest movie. Barf. I'm guessing Scarlett Johansson plays the Manic Pixie Dream Girl in He's Just Not That Into You.
However, I'm not totally against "chick flicks", I just think they'd probably be better if they let women write them. Thankyou Tina Fey for writing Mean Girls (another movie based off a non-fiction book). Thanks Amy Heckerling for Clueless. Thanks to all the writers of Girls Town. And of course thank you to Jane Austen for keeping us entertained after all these years.
And now my favorite cliche of all time ......the makeover montage.
Here is a young Seth Green getting a makeover in Airborne.