Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Did You Hear About the Morgans? And Romantic Comedy Talk

Yes, I saw this film. You can laugh all you want, but I had a really good reason to see it.

I went with my Mom, who really enjoys light hearted comedies, particularly of the romantic sort. When my Dad and I got home, she asked my Dad if they could go to a show tonight, but my Dad had to attend a convocation, so was unable to. I immediately offered to go with her, since I have not had time with just her in quite awhile. I'm really blessed, in that I have a close relationship with both of my parents, and I am not embarrassed to be seen in public, with either of them. She asked me if I would be willing to go see it, and I agreed, because that was the movie she wanted to see. It has been something like six months since she last saw a movie in the theatres, since she has a hard time getting around, so I was happy to take her out. And you know, I even would have gone to see Valentine's Day with her, if it was out and that was what she wanted to see. I'll do a whole lot out of love.

It was not as bad as I thought it would be, but it still was not anything special. We went to the second run theatre, so it only cost something like a dollar fifty for each ticket. So I don't feel like I lost anything by seeing it. I got a giggle or two throughout the movie, but the real satisfaction was hearing my Mom laugh hysterically throughout it--she loves stuff like that. She said she knew she loved the movie when she got out of the theatre and didn't know what time it was, because she hadn't looked at her watch once.

I wrote briefly in my previous entry about my dislike for most romantic comedies that are made now. I feel like they are too predictable and formulaic, and that if you've seen one, you have probably seen them all. Did You Hear About the Morgans is no different. Going into the movie, I knew exactly what would happen, and had the entire plot arc in my mind...and I really was not very far off. Another problem I have with many romantic comedies is that the characters are paper thin. They rely on stereotypes (in this movie, they are: the "charming" British man, the pampered New Yorker, the Republican, the hunters, the redneck, et cetera), because it seems that it would take too much effort to create fully formed, original characters.

I must say though, that I am glad this movie did not turn to the oh, so standard stereotype of the "sexist pig with a heart of gold". I see that in movies (or in trailers of movies) way too often, and it kills me to know that the female protagonist (who is portrayed as a "strong" woman) ends up falling for him in the end. Sexism is desperately uncool, and the thought of a strong, independent woman falling for someone who is perhaps one step away from demanding she camp out in the kitchen makes me sick. Why does Hollywood feel that characters like that are likable, or even charming? Maybe it is just me, but I do not find the idea of being treated as anything less than an equal to be sexy, so I would never find myself rooting for a "happily ever after" with a character like that.

All in all, I am glad I saw the movie, because I know it made my Mom really happy. And I know it could have been a whole lot worse. I just remembered Bride Wars, which came out last year at about this time. I never saw it, but the thought of two grown women turning against each other over something as frivolous as a wedding day and location made me want to weep for what "entertainment" has become in this society.


  1. That's so nice - enjoying someone's enjoyment of a movie! I might have avoided a lot of painful experiences at the movies if I had that philosophy. Now I will!

  2. It helped that the movie wasn't completely horrible--it is hard to find enjoyment in another's experience if the movie is complete torture...

  3. I also go to movies in the theatre frequently with my parents (no shame or embarrassment in it I usually get a free ticket out of the deal!), and I'm super close with both my parents, especially my mum...we're like the Gilmore Girls, live. lol.

    One of the reasons I love rom coms is because they *are* a frivolous waste of time, and sometimes you just need that. Take for instance, your example of Bride Wars; yeah it's totally unrealistic that two grown women who are also best of friends would be cat-fighting in such a manner over their weddings...but it's not the stress of the essay I have waiting for me, or the marking, or the housework, or the million other things that are weighing down on my "real" life. It might be shoving stereotypes down our throats and giving way to 1-dimensional character types which have been used and re-used so many times that we can almost predict their lines, but it's a getaway from life for a while that doesn't leave me thinking of the world's many problems like global warming, racism, poverty, or what the last day on earth might be like, etc. Rom coms are more about sitting and letting your mind go to mush and just going "blah" every once in a while, and possibly getting a couple laughs out of the deal than anything else.

  4. That all makes sense, and I certainly do have a number of "escape" type movies. Mine just tend to be a different genre, straight up romance, or tearjerkers, or even other types of comedies.

    That's not to say I don't like romantic comedies at all, there are a few that I do enjoy. Kate & Leopold is one! Whenever it is on TV I find myself watching it...I just adore Hugh Jackman. Another decent one that I was actually given as a gift is While You Were Sleeping. It's predictable, but pretty good fun.