October 21, 2005

"How the specter of love can give ordinary life a feeling of risk and enchantment."

That nice phrase from A.O. Scott's review was enough to make we want to see the movie "Shopgirl."

15 comments:

goldsoundsz said...

Be careful, this from Salon's female critic:

"Is there anything more torturous than watching a waxwork Steve Martin woo Claire Danes?"

MD said...

Hmmmmm, this quote makes me want to see the movie - the reported slightness and slenderness suit my tastes.

But. I had the same thought as the Salon critic, that together Martin and Danes look, well, you know how they look (I can imagine it's waxwork and glowy-youth side by side that in some instances is disconcerting. If done incorrectly, and all).

I also liked the part in the review about being 'plucked out of the crowd.' That's the essence of both a certain kind of modern romantic fiction and the most ancient of stories. Think Cinderalla, the glass slipper, and the Prince.

Anyway. I'd still like to see it, waxworks and glowy youth and all.

Ann Althouse said...

I didn't realize Martin was Danes's love interest. I try to avoid reading much of reviews. Isn't Jason Schwartzman the main guy? I guess not. So it's another one of those movies like "Sideways" and "Lost in Translation," designed to make male critics feel good about themselves?

goldsoundsz said...

My mistake on the reviewer (it was male Andrew O'Hehir and not the Stephanie Zacharek I usually see penning reviews at Salon.com)... That said, yes Ann, it's basically a Lost In Translation retread with even less charm / chemistry (if that's possible).

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, damn. Then let's not talk about the movie. Let's talk about the idea in the Scott's quote, which I find so intriguing!

goldsoundsz said...

Well the use of specter is interesting... Is the love really happening or is it purely a projection? The beginnings of relationships are usually the most risky and enchanted.

Wade_Garrett said...

I wouldn't say that movies like Lost in Translation are made to make male critics feel good about themselves. Lost in Translation was written and directed by a woman. And remember, in that movie the two characters were not romantically involved!

Perhaps its just because I'm a man, but I don't see why it is necessarily torturous to see an older man and a younger woman in a relationship in a movie. In Shopgirl, or at least in the book, neither character ever really believes they are IN LOVE, per se, rather, they are just having an affair.

Haven't you seen younger women with older men? Perhaps the 30 years or so that seperate Danes and Martin is a little bit on the outer end of what you see on a regular basis, but I've met a lot of women who are married to men 20 years older than they are. You can't necessarily help what you're attracted to . . . if you're attracted to older men, then date who you have to date to make yourself happy!

Ann Althouse said...

Terrence: "You can't necessarily help what you're attracted to" -- well, it's usually money in these cases, isn't it? The question is not whether a young woman has her reasons to be attracted to an old man, but whether it's attractive to those of us who are being asked to be spectators. Should we want to watch them in a film or see something else? The movie producers (like the women dating older men) probably mostly just want money, and we may fork over our money because the Roger Ebert-y critic drools over the movie, which he may do because he identifies with the man and likes what he sees. If Sophia Coppela saw all of that and strategized her career effectively, well, then, how nice for her! But must I watch?

goldsoundsz said...

Designed probably is a bit much but in the case of Sideways it is about a failed or struggling alcoholic writer who gets the hot chick... Aren't most film critics failed screenwriters wishing they were as funny and lucky as Paul Giamatti?

Wade_Garrett said...

Ann -- can I call you Ann? I feel weird calling a Professor by her first name, but its also a little awkwardly formal to call you 'Professor' in the comments!

I agree with you that the attraction is probably money, and that its not necessarily attractive to the audience to watch these movies.

However, I think there is often a lot of difference between what people are attracted to and what they'd like to think they're attracted to. If these producers are attracted to money, and if women really don't like to watch these films where older men date younger women, then would they keep making those films? I bet that a lot of women my age, and a lot of my classmates, would rather for out for an evening with a classy, urbane, witty, and distinguished-looking older man than with Jason Schwartzman.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, who could have married any man in the world, married Michael Douglas. Annette Benning married Warren Beatty. Perhaps George Clooney will someday marry a woman 20 years younger than he is. Could you find fault with her decision? I think that for a lot of women, charm, suavity and savoir-faire go a long way, relative to looks, etc. At least that's my perspective; I'd love to know what you and your other readers think!

Ann Althouse said...

Then I get Jason Schwartzman!

Madison Guy said...

For what it's worth, Steve Martin's semi-aitobiographical tale is about a real relationship he had with a young artist and whose career he helped promote. The real person created the art done by Clare Danes in the movie. More in this Times Select, unfortunately, archive story.

Wade_Garrett said...

Do women think Jason Schwartzman is good-looking? I've never really seen that in him, but then I still think of him as Max Fischer, instead of the 20-something year old man he is today.

XWL said...

Prof. Althouse (I can't resist using the title, too many years in classes) if the mental image of Martin and Danes troubles you, think of the problems your sons would have thinking about you with Schwartzman.

(it would be far easier to convey the mirthful nature of this post vocally, as written it reads reproachful, if spoken it would clearly be in jest)

knoxgirl said...

I just have to take this opportunity to mention that this trend has seeped into tv commercials--in the last 3-4 years, husbands in ads are overweight, balding, and/or goofy looking, and their wives are invariably hotties. It's really annoying.

I can't believe Steve Martin is the love interest! I like Steve Martin, but *puke.*