Thursday, June 23, 2005

How escapist do you like your escapism?

Last night I was thinking about the film Amelie because of something I read on Twitch films. In France the new Audrey Tattou film outgrossed Batman Begins. I find the character Amelie repellent , a sexless pixie who interferes with people's lives as romantic comedy. I think the root of my problems, thinking about the film having only seen it once, stem from the fact that Amelie's mindset is that of a twelve year old girl. Though the film shows her having sex, she's not particularly fond of it (and one gets the sense that scene was included to at least show that she was an adult, but even still, the filmmakers can't betray the character by having her actually like sex), while the only other fucking in the movie is enacted by the two ugliest characters in the film. All the while, the film takes places in a hyperreal setting. As is my question after many films I see: Who's fantasy is this? I guess if one is picking apart my criticism of the film, maybe you could argue I'm flummoxed because for me to enjoy a romantic comedy, I want to want to fuck the female lead. Or if I don't want to on a physical level, then I want her to find love that is both physically and mentally fulfilling.

And now I'm really opening doors, but my point is this: if the main character acts like a pre-adolescent - someone pre-sexual - then how can it be a love story I can relate or be drawn into? I'm not arguing that sex is the be all end all of relationships, that's the door I want closed, but the film seems intent on denying real sexual chemistry.

What does it say about me that I prefer an Eternal Sunshine, or a Shop Around the Corner? Is that the equivalent of wanting to put salt on my ice cream? It's why John Hughes starts losing his appeal the further his career went on, the characters became less grounded and more archtypal to something I couldn't relate to. And when you talk about these sorts fantasy movies, like The Breakfast Club and Pretty Woman, there's a lot of audience projection with those films, the audiences inuits what they relate to it, and how to appreciate the movie. Both those films present a fake real to allow for the fantasy. And for me it's this attempt at realism that's so dizzying, I might like these films more if they took place in a setting that made it 100% fantasy, moreso than trying to blend. Yet I can see why the work because of this. Oh well, this train of thought... has derailed.