I'm having a weird convergence of movie-related thoughts. The other night Brian and I were watching Eddie And The Cruisers, and as Eddie got out of the car and walked around to open the door for Joann, I wondered if we've lost something in our society. Not a patronizing, "You're too weak to open the door yourself," thing, but a gesture of recognition. An outward expression that shows you respect someone, no different than holding the door open for someone entering behind you (whether they're male or female) or saying, "Excuse me," when you walk in front of someone.
Yesterday, we went to see Drive. I could cheat a post just giving it the high praise it deserves and encourage everyone to see it asap. It's very solid, and I don't have anything to criticize that's specific to Drive. I liked all the parts I could keep my eyes and ears open for.
However... there is this one little scene. You know the one. The one when secrets are revealed, and in that moment of revelation, the woman shows the world her emotion by slapping the guy across the face.
That really pissed me off. It's something I've developed a real pet peeve about. Movie after movie, show after show, some woman loses it and smacks a guy, and he just takes it.
Maybe it's because Brian knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of a backhander (not from me). Maybe it's because of how hard we try to teach the kids to solve their problems with words, not their hands. Maybe it's because the Casey Anthonys of the world are all the proof we need that we should never assume that mothers are always the best caretakers of children.
I mean, did you know that "according to the American Anthropological Association, more than 200 women kill their children in the United States each year."
I know that the reason we end up with stereotypes and cliches in our movies and books is because they often have some degree of truth to them. Certain phrases, ahem, hit the nail on the head in a way that other words don't, and sometimes, when people try too hard to avoid a cliche it's actually jarring because it doesn't work. I understand that.
I'm just tired of the stereotypical slap across the face being a substitution for real emotional expression in a drama.
And more importantly, I'm tired of it being so routine, so commonplace, that it seems to be acceptable. It isn't acceptable for men to hit women, and it isn't acceptable for women to hit men, either.