Geeky Cinephile Musings…
I don't pontificate, I blather.

I can see yoah dirty pillows!

Well, it’s been a long time, fellow film lovers.  I have changed jobs, moved AGAIN, and we are now happily ensconced in Culver City.  I kept looking longingly at my computer, wondering when I’d ever be inspired (or pissed, as is the case here today) to write another blog posting.  Because, unlike some bloggers, who feel the need to tell their readers every time they drink a diet cola, I choose to not bombard all 9 of my readers with anything but my most incensed or excited thoughts.

Don’t you feel special?

So what is it that brought me out of a retirement-like stupor and caused me to pick up my laptop, grit my teeth, and begin hearing the click and clack of the keys?

The new remake of Carrie, of course.

Fu-cking HELL.

I just saw the trailer for it, and I am FURIOUS.

Let me explain.  (Oh yeah, that IS the whole point of this, right?)

Just last night my husband, a good friend, and I were discussing this remake.  I was mortified that someone would even attempt this.  Beyond the obvious stance most people could (rightfully) assume—namely that the original Carrie is a masterpiece that should not really be attempted again unless you got some mega-guns to bring to the table, I was certain in my haze of sparkling wine that whoever was doing the remake would inevitably cock it up by casting Carrie with an actress too attractive to play the role.  I banged my fist on the table and said, “Just you wait, just you wait!!”

And sure as shootin, what do I see when I click on the trailer?

Yep, a pretty blond girl playing Carrie.

Fu-cking HELL!!

My husband (who in true Monty Python style always looks on the bright side of life) saw my horrified face and quickly began rationalizing that Chloe Grace Moretz is not conventionally pretty, that she’s “a bit odd looking,” et cetera, et cetera.

Proof is in the pudding folks.  Sorry.  I look at this trailer, and I see a pretty blond girl, who would likely have no trouble making superficial, high school friends unless she was just a socially awkward mess who, like, drank milk through her eyelids at lunch or something…and even then people would probably congratulate her on her skills.

But I digress.  Let’s really examine this, because THIS is exactly what is wrong with film and television today, at least in America—the lack of use of real-looking actors and actresses in roles where they’re nevertheless considered attractive in the plot.

I love Carrie, the book.  It is absolutely brilliant.  It’s Stephen King’s first best-seller, written when he was approximately 19, and it is genius.  In the book, Carrie is a girl who is described as “bovine” over and over again, her thighs are “plump,” her hair is “limp and lank,” she has pimples—she’s no looker, folks! She has all the chips stacked against her in the poker game of physical appearance.  THAT’S THE POINT.  Especially because once she escapes her mother’s clutches for that one, fateful night to attend the prom with Tommy, and she uses a little makeup, curls her hair, and wears a lovely dress, she becomes passably pretty—pretty enough to make people take another look at her.  Not beautiful, per se, certainly not gorgeous, but pretty enough to “fit in” with the “cool” crowd now that Tommy sees something in her.  King in no way insinuates that she’s super hot at that point, and why would he? The subtle change is impressive enough.

But this…this is just a travesty.  It reminds me of the scene in Not Another Teen Movie where this exact premise is spoofed–the girl “becomes” super hot by taking down her ponytail and taking off her glasses.  I found it on youtube, if you wanna see it.

Love that scene, btw.

But how are you going to even get that effect when the girl is already above-average in looks?? How are you going to root for her when she comes into her own for those brief moments if you’re too busy rolling your eyes and saying, “Well DU-UH!”?? Carrie is supposed to be a total mess—unattractive, irritatingly dopey, bumbling, weak.  Her gradual control over her telekinetic ability ultimately gives her the power to change that.  That’s an integral part of the story.

And that’s just one aspect.

The other, more frighteningly sad truth is that we are continuing to set an unrealistic bar for the public as to what’s considered attractive.  If Chloe Grace Moretz is Carrie, who the fuck is the hot girl? Basically we’re being told that if you don’t look like a swimsuit model, you’re fucked.  And then we wonder why eating disorders and severe depression are so rampant in this “enlightened” age where we supposedly celebrate a real woman’s body through two solitary, overused examples: Christina Hendricks and Marilyn Monroe.

Sorry, but those two women alone just ain’t enough, and using them as an example of people’s supposed views that skinny people are just being shoved down their throat, but Joanie and Marilyn are how they REALLY want people to look (which by the way is just as unattainable to the average female)…well…it’s beginning to reek of hypocrisy to me.  You see it in the way people praise Kim Kardashian’s curves in public but then go online and call her fat behind the safety of the computer screen.  You see it in the way Jennifer Lawrence complains that she’s constantly referred to amongst film industry circles as “the fat actress.”  We SAY we want this revolution–we’ve been saying it for years, but when you put it in our faces, we groan.  Men make jokes about Lena Dunham being naked, “I don’t wanna see THAT!!” As if Lena Dunham is so incredibly, unforgivably repugnant.

lena_dunham_rect1

Oh my GOD!! Get a bag for that face, stat!!!

Seriously??

I mean, GOD FORBID the actress playing Carrie might actually look the way King envisions her in the novel.  No, god, please—pretty her up for modern audiences.  No one wants to have the heroine being homely! Which brings me back to those mega-guns I was talking about earlier—if you’re going to remake such a fantastic film, and Christ-on-a-cross you’ve got the visionary talent of Kimberly Peirce, do something DARING.  Now’s your chance!! Shock us all!!

But nope.  It’s this:

I'm ugly. Sniff.  Everyone picks on me.

I’m ugly. Sniff. Everyone picks on me.

I am sickened and saddened…

…actually no—this is exactly what I thought it would be.  No alarms, no surprises.

A well-written piece usually includes some sort of counter-argument, but I am just too irritated to talk about the potentially good points of this film in depth.  I’ll list two things though—Julianne Moore. She’s great. And Kimberly Peirce is the mastermind behind these shenanigans.  If anything gives me a glimmer of hope, it’s her. There.  I gave something positive.

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7 Responses to “I can see yoah dirty pillows!”

  1. Glad to see you’re writing again, fellow geek. I always look forward to reading your sass. Now that you’re in Culver City I expect some inside scoops from ya.

  2. I would say that is a bit premature to be quite so negative. I agree the girl is very pretty and is not great casting but I would argue she is not any prettier than Sissy Spacek. Also Sissy Spacek was no closer to the average female form than the new girl.
    I doubt the movie is going to be very good and I don’t really see any point in remaking except to cash in on the automatic box office that the horror genre generates but I don’t think this casting choice is going to be the downfall of the movie nor is casting Chloe Grace Moretz any worse than casting Spacek in the original.

  3. And Chloe whatshername is just so DAMN ANNOYING anyway. Ugh, that pouty face. I want to throw pig’s blood at her. Wait a minute….

  4. Hiya Chris!
    I agree that Sissy Spacek is too pretty to be Carrie as well–I actually wrote a whole paragraph on that, but then axed it at the last minute. However, Sissy Spacek can look exceedingly plain when she wants to, and even under the best of circumstances she is very alien looking to me. It wasn’t perfect, by any means, but it worked enough to suspend my disbelief for the film. Plus, like Kubrick’s take on The Shining, which did not follow the plot of the book, yet still remains one of the two adaptations of King novels that worked onscreen, De Palma’s take on Carrie caught some sort of essence from the book that other King films do not have. Ironically, King himself most often makes the biggest mistakes on translating his works to film. Cough! The Shining remake! Cough!!

  5. Adam, thank you! I always look forward to reading your blogs as well–they go straight into my inbox!! You rock, dude.

  6. Joyanna, I could not agree with you on so many points any more than I do. I have a horrid disdain for the rash of remakes coming out of good ol’ Follywood, but “Carrie” is a masterpiece. It’s likely the best adaptation of a Stephen King story that I’ve ever seen. I guess that as long as they make more in royalties on the DVD and the rental than it cost to make the abomination, then studios will just keep doing it.

  7. Well, on the bright side…if the studios didn’t push out shitty remakes, what WOULD the video store folks like myself have to bitch about? 🙂


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