Friday, December 28, 2007

Forbidden Love
Readers of The Rants know that on occasion I come back to my ongoing knock on the infantalization of American life. My latest observation is that with movies the only time a serious adult love story is portrayed it is a British period piece - usually in the form of a Jane Austen adaptation. From movies like The English Patient to the latest Atonement its only the Brits who are falling into serious love. And why is it that serious love stories are set in the past? I ran this observation past Mrs. Rants and we had a hard time coming up with a serious love story played by Americans and set in modern times. I thought of Cold Mountain, but that was a historical period piece so it didn't count. Mrs. Rants came up with The Bridges of Madison County which was good, but it was like 10 years ago and it centered on adultery, which to my thinking puts it out of bounds. In fact, movies seem to be able to show adult love between Americans (and set in current time) only within the framework of the Romantic Comedy, which is not a serious medium nor a serious examination of the topic. Why is that? Can we only believe true serious falling in love only if its done between two foreigners? Is Americans falling in love somehow intrinsically funny and impossible to be taken seriously by the American moviegoer?

Mrs. Rants and I wracked our brains trying to come up with a most recent film which shows Americans falling seriously into love in current time. And then it hit me. Yes, there was one movie that came out which showed two Americans falling in love and it was not a romantic comedy and it was set in current time.

That movie was Brokeback Mountain....

7 Comments:

At 8:04 AM, Anonymous ctale said...

ok - now this is going to drive me crazy...In my first coffee of the morning haze, I can't think of one either!

i just watched The Painted Veil last night - another Brit love story, and commented to my friend that men never actually hunger for the women they love like they depict in those Brit Period pieces. Not often someone loves you so much that they feel the need to rush at you, grip the back of your head with their palms, and kiss you passionately...usually that kind of passion is from a drunk boy using your head for balance and the "rushing" is more like a stumbling.

I'm going to be thinking on this movie thing though...

 
At 1:46 PM, Blogger Granite said...

Yeah, I may need to deduct Brokeback Mountain. There was adultery there which breaks the rule. The serious American movies always seem to center on adultery if they are not goofy American romantic comedies. There was the movie with Gweneth Paltrow and Michael Douglas. And there was that other movie with Diane Lane

 
At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind was seen by me to be a love story.
TW

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger Granite said...

Nope. That's a romantic comedy, albeit a quirky thoughtful, well-written one.

 
At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Lee Cantrell said...

No American love stories? In my opinion it's because the only type of movie made for the 'average' American is too busy blowing stuff up and moving from one scene of gratuitous violence to another. Some friends of mine tell me that if there isn't any action in a movie within the first two minutes that the movie is "boring". Film makers only make what sells big. Love doesn't sell. Shame.

 
At 12:15 AM, Blogger David said...

What's interesting about two people just like you falling in love in present time? I'm serious... it's boring. There needs to be a hook -- conflict, exotic locale, different culture, fancy costumes, adultery, forbidden [gay] love, stuff blowing up, hot sex -- or some funny jokes and Meg Ryan. Otherwise it's just: "So, Jim, Carol, tell us how you met?"

 
At 12:21 AM, Blogger David said...

Ah-ha! I humbly submit to the committee: Garden State. While quirky at times, not a romantic comedy. No adultery.

 

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