Friday, July 31, 2009

Oh, those hot summer nights

A few days ago, Seattle officially had its hottest day in recorded history (103!), and it was not pleasant. Even though The Scot and I escaped most of it by hopping from movie theatre to air-conditioned restaurant to movie theatre to air-conditioned restaurant, it was still not a happy time for the Northwest. Films, alcohol, and food were definitely the way to go.

So, ironically and not surprisingly, I had a massive one of these the next day:
(I did, however, manage to hydrate and be coherent enough to attend a city council candidate forum later in the afternoon...)

The movie itself was okay. It had its funny moments, its jock humor, its questionable portrayal of women and Asian men . But that was all to be expected, given the plot of the movie. Other than that, I liked the format: Las Vegas bachelor party lose the groom and has to retrace their steps from the night before. There are missing pieces, and totally random clues to their wild and "memorable" night, and I think the movie does a funny job of capturing that "OMG, what happened?" post-drinking state of mind that is, uh, familiar to many. I also didn't really buy Bradley Cooper as the teacher/family man, and the dentist's shrewish girlfriend was a little too over-the-top. There were places where the movie hinted exploring lost youth, growing up, etc. But then it didn't. It wasn't really that kind of movie.

Bruno was better. Unlike Borat, the line between what was fake and what was real was a little more defined, but still savvy and socially relevant. And I swear, there are scenes where Sacha Baron Cohen could have gotten his ass killed in a hate crime, which of course makes it all the more salient.

The film has been criticized for being an over-the-top stereotype of gays; but that's the point. (So was Borat, but there was no outrage in America over the over-the-top stereotype of Kazakhs or other central Asians.) You take it with a grain of salt, but the reactions in the interviews and scenes are real. Like Ron Paul. He got an interview with Ron Paul!

Like Borat, though, many of the scenes that expose ignorance were relegated to the South, to poorer areas, or to under-educated populations. There's a danger, I think, in thinking the intolerances Cohen exposes can only be found, overtly or otherwise, in those Americas.

...Which brings me back to The Hangover. At one point during the film, I thought maybe --maybe-- the communal memory lapse of four frat-boyish white guys could be interpreted as a messed-up journey to others' stereotyped realities: in a city where whatever happens stays there, they get tased by police, duped by a black drug dealer, attacked by an Asian gang, trapped into marriage by a hooker milf, have their money quickly disappear and their expensive car destroyed, and are each physically altered in some way. And in the end, they return safely to their suburban country club wedding with vague memories and some snapshots of their adventures on the other side.

That analysis was fleeting. When I walked out of the theatre, I realized ... nah. Sometimes imagery is just jumbled, and some compilations are just meaningless. Then again, sometimes they're not.

... Which brings me back to the other hangover. NEVER DRINKING IN 103-DEGREE HEAT AGAIN!!!


Colin said...

I had a great time but was definitely a little the worse for wear on Thursday morning. So. Much. Wine!

Rainster said...

For me, it was the margaritas!