Friday, February 6, 2009

Thank the Universe for Peter Travers

Near the top on my "creepy crushes on older men" list right under Joe Biden, is Peter Travers, the hippest, funniest, most thoughtful and analytical movie critic I've ever read. I can always depend on this Rolling Stone reviewer, mostly because we tend to agree, but better than that is that he looks not just at film devices and nuances when he writes, but he often delves into deeper cultural analysis, the way someone writing for a more specialized magazine would.

This weekend, he was the only mainstream critic I could depend on to review the mind numbingly awful "He's Just Not That Into You" as "misogynist" and "women-bashing." Other critics mainly focused on the "young, spoiled, self-involved women in various stages of self-deception," and how their problem is "that they are interested in only (a) the opposite sex, (b) dating and (c) marriage."

The New York Times gets credit for lamenting strong women characters such as those from "Thema and Louise, " and also for noting this is a movie about straight, upper class, white dating packaged to look one size fits all. In the end, though, this review loses it's strength too, as it whimsically describes the films "better" points.

So let's drop the "it's just a movie (review)" mentality and think about how shitty it is that most critics complained the about the stupid, vapid, annoying women in this film, really letting themselves get disgusted at the women themselves. They didn't complain about portrayal of the women characters thanks to the if-it-wasn't-for-stereotypes-we'd-be-jobless screenwriters, or the lack of an imaginative director. I didn't read any bitching about the gull of the original writer of the book this tripe was based on. They're just pissed at these dumb women adding to what I can only assume will be a "yeah I hate women like that" backlash against the film.

Yeah, this movie sucks; it's a tired plot, with unfunny jokes, and it boasts an only mildly likable cast of actors and actresses. But mostly this movie sucks because it was based on an offensive, stereotypical book that sucks, and was made by people who suck (anyone seen Licensed to Wed recently...). It's not because women suck. Some of us like to shop, some like to decorate, some like to date, but all of us have a million other things we're interested in, too. It's not us or our preferences that are annoying and stupid and sucky, it's this worthless film and the equally worthless criticism of this film.

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