Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Rant - Teen movies cashing in on lesbian sex for male fantasies?
Movie trailer- Scott Pilgram Vs. The World
By guest commenter- M.A.
“I’m Straight, Irate, and I am NOT paying for this C-R-A-P!”
I just got through sitting with my nieces through the most overrated teen flick of the summer and have come home to rant. This is a brief rant, but I really mean it.
You know the twenty minutes of previews, advertisements, and other random crappola cinemas feature before showing you the movie these days? I try to be a good sport and not roll my eyes at what passes for teen entertainment at present. Do filmmakers believe U.S. teenagers have no intellectual depth at all? Glamorized substance abuse, keggers, academic underachievement, and lavatory humor do not a meaningful cinematic experience make. Or even a mildly entertaining one.
Okay, I admit, sometimes I witness an inspired clip and smile, but more often than not I’m inwardly shaking my head and wondering, “What’s up with all the mind fodder?”
Anyhoo, I semi-reclined in my seat and nibbled my nachos, prepared to bear it with good grace in the name of enjoying quality time with my brother’s kids. A lengthy trailer/infomercial for “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” blared across the screen, resplendent with slacker teen cluelessness, magenta-haired heroine, bad techno-rock accompaniment, and loud combat sequences more common to video games than good films hammering out what passed for plot. Oblivious teen musician/nerd A.K.A. Scott Pilgrim falls for Ramona Flowers, a U.P.S. delivery clerk, who agrees to date Scott if he’ll sign for his package and let her get back to work. The relationship unfolds to reveal Ramona’s colorful romantic history when Scott discovers he must defeat each of his lady’s seven ex-lovers in order to date her now. The dreaded seven exes include a girlfriend in bizarre, gothic dominatrix get-up and a pair of twins Ramona enjoyed, er, seeing at the same time.
All right, I’ve seen worse movies than that. I would have just let it go in one ear and out the other except for a line or two of dialogue.
At one point, Scott’s buddy advises him to let Ramona know how serious Scott is about her, “Break out the L-word.”
“Lesbian?” Our clueless hero seeks clarification.
“The other L-word.” (Good buddy MUST be wondering why he’s friends with a dolt)
Annoyance stabbed me as a riff of giggles accompanied this Oscar-worthy material. Annoyance along the lines of Did he say that? Oh no he did NOT say that! Yes he did! Good heavens, people are laughing at this trash.
Another clip portrayed Scott baring his soul to Ramona with the thrilling admission: “I lesbian you.”
I fumed. And, truthfully, I marveled at myself for fuming. I could not get my pal Nicki, a lesbian with a young adult daughter, out of my head. What if Nicki and her girlfriend took their kids to see this movie? GBLT viewers, their friends, their families, and other interested parties paying admissions and concessions costs were all treated to this same disgusted moment, are they as peeved as I am, or is it no big deal? Last but not least, why am I so offended since I’m not a member of the group targeted in this “humor?”
I recall my anthropology instructor lecturing our class upon the process of an outsider acculturating to a group. Fluency in language is an important step, but so is the ability to relate to the group’s sense of comedy. If you understand a culture’s jokes, you’re “clued in” to that culture.
What about relating to what isn’t funny to a particular culture or class? Imagine how viewers might have responded if the word “lesbian” was replaced with the word “negro” or some other racial/ethnic slur? On the one hand, I see the cuteness in substituting the term “lesbian” for “love” and suggesting lesbianism is valid and positive, but for me the intent (if that was the intent) falls flat and comes across as yet another crass pot-shot at the lesbian community as fantasy objects of stupid teen boys.
This is one film I won’t be watching.
Trailers for “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” may be viewed at http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1810070753/trailer and at http://www.scottpilgrimthemovie.com/