Paul Blart: Mall Cop (review)

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Die Fat

Oh my goodness, it’s a ripoff of Die Hard. A shameless ripoff that gets more and more shameless the longer it goes on, and it crams a lot of shameless into 90 minutes. Actually, into only 60 minutes, because it’s not till around the 30-minute mark that we learn that this is to be a shameless ripoff of Die Hard.
No, up till then, it’s been merely yet another whiny but-I’m-a-nice-guy, why-don’t-women-like-nice-guys excuse for a romantic comedy. We’ve met Paul Blart (Kevin James: I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, The King of Queens), who would like to be a state trooper but can’t pass the physical exam because of his hypoglycemia, which makes him faint and fall into a deep, snorey sleep without warning (which seems like a very good reason to keep someone off the police force, frankly). So he works at a New Jersey mall, security-guarding the ball tank and the food court and insulting unattractive female shoppers. That’s fine, because, as Paul Blart: Mall Cop knows, our society is totally onboard with determining that overweight and less-than-Barbie-doll-pretty women are acceptable fodder for insecure idiots to take a swipe at while overweight, less-than-movie-star-gorgeous men are entitled to be treated with respect, and for even totally hot women way out of their league to “give them a chance.”

Like Amy (Jayma Mays), the very cute girl with ridiculously huge eyes who works at the hair-extension kiosk. Paul decides from afar, before he’s even met her, that she’s the girl for him. And that’s completely awesome and natural and normal, of course, because even big sweaty dumb fat guys like Paul — whom the very movie itself debases for being big, sweaty, dumb, and fat — deserve to be given every benefit of the doubt by even pretty girls who could have their pick of suitors. As Paul’s daughter, Maya (Raini Rodriguez), who looks about 12, consoles him, as soon as Amy gives him a chance, she’ll be hooked. (Maya’s mother has abandoned Paul and their daughter, because, it would seem, fat ugly women cannot be trusted. But at least that leaves Paul free to pursue sweet, nice, adorable Amy.)

The movie is not so gracious to the large woman Paul verbally assaulted earlier, but who cares? Time to move on to the ripping off of Die Hard!

Thirty minutes into Mall Cop, just when we’ve been convinced that this will be simply the endless inevitable overload of brand names that comes from shooting in an actual mall and a desperately unfunny conglomeration of fat jokes, fat jokes, more fat jokes, and 80s power ballads, a troupe of the world’s dumbest — but most physically nimble — villains ever launch the most poorly thought out mall heist ever. Fortunately, the screenwriters — James and Nick Bakay — completely ignore the serious flaws inherent in the bad guys’ plan and move on to the theft of every major plot point from Die Hard, from the anticipation of the cops’ reactions to the discovery of a loved one of their nemesis’s among their hostages.

Their nemesis? It’s Blart, of course. (I’m not sure which is worse: that James and Bakay did not realize that the surname of their putative hero is British slang for an intimate area of female anatomy, or that they did.) He alone — because of his idiotic incompetence — is left to roam free in the mall as the bad guys take over. (They’ve shooed the shoppers out. All of them? On Black Friday? Well, that’s one of the potential hangups the movies pretends doesn’t exist.)

Like most pathetic excuses for comedies these days, the screenwriters and director Steve Carr — perpetrator of such atrocities as Are We Done Yet? and Daddy Day Care — want to have it both ways. They want to expose Blart to ever increasing levels of humiliation that we’re meant to laugh at while also asking us to care about him. They want us to accept Blart as someone better than the low-level job he does — they go to great pains to show us that Blart is more conscientious about his work than his bosses and coworkers, though they don’t seem to be quite certain whether conscientiousness is something to be made fun of or not — but they also want us to accept that in the middle of a hostage situation in which people he cares about are at stake, he would stop to shop for a birthday card.

But really, the worse of it is that their plot — and some of the dialogue — is lifted wholesale from a classic movie that its entire intended audience will be familiar with. Do they think we’re stupid?

Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a Happy Madison production, which is Adam Sandler’s company, so you should know what you’re in for. Grading on the Adam Sandler curve is, if you want to be kind about it, kinda like how everyone cheers at the Special Olympics. I don’t want to be kind about it. The athletes at the Special Olympics are doing the best they can. These Paul Blart guys are doing the bare minimum they think they can get away with without getting lynched by the audience, and we should not be applauding them for it. Maybe lynching would be extreme, but how about tarring-and-feathering?

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JoshDM
JoshDM
Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:40am

Oscar-worthy.

Glenn
Glenn
Fri, Jan 16, 2009 11:01am

30 minutes? Wasn’t the Die Hard ripoff evident about 15 seconds into any of the pervasive TV ads?

JoshDM
JoshDM
Fri, Jan 16, 2009 12:26pm

Massawyrm agress with MAJ’s assessment.

Brandon H.
Brandon H.
Fri, Jan 16, 2009 1:51pm

“So he works at a New Jersey mall, security-guarding the ball tank and the food court and insulting unattractive female shoppers. That’s fine, because, as Paul Blart: Mall Cop knows, our society is totally onboard with determining that overweight and less-than-Barbie-doll-pretty women are acceptable fodder for insecure idiots to take a swipe at while overweight, less-than-movie-star-gorgeous men are entitled to be treated with respect, and for even totally hot women way out of their league to “give them a chance.”

In retrospect, do you think you may have gone on a pointlessly righteous tangent here?

JoshB
JoshB
Fri, Jan 16, 2009 4:53pm

In retrospect, do you think you may have gone on a pointlessly righteous tangent here?

Sure, just remove the word “pointlessly.” There is a point to her righteous tangents, whether you agree with them or not.

Hope this doesn’t double post, I had some issues with the site…

Joan
Joan
Fri, Jan 16, 2009 4:59pm

…because of his hypoglycemia, which makes him faint and fall into a deep, snorey sleep without warning…

What kind of bizarro hypoglycemia is that? Mine doesn’t do that,what with it not being narcolepsy and all. Sheesh!

It pains me that Jayma Mays, who is talented, charming, and cute as a particularly cute bug, is stuck in tripe like this. Is she in debt to the mob or something?

…our society is totally onboard with determining that overweight and less-than-Barbie-doll-pretty women are acceptable fodder for insecure idiots to take a swipe at while overweight, less-than-movie-star-gorgeous men are entitled to be treated with respect, and for even totally hot women way out of their league to “give them a chance.”

Oh Lord yes. “Tired of this” doesn’t begin to cover it. “Cripplingly exhausted,” maybe.

Newbs
Fri, Jan 16, 2009 6:20pm

Mwaaaahahahaha! Your suffering makes us strong, MaryAnn! :)

Another great review. Hope you got paid to endure this one. I’m going to click on your ads for a while, just in case.

Accounting Ninja
Accounting Ninja
Sat, Jan 17, 2009 2:03pm

I agree, hypoglycemia Does Not Work That Way. Grr.

And Brandon, it’s so classic for males to respond to perfectly valid complaints like that with “lighten up, you self-righteous broad”. We women see that shit ALL THE TIME in the movies, and frankly, I’m just sick of it, as is MAJ. I’m sorry that our disapproval infringes on your ridiculous wish-fulfillment fantasy.

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Sat, Jan 17, 2009 5:03pm

Wasn’t the Die Hard ripoff evident about 15 seconds into any of the pervasive TV ads?

I hadn’t seen any of the ads.

a pointlessly righteous tangent here

I think Brandon is asking whether the issue of gender relations is tangential to this movie. And the fact is that it is not: that’s the entire B plot, and it is way more prominent than how it usually operates as a simple basic assumption of gender relations that is widespread throughout other movies.

I agree, hypoglycemia Does Not Work That Way. Grr.

I thought the same thing too, and was about to rant about it, but when I looked it up it does appear that this can be a side effect of the condition.

Magilla
Magilla
Sat, Jan 17, 2009 9:52pm

Just got back from seeing the movie. All the comments I have read so far seem to bash the movie. I knew before I went to see it that is was not Oscar worthy. I knew it would have a very narrow plot. I took my wife and my 7 year old daughter and we laughed at the funny parts just like everyone is supposed to do. I Knew going in that (Adam Sandler) movies are all the same. just relax and laugh once in a while. Thats what I did.

JasonJ
JasonJ
Sun, Jan 18, 2009 11:04am

as Paul Blart: Mall Cop knows, our society is totally onboard with determining that overweight and less-than-Barbie-doll-pretty women are acceptable fodder for insecure idiots to take a swipe at while overweight, less-than-movie-star-gorgeous men are entitled to be treated with respect, and for even totally hot women way out of their league to “give them a chance.”

Well, the target audience has a significant percentage of men that fall within the sweaty overweight category, so no shock here. I haven’t seen the move, so I can’t comment on it. The only thing I can say is if it happens to wander across my movie channel and I am really really bored and the lawn doesn’t need to be mowed or the cars need to be washed or the house needs to be reframed, I might watch it.

Newbs
Sun, Jan 18, 2009 1:09pm

Magilla (Sat Jan 17 09, 9:52PM):

Just got back from seeing the movie. All the comments I have read so far seem to bash the movie. I knew before I went to see it that is was not Oscar worthy. I knew it would have a very narrow plot. I took my wife and my 7 year old daughter and we laughed at the funny parts just like everyone is supposed to do. I Knew going in that (Adam Sandler) movies are all the same. just relax and laugh once in a while. Thats what I did.

The point is, there aren’t any funny parts — this is lowest common denominator ‘entertainment’ my friend. You can pay your $20 and subject your children to it if you want, I guess, but some folks aren’t all that interested in doing what “everyone is supposed to do”.

Don’t get me wrong: farts are funny and I love laughing at fat people, but a civilized society is conscientious enough to avoid doing either one of those things in public.

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Sun, Jan 18, 2009 3:36pm

the target audience has a significant percentage of men that fall within the sweaty overweight category, so no shock here

Ah, so then we can soon expect a movie pandering to the fantasies of overweight women?

I didn’t think so…

JasonJ
JasonJ
Sun, Jan 18, 2009 5:55pm

Ah, so then we can soon expect a movie pandering to the fantasies of overweight women? I didn’t think so…

Gotta love that ol’ Double Standard. Stays crunchy, even in milk….

MarkyD
MarkyD
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 9:51am

You’ve GOT to be kidding me! This movie did 33.8M this weekend? What the hell is WRONG with people?
I agree fully with Newbs from above. It might just be time to set some standards, America.
This is why the Taliban hates us.

Nathan
Nathan
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 11:36am

it made $34m this weekend because for some people going to the movies, especially with families in tow, the inoffensive, lowest common denominator is a positive thing. this will always be so… and i don’t see anything wrong with it.

Tonio Kruger
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 1:12pm

Ah, so then we can soon expect a movie pandering to the fantasies of overweight women?

Ahem…I’m not going to pretend there’s a lot of movies that fall in that category but they do exist.

For example, Phat Girlz. My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Both versions of Hairspray

And some of these movies include films you have actually reviewed. (!?)

Not that those films makes this film’s existence anymore appealing from my viewpoint but still…

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 2:51pm

I’m not going to pretend there’s a lot of movies that fall in that category

Thank you. Can you name one more? I can’t. The ones you listed are the very rare exceptions that prove the rule.

Anne-Kari
Anne-Kari
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 3:02pm

The only other one I can think of is “Babycakes”, and I had to go back to 1989 for that one.

Bill
Bill
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 3:31pm

Time out. You’re saying Nia Vardalos was overweight in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”? No way. I vote we scratch MBFGW off the list.

Vergil
Vergil
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 5:40pm

Ah, so then we can soon expect a movie pandering to the fantasies of overweight women?

The audience also has a large percent of overweight women too, I would imagine. Is it not pandering to them? What are some of these overweight-male pandering movies again?

JoshB
JoshB
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 5:41pm

Bridget Jones’s Diary. Shallow Hal (sort of). Can’t think of any others off the top of my head.

bitchen frizzy
bitchen frizzy
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 6:13pm

The audience was asked to believe that Bridget Jones was “overweight,” but only an anorexic or a Hollywood actress would see Zellweger’s bod in that movie as overweight.

Bridget Jones’ appearance might be a goal of diet and exercise, if you can call that a fantasy.

Paul
Paul
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 6:45pm

I thought overweight women’s fantasies included being beautiful, thus they watch movies and read books about beautiful women having romances. It is sorta of like men watching action movies; the VAST majority of men aren’t buff or trained enough to pull off those fight scenes, but we still watch and often enjoy them. If Hollywood made movies that only pandered to “the beautiful people,” I wonder how much money they would make.

JoshB
JoshB
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 8:01pm

Really? Only an anorexic would see that as anything but a goal of diet and exercise?

I see what you’re getting at, but that’s a ludicrous exaggeration.

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 10:27pm

What is the point of linking to that image, JoshB?

JoshB
JoshB
Mon, Jan 19, 2009 11:05pm

Well, overweightness is about more than physical attractiveness. It’s at least as much about biology as aesthetics. bitchen frizzy set up this false dichotomy where reasonable people would say that Bridget Jones’s weight is fine, and only unreasonable would say otherwise. By the standards of athletes who are by design the healthiest human beings in the world, (and thus cannot be compared to anorexics) Bridget Jones’s weight is not fine.

misterb
misterb
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 12:16am

A sincere question for MaryAnn –
why is this a pointless ripoff of DieHard rather than a harmless parody? I’m not going to see this movie until it’s on free TV so I’m not trying to defend it, but it certainly doesn’t seem as if the filmmakers are trying to hide their source. It is a comedy – why couldn’t it be a send-up? In a way, casting the Bruce Willis part as an overweight, less than superman could be seen as a shot at Bruce’s preening hyper-masculinity rather than offensive to the under-exercised.

bitchen frizzy
bitchen frizzy
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 8:55am

–“Well, overweightness is about more than physical attractiveness. It’s at least as much about biology as aesthetics. bitchen frizzy set up this false dichotomy where reasonable people would say that Bridget Jones’s weight is fine, and only unreasonable would say otherwise. By the standards of athletes who are by design the healthiest human beings in the world, (and thus cannot be compared to anorexics) Bridget Jones’s weight is not fine.”

Which athletes? The marathon runners who are blowing out their hearts, the ‘roid freaks who are frying their brains and shrinking their dinks, or the pro ball players funding half of Colombia’s GDP? Athletes are not necessarily healthy, and many athletes are a part of the same cultural insanity that leads actresses to starve themselves.

I’m not overanalyzing it like you are. Objectively, Bridget Jones is around average weight for her height (as defined by those charts in doctor’s offices and health class – not by wildy skewed standards of entertainers and body-obsessives). Subjectively, she was hot in that bunny costume.

But now I’m talking about a different movie.

JoshB
JoshB
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 1:13pm

Which athletes? The marathon runners who are blowing out their hearts, the ‘roid freaks who are frying their brains and shrinking their dinks, or the pro ball players funding half of Colombia’s GDP?

Unless you have some specific evidence that Lisa Leslie or any other athlete is using steroids, that paragraph reads like so much sour grapes.

Of course any slender woman must be anorexic or “body-obsessive,” and any athlete that can run 26 miles must surely be on the verge of a heart attack.

Be serious.

I’m not overanalyzing it like you are. Objectively, Bridget Jones is around average weight for her height (as defined by those charts in doctor’s offices and health class

I’m not overanalyzing anything. There are benefits to being in excellent shape that have nothing to do with whether people want to rip your clothes off, and surely I don’t need to list them for you.

Also, you should disregard any of those charts that list proper weight according to height. They are useless. By those standards bodybuilders would qualify as morbidly obese. The proper measurement is fat tissue as a percentage of overall body weight. By this measurement the “average” American is in fact overweight (don’t know about the Brits).

bitchen frizzy
bitchen frizzy
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 1:46pm

YOU made a GENERALIZATION: “athletes are… the healthiest human beings in the world.” I responded to that with a generalization: athletic build isn’t proof of good health. Some athletes are healthy, some aren’t. I didn’t say anything about Lisa Leslie. I don’t even know (or care) who she is. And c’mon, you cannot ask me to believe that you are unaware of steroid abuse by athletes, and need evidence. It’s been all over the media for years.

–“The proper measurement is…”

I think that there’s a grey area between “obese” (not normal) and “marathon runner” (also not normal – not a bad thing to be necessarily but also unusual). I’ll call that grey area “normal,” and that’ll be my standard.

All I said was that Bridget Jones looks normal, not overweight. You got all technical about it.

You’re saying that compared to athletes, Bridget Jones’ weight isn’t fine. Well, so what?

JoshB
JoshB
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 2:31pm

My generalization was justified. Your’s wasn’t.

Seriously, how many of the 17,051 people who finished the 2008 LA marathon do you think were on steroids?

All I said was that Bridget Jones looks normal, not overweight. You got all technical about it.

Well, fair enough. You have your aesthetic way of evaluating it, and I have my technical one. But since I am neither an anorexic nor a Hollywood actress I take exception to THAT generalization.

bitchen frizzy
bitchen frizzy
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 2:58pm

I said, not all athletes are healthy. That requires “justification”?

–“Seriously, how many of the 17,051 people who finished the 2008 LA marathon do you think were on steroids?”

Dunno. Hard to tell just by looking at them, isn’t it?

Ryan
Ryan
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 3:58pm

I’m having trouble reading you here, bitchen frizzy.

If you are saying that healthy body image shouldn’t require being anorexic, or comparing oneself to models et al. then obviously I agree with you.

However, participating in athletics, or doing other things to make oneself healthier just seems like common sense to me. JoshB isn’t saying that people need to be twigs, or look skeletal like Kate Moss…he is saying that being healthy and in-shape tends to look good.

I’m not seeing the issue.

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 4:14pm

Okay, enough with the debating about weight as a medical issue. Let’s just leave it as a given that Hollywood promotes an image of female body weight that is not realistic for most women to be able to achieve, *and* that it is a fact that the lowest mortality rates have been demonstrated to be among those people who are slightly *overweight.* And also that just because BMI gets skewed for those at extreme ends of the range — like bodybuilders — doesn’t mean it isn’t a useful general gauge for the average population. And that just because someone *looks* healthy (or doesn’t) doesn’t mean they *are* (or aren’t).

And let’s also concede that when we’re talking about a few pounds — and not the morbidly obese — and when issues of what our bodies should look like come down to aesthetics and not health, men get an easier time about it in our culture. (Aesthetic issues apply when it comes to athleticism, too: not everyone finds extreme athletes attractive. And we *could* talk about NFL players, many of whom *are* obese. But we won’t.) Which is what my original point was about.

MaryAnn
MaryAnn
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 4:15pm

why is this a pointless ripoff of DieHard rather than a harmless parody

Because there’s nothing satirical about it, and it’s not funny.

It’s like the difference between *Mad* magazine and *Cracked.* *Mad* usually got. *Cracked* usually didn’t. And *Cracked* would have turned this one down.

bitchen frizzy
bitchen frizzy
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 4:32pm

–“If you are saying that healthy body image shouldn’t require being anorexic, or comparing oneself to models et al. then obviously I agree with you.”

I am definitely saying that. I am also saying that healthy body image shouldn’t require an obsession with “fitness,” either. It’s gotten to the point that teenage boys are torturing themselves physically and chemically to look like and perform like their athlete role-models, just like teenage girls do to look like models.

He said Bridget Jones looked overweight. That seemed extreme, except by Hollywood standards, so I said she looked normal.

His explanation seems to be that “not athletic” equals “overweight”. I don’t think that’s what he meant, really, and that’s why I’m trying to get at his rationale. Is he saying that Bridget Jones is unattractive because she’s not athletic? If that’s his opinion, then fine, everybody has their tastes, but by that standard most women are unattractive…

I also can’t agree with the apparent premise that “looking athletic” equates to being healthy.

–“…he is saying that being healthy and in-shape tends to look good.”

In reality, there’s no absolute correlation between “looking good” and “being healthy and in shape,” especially if the standards for “in shape” are so high that Bridget Jones is “fat” and therefore unattractive when evaluated by them. That’s back to what I said above. Same poison, different flavor of koolaid.

bitchen frizzy
bitchen frizzy
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 4:34pm

Oops. I was posting as you were issuing your moratorium, MaryAnn. Sorry. Please delete my prior post.

JoshB
JoshB
Tue, Jan 20, 2009 5:17pm

I also don’t want to incur MaryAnn’s wrath, but I hate to leave my point unclear.

His explanation seems to be that “not athletic” equals “overweight”. I don’t think that’s what he meant, really, and that’s why I’m trying to get at his rationale. Is he saying that Bridget Jones is unattractive because she’s not athletic? If that’s his opinion, then fine, everybody has their tastes, but by that standard most women are unattractive…

I was purposely avoiding bringing the aesthetics of attractiveness into my posts. I’m not at all saying that a woman has to be athletic to be attractive. Indeed I have been highly attracted to several women who would rate as overweight according the technical standard I posted above.

My point is that when you divide people up into ‘unhealthily skinny’, ‘normal’, and ‘overweight’ you miss out on the benefits of being in excellent, athletic shape. Benefits which a person who is ‘normal’ would not share, and that are NOT limited to being uber hawtness.

Vergil
Vergil
Wed, Jan 21, 2009 8:27am

JoshB, your point is clear and well made.

Markyd
Markyd
Wed, Jan 21, 2009 10:01am

Imagine the Paul Blart role being Paula Blart, and being played by an unattractive, overweight woman(I’m talking morbidly here, not by Hollywood standards). Would the movie sell? absolutely not. Heck, it would never even get made.
Welcome to America, where ugly fat guys can score 34M movie openings and score hot chicks, but similar females are relegated to a desk job in cubicleland slurping on Slimfast and reading harlequin romance novels.
It really is bizarre how that works.

Paul
Paul
Wed, Jan 21, 2009 4:53pm

Mark: maybe you should write a script: Ugly Betty: the Movie.

I know, one gleaming exception doesn’t disprove the rule of thumb.

Newbs
Wed, Jan 21, 2009 6:31pm

I don’t really know anything about Ugly Betty except this: America Fererra is not, in actuality, ugly at all. So… how about that?

Lucy Gillam
Lucy Gillam
Thu, Jan 22, 2009 12:56pm

Neither is America Fererra of a comparable body size to Kevin James.

Vergil
Vergil
Thu, Jan 22, 2009 7:40pm

Markyd,
Do you think that Kevin James is unattractive? Very much to the contrary, I’d say he is an attractive overweight man. Just like Queen Latifah. Roseane Barr on the otherhand, isn’t normally considered a beauty queen, but has done rather well for herself thank you very much. I think the disproportion has more to do with the total disproportion of men to women in movies more than anything to do with “weight” issues. It is also far from an American phenomenon. And not limited to movies. There aren’t many women Chess Grandmasters either. It is a worldwide, historical, cultural phenomenon. Let’s improve the situation by all means, but let’s identify it for what it is, instead of bashing the American/Hollywood bogey (straw) man.

Michael
Michael
Sat, Jan 24, 2009 11:16am

Die-Hard “ripoff?” Really?

I suppose the classic Pink Panther movies are a James Bond ripoff, or that Hot Shots was a ripoff of Top Gun.

This movie could have been written/executed a lot better (though it did offer some much needed stupid comedy), but the irony could not be more delicious when a self-identified movie critic can’t recognize the value of parody in film.

I won’t even bother to delve into your over-the-top rantings about Hollywood putting fat men with slender women. While you’re on your overly sensitive high horse, I could argue that you’re biased against fat people, and that a lot of women find men of James’ size attractive. I won’t though, because it really has nothing to do with what the potential audience of this film cares about: is it funny? Answer: Somewhat.

amanohyo
amanohyo
Sat, Jan 24, 2009 6:41pm

You’ve got it all figured out Michael, a self-identified critic whose favorite movies include The Princess Bride and The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai doesn’t recognize the value of parody in film. Yup, it’s not like the review makes it clear that the movie lazily apes the form of Die Hard without adding anything interesting or surprising to the original concept. And I couldnt tell at all from the review if she thought the movie was funny or not.

As far over-the-top rantings go, imagine that at the end of every three stooges episode, each of the stooges ended up in a relationship with an intelligent, attractive, well-adjusted, responsible young woman. Then imagine that you are a woman and that you’ve seen hundreds of these ludicrous sideplots pop up throughout your entire life in almost every genre of movie and television show imaginable. Can you understand how it might be just a little insulting to suggest that a woman is expected to happily settle for a man who will require years of training, mothering, and financial investment just to be a healthy, responsible, stimulating partner?

But it’ll all be worth it because he’s a really nice guy with a great sense of humor. Sheesh, and people wonder why marriage rates are dropping in developed countries.

Paul
Paul
Sun, Jan 25, 2009 5:31pm

Did the divorce rates start rising before the marriage rates started dropping? If so, I think lots of kids watching their parents break up would be a better explanation.

Someday our nation, maybe even our species, will admit that not every body should get married because not everyone deserves to get married. I’ve long advocated that nice people should find each other and let the B&B (words I shall not spell out here) make each other miserable.

Accounting Ninja
Accounting Ninja
Sun, Jan 25, 2009 10:35pm

Thanks, amanohyo. That’s exactly it, it’s the frequency that it pops up. And it’s very typical for a man like Michael to poo-poo it by calling a woman who notices “overly sensitive”. Easy to dismiss when you don’t have that crap constantly pushed in your face.

Fat, lazy, childish men with disgusting habits are almost always portrayed as worthy of the beautiful woman. Why, just today I caught a few minutes of that old movie High School High, where John Lovitz was making kissy-kiss with an actress who looked like Tia Carrere.

Sure, there’s an occasional Bridget Jones (and she’s highly debatable), but it’s still in that “safe zone”. Like, she can be chubby, but not TOO fat. She can be cutely neurotic as a flaw, but she can’t have any truly off-putting flaws like being disgusting while being unattractive.

And I can just hear a guy laughing and saying, “Well, how realistic would it be to have a guy fall for a fat, disgusting pig of a woman? I mean, come on! No one wants to see that!”

Yeah, exactly. That’s how we women feel seeing this.

Vergil
Vergil
Mon, Jan 26, 2009 4:46am

Sweet irony. The childish, fat men in these movies are so unworthy of these “Beautiful women” because the women are what, beautiful? Speaking of ugly Betty, isn’t it interesting that she dumps her first “geeky” looking Walter for the suposedly nerdy but actually extremely attractive Henry (who apparenty makes more money too)? Just what, exactly, does cinderella bring to the table? What does she do to deserve Prince Charming? Yes, we know she’s gentle and kind and all that, but the prince takes a look and see’s a hot little number in a tiara and he’s suddenly all his! I don’t see a Hollywood double standard here. I see two, equally offensive and equally unrealistic standards.