March 2007

He Says, She Says - Movies

Author: Keith Kelson & Jean Wharton

One subject.
Two very different opinions.
“He Says… She Says”

This Month’s Topic: Movies

He Says:
Ah, movie night. There’s nothing better than sitting in a theater with that special someone, enjoying a good movie: the super-size tub of popcorn, the three gallon soft drink, your sweetie and Dolby surround sound—heaven on earth.

Just remember that if you’re a guy, more often than not, you can’t let the woman choose the movie. Not if you value your sanity.

Most guys don’t have a problem with letting a woman pick a movie. We love letting women make decisions. Guys just don’t want to be subjected to the man-bashing, emasculating romantic comedy that Hollywood releases every two weeks. You know, the dreaded CHICK FLICK—movies like “Pretty Woman”, “Ghost” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary” or any movie in French with subtitles. Yikes!

I know, I know. Some of the women reading this will say that I’m a typical guy—all about action movies with car chases and explosions—that I need to expand my horizions and that I should give “chick flicks” a chance. Hey, I love romance. I love comedy. I’m just not a fan of the typical sappy stuff that ends up on the Lifetime network. Nope.

Guys love Meg Ryan, Cameron Diaz and Kate Bosworth but would prefer that they star in movies toting flame throwers and fighting zombies in a shopping mall. Is that too much to ask? Why aren’t more chick flicks like “Tomb Raider”, starring Angelina Jolie? Heck, even “Bend It Like Beckham” is better than most American chick flicks. And I’m not just saying that because Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley are easy on the eyes and have those nice English accents.

Men don’t want to see or hear about how the modern professional woman has trouble finding the perfect guy. We have our relatives, friends and co-workers for that. No need to pay 20 bucks to see it on the big screen.

Ladies, movies like “How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days” are a sure-fire way to make sure that the fella you’re with will seek another lady with whom to share his popcorn on movie night—someone who enjoys the artistic beauty of a gunfight in a real Western—someone who appreciates Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan and kung-fu Saturday night theatre.

Fellas, you can win the movie night battle by remembering that there are lots of action-oriented foreign films with romance and subtitles—movies like “Curse Of The Golden Flower.” Take her there, and you will be seen as cultured and sensitive, plus you will get your dose of good old- fashioned action that men crave in movies.

She Says
With all due respect to Keith, I believe that he needs to expand his datable range and regard others’ cinematic tastes with a bit more respect than he appears to do so. My high school drama teacher once said that she could never love a man who did not appreciate Shakespeare. Puzzled, at the age of 17, I sat in my acting class wondering what in the world Shakespeare would have to do with lifelong love and commitment. It is clearer to me at present, that a man’s fondness for the arts is parallel to that of his appreciation of a fine woman.

I stand in agreement with Mr. Kelson that Hollywood does, indeed, produce a bevy of wretched, sentimental, plot-less films, targeted at the fairer sex; and truth be told, I have seen more than my share of such movies. Men may see little value in watching a female character struggle with all aspects of her life, only to end up being whisked away by the male lead to live a life free of worry, debt and loneliness. It is fantasy, idealism and fiction, yes. But it is no less unrealistic than the plot of a guts and gore action flick wherein the hero kills multiple people with no remorse and is miraculously spared each and every gun fight.

Both the “chick flick” (a term my counterpart uses—I prefer “PMS friendly”…you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh and cry again) and the action movie serve a valuable purpose: to entertain. Just as each of us has different taste in whom we take to the movies, the candy we eat there and the row in which we sit, we each view entertainment with our own set of parameters and opinions. I do not wish to see a film with pointless violence any more than my date would like to see Julia Roberts walk down the aisle all dressed in white.

Furthermore, I hope that Mr. Kelson realizes that many women, in fact, have a deeper respect and reverence for many films that include bloodshed that is purposeful and plot-driven (as in Heat, The Thin Red Line, Silence of the Lambs, True Romance or Good Fellas…I could go on and on).

We ladies won’t typecast all of you gentlemen into action-loving apes who enjoy death, violence and blood, if you fellas don’t stereotype the entire female sex into Drew Barrymore-lovin’, romance-craving saps.

I think it best for Mr. Kelson (among others) to take a closer look at the company he keeps in the movie theater or while perusing the shelves at the video store and take the advice of my 11th grade drama teacher: expand your taste.

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