Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chick Lit and Chick Flicks

To begin with, this is a rant. It is only a rant. Do not take this seriously. This entry, like the books and films that it is criticizing, should not be taken seriously. And that is exactly my point.

For a long time men have enjoyed westerns, crime dramas and action movies. But we are careful to not think that they are too important. Certainly some are made better than others. There are some films and books in these genres that will last for several years- or even decades. But we are not so deluded as to think that we have great culture because we like Clint Eastwood or Jack Bauer.

Women, on the other hand, have perfected the vapid romantic comedy. (I believe that there are only about three stories that are ever made into romantic comedies. Those stories get altered and alternated for each film. But that's an entirely different problem.) And not only have they perfected it, they want everyone else to experience it and rave about it.

The recent uproar about Sex and the City is a good example. I have not seen the film, but have watched the television program from time to time. I have found it to be funny and generally well-written. But Carrie and her three friends will never be mistaken for Lucy and Ethel. Mary Tyler Moore has nothing to worry about. Sex and the City is very popular because it speaks to a particular demographic group. And that is why it will not remain popular.

When television, literature, movies or music are focused on reaching one gender, age group, ethnicity or socio-economic group they are destined to mortality. No matter how "hip" they are now, when the group ages or changes the popularity will wane.

So, do not tell me that "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," or "Miss Congeniality" are great movies. They may be entertaining, but they will pass.

Do not be a snob and think that everyone has to agree with what you think is excellent. My opinions are probably going to be different than yours. And I am probably going to pass on your Oprah books and your Nicholas Sparks movies.

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