This is a personal preference of course, but I hate this sub genre of
movies. Its condescending and trite, almost always unrealistic and
extremely predictable. From what I gather, these kinds of movies always
fall into three sub genres. Here they are:
1. Free Spirit moves in, inspires stodgy family/town to really live each day.
(Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Amelie, Chocolat)
watched Sound of Music and Mary Poppins as a kid, so I don’t even know
if they are bad or good. But all these movies follow the exact same
plot. A sad man is showed in the beginning riding the bus alone,
heating tv dinners, just really letting life pass him by. You can
extrapolate this to whole towns too, where an entire town is lame and
boring. Until… Free spirit alert! A more recent example is Chocolat. Oh my.
Chocolatier moves into town and makes people realize that Christianity
is wrong. That’s how that pitch went? But my least favorite example of
this has to be Amelie, the least subtle movie ever made. The director
might as well have been in the theater yelling “Now you all cry! Ok now
you all be charmed out of your pants. Now you all be inspired! Now you
all be so inspired and charmed that you cry. Ok, now you start crying,
but halfway through become really charmed and get inspired. Ok, now you
get so inspir—“ We can think for ourselves Mr. Director Man. I found
her character to be very unlikeable too. Why does she act like that?
She’s like a crazy sociopathic woman child, but for some reason I’m
supposed to like her? If you were friends with Amelie, could you handle
her at all? She would be the hippy friend that always stared too long,
brought up the power of Gaia all the time, and had a grin on her face
that convinced you that her daddy loved her too much one night. The
whole movie is so fucking exploitative. There’s a scene where she grabs
a blind man and runs him around and describes the beauty of his
surroundings to him. I threw up into my popcorn.
2. The mentally disabled person who teaches friends and family about what really matters in life.
(Rain Man, Radio, The Other Sister, Forrest Gump)
some ways the most offensive of these kinds of movies. They reduce the
mentally challenged to people who say the cutest possible things in
each situation, and simplify the unique challenges of raising a
mentally disabled child. The Other Sister is the worst of these. Those
two fuckers always say the cutest goddamm thing possible and never do
anything unsightly. This is an actual exchange from the movie:
Carla Tate: I wonder who thought up sex?
Daniel McMann: I think it was Madonna.
This is how this exchange would actually go.
Carla Tate: I wonder who thought up sex?
Daniel McMann: I feel happy! Can I have some juice?
Carla Tate: Me too. Lets hit someone really hard and then cry.
trying to make fun of the mentally disabled, just saying that if you
really wanna make a movie about someone who is mentally disabled, treat
the situation with some realism. All these movies reduce the mentally
ill to cartoon characters. Oh, Radio actually has this line in it:
“We thought we were teaching Radio. Turns out, Radio was teaching us.”
What was he teaching you? To shout really loud? Cuz that’s all he does in that movie.
3. The Magical/Impossibly wise Black Man
(The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Green Mile, Family Man, Bruce Almighty)
this one is the most offensive. I think its very harmful. In
romanticizing the other, it still dehumanizes and instead of dealing
with people as real people, we get to just think of them as fairies or
magic men. In The Green Mile, the magical black man can actually raise
the dead! Its also like the worst manifestation of white man’s guilt,
like ever, and the lamest kind of reparations possible.
sorry about slavery and the existing racial divide and all, but to make
up for it, we’ll make a bunch of movies where you guys help out white
people with your black magic. Oh that didn’t come out right at all.”
“So I’m still servicing the white man. And isn’t that, in a way, just as condescending as anything else?”
“Wow, you’re articulate. Good for you. Listen, can you bring my dead cat back to life?”