Monday, August 15, 2005

My Big Fat Whale-rider Can Get Bent Like Beckham

There's a genre of movies I hate. The plot goes something like this: young, sweet girl, part of a foreign culture or subculture, follows her dreams and clashes with the partriarch of said culture for violating its traditions, suffers cruelty at the misguided patriarch's hands, but reacts with love; teaches crusty old patriarch to open his mind with her tenacity and sweetness.

It's the plot of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," "Bend it Like Beckham" and "Whalerider," which my wife made me sit through tonight. It was less cheesy than the other two I mentioned, but went WAAAY overboard on the cloying pathos of our heroine being born a girl in male dominated society and being constantly snubbed by her grandfather, the tribal chief, whom she idolizes. My wife said I'd missed the point, which was that she didn't let the mistreatment get to her or feel sorry for herself, but followed her inner voice that led her to her destiny.

All three of the above movies are independent and two of them were foreign films that took the U.S. by storm. There has to be someone going around to foreign cultures ripe for exploitation and teaching screenwriting workshops to their native sons and daughters. The advertsising material probably says something like "learn the surefire formula for success in the U.S. indie market."

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