Thursday, May 10, 2007

Caution: contains spoilers for a film made in the mid-1950s

In my ongoing effort to educate myself about popular culture through the miracle of (so that I can understand every single Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls reference), I rented Brigadoon last night. It was really disappointing--not good enough to be taken seriously, not funny/outdated/silly enough to be mocked. I didn't like the premise at all. I don't mean the premise of a town that only appears for one day every 100 years--that is AWESOME. Nor do I mean the premise of Gene Kelly and his widecracking sidekick stumbling on said town, engaging in choreographed dance numbers, and hijinks ensuing. That is also AWESOME. And no movie that has both tapdancing AND bagpipes (in one scene) can be all bad. My problem with the premise is that it was too uncomplicated. A town that appears for one day every 100 years is a recipe for pain, confusion, alienation, and regret. Dear the 1950s: not everything has to be so wholesome. Also, I'm not sure the 17th century was all that great. I mean, yes, there was some virtuous clog-dancing and cow-milking and yes, relationships between men and women were simpler then. Yes, there will silly hats, and who doesn't love silly hats? And the tartans sure looked fun. But there was also almost 100 years of warfare in Europe, imperialism, the Bubonic plague, and the Dutch tulip mania. I'm just saying.

The other thing I don't like about this movie, and movies in general actually, is the familiar trope of the girlfriend/wife who is clearly, demonstrably not suitable for the male protagonist, and we know this because she talks a lot. And he can be seen gazing longingly off into space while she prattles on, reminiscing about the girl on the side he met earlier in the movie who really, clearly, obviously gets him because she doesn't talk. Well, I speak for talkative girlfriends everywhere when I say: shut up. Snap to it. No one feels sorry for you. Stop being an ungrateful sulky bastard and pay attention to what's right in front of you. Maybe the reason your new girl on the side, who you are contemplating cheating on me with, never talks is because she's in a movie based on a Broadway musical. Or maybe she's retarded.

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