Friday, October 09, 2009

"[...] plying her with Champagne and cigarettes and airy, high-minded talk."

I suppose this is where movies require suspension of disbelief, by I find it tough to see how Peter Sarsgaard-not-heavily-disguised would have to "ply" a heterosexual female with anything more than his being a clean-shaven Peter Sarsgaard. A full-bearded Sarsgaard might have to ply, but this one? I won't have it.

6 comments:

PG said...

Judging by the reviewer's evaluation of Sarsgaard as "reasonably handsome" and "quietly dashing," he's less besotted than you are. At least there doesn't seem to be an obviously less attractive person whom the heroine prefers, which exasperated me about the remake of "Sabrina": crushing on Greg Kinnear and never noticing Harrison Ford? Really?

Phoebe said...

I don't see it with Harrison Ford, but can't quite picture Greg Kinnear... but I get the principle of what you're saying, and agree. Inasmuch as conventional attractiveness in movies is a stand-in for the more subjective hotness in everyday life, having an everywoman heroine prefer a less attractive man is a claim that women are moved not by physical attraction but by wealth, sense of humor, all those factors that are important and all, but that without the physical-attraction bit mean 'friends.'

Petey said...

"Inasmuch as conventional attractiveness in movies is a stand-in for the more subjective hotness in everyday life, having an everywoman heroine prefer a less attractive man is a claim that women are moved not by physical attraction but by wealth, sense of humor, all those factors that are important and all, but that without the physical-attraction bit mean 'friends.'"

This is actually a rather gender-neutral device that many romantic movies use to separate the eventual couple until the final reel.

Having the guy end up preferring the girl next door instead of the sexy babe is just as standard a trope as having the chick end preferring the witty schlub instead of the hunk.

The moral that soul mating is not skin deep is an enduring cinematic storyline, wholly separate from the larger gender issues in current cinema.

PG said...

Petey,

My point with the "Sabrina" remake is that Greg Kinnear is not clearly more physically attractive than Harrison Ford, so positing that a young woman would have a mad crush on the former and never notice the latter is implausible. I was fine with the original, because she was crushing on William Holden and ignoring Humphrey Bogart, but as you say ultimately ends up with the person of good character instead of the pretty face. They nearly screwed that one up too, though, by initially trying to get Cary Grant for the role Bogart ultimately took.

Matt said...

Can you ply with cigarettes? That seems odd. He looks sort of normal to me- not a bad looking guy at all, but not that unusual, either. Certainly not someone I'd especially notice, I'd think.

Phoebe said...

Matt,

One can ply with anything, although a nonsmoker would probably not react the hoped-for way with this technique. As for Sarsgaard, my sense is, women see it, men don't, but everything's subjective, plus if he's playing an inappropriate love interest for a teenager, his natural hotness is probably diminished for some viewers. Sarsgaard looks more like a man for a woman than a man a girl would find attractive - a James Franco, say, who even if far too old, still gives off the air of a likely teen heartthrob.