Wednesday, January 04, 2006
B! TALK DAILY: THE FAMILY UNIT--HOLLYWOOD STYLE
After numerous phone calls and e-mails from various posting-starved CH readers, I finally decided to get off my duff and write down a few posts or two.
So, let's get to it, shall we?
On my vacation, I had the opportunity (I won't say fortune) to see "The Family Stone". This movie, which stars Canadian hottie Rachel McAdams, American hotties Sarah Jessica Parker and Claire Danes and gereatric hottie Dianne Keaton. Oh yeah, and there is Dermot "Not Brian" Mulroney and Luke Wilson for the ladies.
It provided a fair amount of insight into what Hollywood thinks is or should be the "typical" American family around the holidays. While they are dubbed "unconventional", it was a platform for almost every pet cause of those crazy cats on the left.
- One son getting stoned with dear ol' dad.
- Mom describing in detail how each child lost his/her virginity.
- Of course, the business professional (Parker) is unhip, uptight and cold.
- In the end, the brothers swap partners (well one is a sister) and everything is coolio.
And the coup de grace: the gay, deaf son, with the black boyfriend/significant other who goes on to adopt a baby in the film.
Now, as many of you know, I'm not big on the value judgement. I didn't leave the movie thinking "what a bunch of sinners". In fact, I find it interesting to read conservative movie critics talk about "liberal hollywood films" like Jarhead ansd Syriana that apparently spread anti-war and anti-U.S. rhetoric. I've seen both and found those messages in neither.
But I was taken by the commentary in this film was making on the middle-class family dynamic.
A good example was the dinner they all had together in the middle of the movie. They were discussing the three sons and someone joked about how the Mom (Keaton) "wanted all her sons to be gay". Parker, the "fish out of water", comments that no mother could possibly want her son or daughter to be gay, with all the prejudice in the world.
Cue the gnashing of teeth, wide eyes, shocked looks and righteous indignation, followed by various speeches on how "normal" gay/deaf son is and how those who feel differently aren't. They are the ones with a problem. The conversation ends with both Mom and Dad getting upset and Parker running from the table in embarassment.
Anyway, I found it interesting that a "light hearted" Christmas comedy decided to weigh in on homosexuality and gay adoption, drug use, infidelity, interracial dating and nudism (unfortunately, there was no nudity, just talk of it).
Guess Hollywood is trying to make us "think". Only just about the right things.
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