I'm not very good at keeping up with current movies these days but I love watching movie trailers. Not sure what that's all about but every week I make sure to watch all the new trailers. Well, whatever, it's fun and I've now a weekly ritual of watching and critiquing trailers. With a long history of movie watching and working in video stores back in the day (let's ignore precisely how long ago 'back in the day' is:) I've become pretty darn good at predicting an entire movie just from the trailer. Hell, that's part of the trailer-watching fun! So last week I was catching up on all the new trailers and I saw this one for The Joneses:
At first I'm thinking, oh sweet idea, product placement in life and not just on TV. Wave of the future, yeah? As the trailer progresses though my excitement wanes... significantly. Several mis-steps are hinted at here, including this-is-just-business but oh-no-i'm-getting-the-hopping-hornies-and-might-love-you syndrome, but what really got me was the idea that even now, in what I would like to think is the enlightened age, we are still hocking white heterosexuals with two kids and the giant house as the American Dream. So yeah, I'm gonna have to go ahead and call the big ole bullshit on this one. BULLSHIT!
Do studios ever worry about alienating a large portion of the American public? Seriously! I'm a white heterosexual so at least I fall in with 50% of that pitiful list up there and the presumption still bothers me. What about all the Americans that don't even hit 50%? What are they going to get out of a movie like this?
It's not like the set-up bothers me. I actually find it pretty believable. But really? Did you have to go with the American Dream bit? That does bother me. That isn't believable.
But sgwordy - you might say - can't you see that the whole movie is probably going to be some sort of edgy example of how this idea is really NOT the American Dream?
Yeah. I absolutely can. In fact, I'd be stunned if that wasn't the plan and they went somewhere more creative than that (happily stunned I might add, I love movies that actually surprise me). But if the hundreds of movies that have gone before (with their attendant trailers) are any example then I probably won't be stunned. I fully expect that by the end of The Joneses we will all learn the valuable lesson that stuff and consumerism are not what one should value in life. Well, phew, that's a fucking relief. Not only was I not already aware of this but I've never seen that theory put forth in a movie. Hoo-ray!
And that's all very well and good but it only takes care of the big house part of the above list and that's just nowhere near good enough for re-thinking this beyond out-dated idea of the American Dream.