10 things I hate about you
It’s been a while since I heard myself laugh. What with Stephen Colbert being on cable, and cable being one of the many things I can’t afford to pay for nowadays; I’d be lucky if I so much as smiled at most of the crap that’s been coming out of Hollywood for years. But I re-discovered “Curb Your Enthusiasm” this morning and it wasn’t long before the tinkling sound of of mirth started flowing like nobody’s business. I laughed and chuckled and shook my head. “Larry.. Larry.. Larry”, I told Larry David (writer and executive producer), “You are my kindda asshole”. It’s such a pleasant surprise when Hollywood manages to surprise you, after you’ve started seeing everybody who laughs in a movie threatre as a grade A-Idiot or a weakling who gives into the mob mentality of the easy-to-amuse mass! And for one who has discovered a little overlooked treasure called “foreign films” in her local public library, and has decided it’s either indie movie or no movie, being won over by something that came out of Los Angeles doesn’t feel like a battle to be lost.
It’s a good feeling. It’s like discovering one of your quite colleagues not only knows your name but the rack number your uniform is being kept on. For Hollywood can surprise you in a bad way too. It can surprise and alarm you. And when it isn’t surprising or alarming you, it’s selling you the kind of fertilizer you won’t recognize until 12 years later, staring at the white washed wall of your cold and empty apartment, you are wondering how you got from there to here. I have labeled my small collection, Ten things I hate about. It’s addressed to Hollywood. Enjoy!
#1 of the 10 things I hate about Hollywood:
How parents, friends, family members look at the lips of their children, family members, friends, when they are having an emotional confrontational moment. Are they supposed to want to kiss those lips? Is this an attempt to make sexual attraction between family members as existing and normal? To be expected? Acceptable?
#2 of the 10 things I hate about Hollywood:
Having 6 year olds have a crush. And trying to make it sound normal. Can’t you see .. perhaps.. that is the excuse child-molesters probably give themselves? That they aren’t really assaulting “innocent” kids? That if she can bleed, she can breed, etc?. “Little Rascals” was cute while it lasted. But it has a genre. It’s called kids talking and acting the way adults do. Which is also what makes it a comedy.
#3 of the 10 things I hate about Hollywood:
Bringing in a pretty girl who just happens to be smart and has a sense of humor. Why can’t she just be beautiful? Why can’t she be beautiful and smart? Why can’t you leave the sense of humor to fat girls who make friends by depreciating themselves. Then end up taking testosterone and marrying their ex-beauty queen, ex glamorous girl, ex-married, ex-used-to-have-a-life 52 year old straight-girlfriend [who “discovered” she’s always been gay when her husband started banging a 21 year old girl] and finds they look like guys, but with boobs!
#4 of the 10 things I hate about Hollywood:
Romance. The kind Will Smith has going on with the beautiful Eva Mendez in “Hitch”.
#5 of the 10 things I hate about Hollywood:
Family not grieving the loss of their kids properly, and trying to make that sound ok. They are dealing with their grief in their own way, we are being told. Do not judge, we are warned. How about the way I am dealing with it?! Bowling my eyes out watching a mother going through the birthday tape of a 5 year old who just got raped and murdered; and she wipes a tear (a. as in single.), goes out and have sex with her neighbor! And I’m supposed to be ok with that?
#6 of the 10 things I hate about Hollywood:
Wives/kids/parents throwing a sissy fit because a hard-working (“workaholic”) father couldn’t make it to the base ball-game. Or was stuck in traffic to watch his boy blow out the candle on his birthday cake. Or had to call and cancel because something or other more important and sometimes life threatening thing came up. And the lines that follow: “if you don’t wanna be in his life, don’t be.” “I won’t let him go through what I went through”. “I won’t let you do that to him again”. That worked on “Accidental Hero”, because we weren’t used to movies like that when that movie came out. And because the man was Dustin Hoffman! But that shit isn’t a full shit-proof theory. Not anymore. A man has to make a living and however blessed, republican and corporate-America-approved the idea of instilling family values are; it’s just a little too much to ask of a parent and parent wannabe to be there all the time. What happened to having your kid learn to deal with disappointments and not getting what they want? What happened to building character and making them ready for the tough world out there? What happensed to not pretending the pain a kid whose mother went to the river to fetch water and a kid whose mom just died feel are equally painful and legit?!
#7 of the 10 things I hate about Hollywood:
The ex-wife/ex-girlfriend of the hero/heroine we are rooting for having to always be a bitch. And the new boyfriend/husband of the hero’s ex-wife/ex-girlfriend having to always be a dick with a perfect resume, nice hair line and much needed dough. Can’t we prove that somebody is good for someone, without showing the people who used to be or are in their lives in a bad light?
#8 of the 10 things I hate about Hollywood:
The BBF – Black best friend. This may appear an innocent attempt at showing the reality of how diverse America is becoming. But it’s really a sleek and rather disgusting way of trying to make the hero look good. Look how accepting this feller is, we are being told. He’s dated a black girl despite his “Yaya” knocking her head against the wall every time the poor girl is brought around. His black colleague calls him “brother”, or “ma nigger”, or he knows how to do the jiveshake. He has adopted a little black baby from Ethiopia and loves it as if it was his own. Isn’t he just—– so—–wonderful?!
Ofcourse the black best friend isn’t always a black best friend. The black best friend can be a goofy or neurotic Asian best friend [they kindda look funny, after all, don’t they? (the camera seems to say)], a gay family member, a fat child-hood buddy or a disabled co-worker [The fat, the gay and the disabled: America’s modern day minotiries!]. They bring color to the cast. They part wisdom. They prove our biases against them by proving they are infinitely one dimensional. All the while…. making the white boy/girl look good.
#9 of the 10 things I hate about Hollywood:
How immigrants [foreigners] speak the perfect English, use perfect expressions and perfect idioms, albeit in the wrong accent. [And they aren’t always East Indians!!] Anybody with the faintest clue as to how ideas are interpreted, understood and responded to by a non-native speaker of that language would know it wouldn’t occur to an Iranian grandmother to ask her newlywed grand-daughter if she was getting it where it matters. That’s like trying to pass Elizabeth Taylor off as a black woman with a shoe polish on her face. Ain’t real. Don’t work.
#10 of the 10 things I hate about Hollywood:
The way suspenses are [being] built. I mean I know we are watching a romantic comedy or a family movie. We aren’t expecting any real life lesson [or honest self-examination or even a good dialogue. We are there because we either like the pop-corn, were bugged by someone who wanted to see the movie or don’t have anything better to do with our times]. And we can tell, even before the movie started, how somebody is gonne tell a little white lie, wanted to confess about it, even tried to, but something came up and opportunity passed them. They were afraid/insecure/bound by duty, etcetera, to come clean at a later date. And she finds out. And storms out with one question no good-intentioned hero seems to ever find the right answer for: “YOU LIED TO ME?!” (as if lying to your better half or prospective girlfriend is the greatest sin that can be committed). She then decides to leave. The country! Whereupon somebody is bound to “do a mad dash to the airport”, make a fool of themselves, promise to mend ways and claim her back in a dramatic search and rescue effort that usually ends up involving the cops, an airport janitor, his broom and/or the fire department with its hot men who are experts at putting out fires *wink**wink**nudge**nudge* ;-).
We know that! We haven’t been living under a rock after all! However, does it have to be in.that.order?! I mean, a blind mice [three blind mice, deaf, mute and/or otherwise incapacitated] would have no difficulty running through the maze of a Hollywood romance detective story and win the cheese as the clues are so glaringly and stupidly planted. How long are we gonne have our intellect be disrespected, at our own expense?!
#11 of the 10 things I have started hating about Hollywood:
I shall return. *scary background music*
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