day four finds us wrung out after yesterday's emotional hurricane. for relief, we turn to brooklyn henson, the paramount's associate director of marketing and PR. will she provide it? well, don't put those hankies away just yet, gang. we start with herbert ross' steel magnolias (1989).
maybe i have had it wrong all along. maybe this is the old, weird america, this place where god and hairdos reign supreme. they live in a world where traditions are so firmly rooted that no one bothers to check if they even make sense anymore and "what will the neighbors say?" still carries some inexplicable significance. where am i in my life that david lynch's blue velvet (1986) presents a vision of america that is less foreign to me than this? i am at a severe disadvantage with this one. maybe i am just more in the minority than i realize. i would be interested in hearing if the majority of you have/have had this type of dynamic (3-5 same gender friends that you see near constantly) in your lives? if you don't, do you long for it? do you frequently denigrate your significant other for comic purposes? am i missing out on something important here? i frequently think when i watch these things that it must be more prevalent than i realize. why else would it turn up as a storytelling device so often unless it was a near-universal experience? is the lack of it in my life a chicken-or-the-egg thing? is there an absence of it in my life because i have surrounded myself with other people who feel similarly or do they just keep it out of my sphere because they know that i will not participate in it? as soon as i drive away is this what is happening in my friends' houses all over town? that's a lot of questions, i know. i really would be interested in your feedback. feel free to leave it in the comments section here or over at the facebook page. if you read my ramblings very often (or know me well) you know that i just simply refuse to buy into the gender generalizations that people often use to cut their lives into digestible chunks. personally, i know that i do or appreciate enough things typically designated as the province of women to make the designation pointless. if you think about it, i am sure the women in the audience have a similar inventory of things/behaviors commonly understood to be "guy things" that are a regular part of their routines. once you establish and understand that, it just demolishes all these silly notions of "you're one way, we're another". i know why people insist on perpetuating it - it's easy and doesn't require us to think of each other as individuals - but i will never know why they think that is better. when you spend 50% of the time cracking jokes at your opposite gender's expense how silly is it to spend the other 50% of that time wringing your hands over "why don't we get along?!"? with their preoccupations and restlessness, these women are kind of the mature female flip side to the lads in reprise (2006) from day two. all that being said, i would still rather spend time with these women than any number of post/suspended-adolescent bropacks. these women have the advantage of accumulated wisdom on their side. dolly parton is an angel and if you can't find a way to like her then you're just kind of a jerk, shirley maclaine and olympia dukakis have been around long enough to know when to fight and when to retreat and sally field's monologue where she angrily questions the sense of her daughter's death is right on the money. i just wish, and i am well aware that this will most likely never come true, that we could finally stop underlining women and men and just get on with the business of underlining people. maybe if the neighbors did it first...
from there we hit the road with todd phillips' due date (2010).
in all seriousness brooklyn, thanks for those selections. they gave me some laughs and, more importantly, they raised some questions for me that i didn't expect and i always appreciate that.
tomorrow we reach the halfway point in our little experiment.