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Friday, November 22, 2013

Bah Humbug

I've been a little slow to get into the holiday spirit this year, so the other night when I was browsing Netflix for a few hours' diversion, "Love Actually" seemed like a good choice -- something light and heart-warming and holiday-themed.  I remembered the movie as being essentially good-hearted and reasonably entertaining.

I must be getting cynical (or old, or both), because upon repeat viewing, it has left me incredibly crabby.  The two "successful" romantic relationships at the end of the movie are ones that began with the women in servile positions to the men (the Hugh Grant/whatshername and Colin Firth/otherwhatshername relationships) and the two independent, fully-realized adult female characters are left either in limbo or in sad solitude (Emma Thompson and Laura Linney). 

Is this the message we really want to be internalizing?  That in order to have a happy ending with an successful man who adores you, a woman must bring him lots of cups of tea, anticipate his desire for chocolate biscuits, and jump in a freezing cold lake to retrieve the pages of his manuscript that he was stupid enough to be working on outside on a windy day?  Whereas if you are a woman who is good at her job or a dedicated mother, you will either loose your husband's attention to the first young tart (arg, such a cliche) that bats her eyes at him or you will live out your life as the lonely, sad, slightly frumpy caretaker of your mentally ill brother. 

Don't even get me started on the male fantasy-fulfillment nonsense of the guy who travels to America to get laid and finds himself immediately in a threesome.

I dunno, folks.  Is it me, or is the message of this movie actually quite depressing? 

2 comments:

Magpie said...

excellent question. though it's been on my "list", i've never seen that movie, and now i'm not sure i want to.

OTOH, we saw "Home Alone" the other night (which i'd also never seen) and while it has some godawful maudlin moments, the scenes where the kid outwits the bad guy are laugh out loud funny.

Bridget Hanahan said...

Still one of my favorite Christmas movies, but ... http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/12/-em-love-actually-em-is-the-least-romantic-film-of-all-time/282091/