I like to think of myself as a selective and responsible consumer of media. Given that, I find I am routinely repelled by mainstream cinema. I am a lover of indie flicks and unconventional and/or unorthodox endings. Being asked to view Nights in Rodanthe is about as pleasurable as a pap smear for me. I devour profanity laced television series to the chargrin of my mother who prefers her media moral and conventionally kosher, buttoned up by some quixotic conclusion.
I rail against the confection coated, often gag-worthy histrionics of Hollywood “happy endings”. The depictions of achieving self-actualization and fulfillment through male validation/blissful, almost utopian relationships/unity feed society’s appetite for ideals. Even when the ending purports to be less than a dull rendition of the last film, there is always some repeated resolution that still leaves the audience warm and fuzzy. I am all about “feel good” flicks and pass no judgement on those who relish the Katherine Hiegel, Sandra Bullock led casts of gorgeous misfits who inevitably “get the guy”, as if that should be a of woman’s primary aspirations.
Many individuals cite escapism as reasonings behind their preferences for click flicks and their cousins. A study named Family and Personal Realtionships Laboratory at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh revealed that romatic comedies aid in the “unrealistic expectations” people levy on relationships. The conculsion was that fans of this genre possesed a misconception about communication in marriage, suggesting the influence and weight that many people, sometimes subconciously, give such media portrayls.
I do, however, believe that gorging on said genres passes along unrealistic messages to our young ones and teens about the realities of relationships. This cinematic conspiracy is another topic I could easily rant and rave about for pages upon pages, but wanted to lightly touch upon before sharing a humorous link.
Predictable plotlines aside, the depictions of women in mainstream movies are generally hackneyed and clichéd, but now even the dutiful attempts at character diversity ultimately evolve into stale stereotypes. Make no mistake, these set of personas are a tad more palatable than the evil tempress or the “good girl”, but they still end up being contrived characters that fall short of reality.
While I can’t join in her affection for RomComs and the like, I believe Mindy Kaling, a la the Office, gives a witty and wry voice to these typecast token females. I find it comical that Hollywood’s attempts to etch out new characters, ultimately end up being archetypes themselves.
Mindy’s book comes out in November and should be a fun read.