Skip to main content

Sense and Sensibility, with shovels

What's even harder to forgive is the way Anna is forced to wobble through the Irish countryside in a very pretty but extremely precarious pair of $600 (at one point she makes note of the price) ankle-strap platform shoes. The camera repeatedly lingers on these absurdly unstable shoes: Anna totters around on them, along city streets and through airports, as if perched on baby deer feet. The effect could be defended, I guess, as disgustingly adorable, until these shoes become an unavoidable symbol of how low a bunch of filmmakers are willing to go to humiliate a character: First their spiky heels sink deep into beach sand; then they find their way into thick piles of cow poo. When Anna finally has the good sense to take them off, she slips in the mud and becomes covered, from head to toe, in brown slime. (Stephanie Zacharek, “Leap Year: One giant leap backward for romantic comedy” 7 January, 2010)

Strange, this, going to movies which entrench cow poo in such near proximity to all your memories of the genre's exemplars of wit and charm. While you go to sleep, and you're not so there to keep their emotional / cognitive neural-arrays neatly categorized, you might find movies like this actually are seeping their way into the ones you hoped to keep clean. It is possible, if they have cunning, and you're feeling worn-out, that they may read this film as analogy and make sure all your wit and charm delights incur cow-dung implantation. I suppose in the daytime you might remedy this by recalling your favorites and forcing into your memory of them a long line-up of shovels, to be handed out to the main principals for use at night to scoop away the slimers. I suspect this would work . . . but at the cost of never knowing your sense and sensibilities again, without knowing them, with shovels -- a high price to pay, in poetry/farm exchange.

I think you should hire someone who likes this film to screen future romances for you. If s/he likes them, have her/him give a detailed plot summary, and then fake it for us. We're all eating a la "Francis Lam" and keeping company no more, with Hobbitan swine, so we'll understand.

Link: “Leap Year: One giant leap backward for romantic comedy” (Salon)


Popular posts from this blog

Full conversation about "Bringing Up Baby" at the NewYorker Movie Facebook Club

Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…

"The Zookeeper's Wife" as historical romance

A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.

The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …