Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Beats

Now Playing: Trocadero - The Good Fight (Red vs. Blue soundtrack)

I told my dad about Adult World and he promised he'd get around to watching it sometime soon. I'm not sure if he'd like it as much as I do--it's a seriously ridiculous movie that spoke to me for very obvious reasons. But I do kinda hope he watches it. Storytelling is one of the definitive forms of achieving empathy, so if you watch Adult World and understand where it's coming from (even if you don't wholly like it), then, well, you can come to understand a little of my perspective and situation. And all of those like Amy and I.

(Which, side note, is why I'm not 100% against self-insert fiction. Overdoing it always results in a mess, but to an extent, writers always insert pieces of them in their work. It's the only way to try and make something genuine).

Anyways. I guess because I mentioned I often enjoy watching movies about writers, after he saw Ruby Sparks, he decided to let me watch it before we had to return it to Netflix.


And. It's. . .not very good. It's not bad. But it's not where it clearly wants to be either.

It got a high enough rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was written by its lead actress and directed by the people who did Little Miss Sunshine. It kind of attempts a subversive take on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl and discusses men's misogynistic perspectives of both real life women and their fictional counterparts. It's kind of like Paper Towns.

And it fails in the exact same way Paper Towns* fails.


Look. You cannot be an introspective look on archetypal, cliche ridden narratives when you end up hitting every. Single. Beat. Of that cliche archetypal narrative. All the way from the beginning to the very last scene.

And if your main character is a borderline psychopathic asshole who desperately needs the revelation that women are, in fact, human beings, then why the hell would you still reward him at the end? Let him suffer! HAVE SOME CONSEQUENCES, is all I'm saying.

And if your narrative hinges on the fact that women are, yes, people, then why still make it the man's story? That's what I mean when I say these things still hit all the beats. Dude still uses the female character for personal growth while she, in turn, barely gets any real development or chance of complexity. We are told it's there, but because we're locked behind the man's perspective, we never see it.

Paper Towns was written by a man. Ruby Sparks was written by a woman. I find that interesting. They both think they're subversions of archetypes and stereotypes. They're really (and sadly) not. at least in my opinion. I'll say this, Ruby Sparks is more ambitious and has a far more interesting framing.

But that really cannot save it. Execution matters most.

Sigh.

I'm gonna get some coffee and go back to revising.

Maybe a read a couple of tweets from the Guy In Your MFA.
~Becky

*Talking about the book here. I tried watching the movie for Cara Delevingne, but it didn't hold my interest past the first part. Going off Thibaut's review, I didn't miss much.

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"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.