A Simple Review for People Who Like Movies

I haven’t seen Dinner For Schmucks yet, and I’ll probably think it’s hilarious.  But that doesn’t mean I have to love it or go out and buy it.  Here’s an interesting take from Newsweek.

The imperative of modern American comedies is that the protagonists change and grow, and that growth always takes place in the direction of societal norms. In Knocked Up, Ben becomes a responsible father. The 40 Year Old Virgin and Forgetting Sara Marshall conclude with their protagonists in happy relationships, while I Love You, Man and The Hangover end in weddings. Though the premise of Dinner for Schmucks is deeply cruel, we are supposed to laugh, because we trust that by the closing credits the characters will have matured into upstanding men. Too bad Hollywood doesn’t give the audience credit for being mature, too.

I know I’m calling for those shitty indie-movie endings, or like, Memento where the director makes fun of how stupid you are all the way to the climax and then sucker-punches you at the end.  But you know what? I like those movies.  I like being challenged.  Americans – across the board – hate being challenged.  We want films to placate our intelligence.  We like things to work out like we think they will. Hollywood knows this.

A quick example, precisely why the American version of Old Boys has stumbled, or maybe it was because its going to be a Hollywood-style blockbuster with Will Smith as the protagonist… Whatever, I bet it’s cause that movie would make Americans feel stupid.

Or, how The Birdcage was pretty much universally panned by critics for not being gay enough.  It didn’t challenge American’s notion of homosexual couples.  The primary criticism being that gay couples are portrayed as weird, eccentric men who never show physical affection, i.e. kiss.  I am told the original French version was way gayer.  Just like the original French version of Dinner for Schmucks was way more socially challenging.

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