Ok, now I admit to a great liking for the Gladiator. In fact, I loved this movie, and not because of the whole host of Russell Crowe "chest shots" or his cute rear end. I liked it because I am an intelligent, well-read gentlewoman who happens to have great interest in the whimsy, the history, and the legends that are associated with the marvelous Roman Empire. Besides, I never once looked at Russell Crowe’s butt. Nor did I notice his tan, bulging biceps, either.
The movie was euphoric in its visual spectacles, its storytelling, and its sword-and-sandals charisma. Blood and guts. Heads chopped off at will. Remorseless killing. The perfect movie for any woman of taste.
The truth is, not all of us estrogen-charged lasses desire endless hours with Oprah, while she cries on stage over some 25-year-old bimbo who reunites with her 17-year-old biological daughter, who it turns out, has now married her already-married bigamist cousin, who turned out to be a transsexual having an affair with another woman who was a drug addict and gave birth to a crack baby.
Oprah is too touchy-feely for me. She cries if one of her guests breaks a fingernail. Then there’s Lifetime Cable channel, the "lady channel." All movies for all women — all the time. There’s 5 different movie scripts, with 10 different actors/actresses. They just keep revolving the players with the scripts and come up with something like 1,692 different combinations — enough to keep Lifetime on the air for 20 years or so.
Why do women love this stuff? Are we, as a gender, that shallow and superficial? Have women become that otiose in terms of their daily routines? That begging an answer, I dare to question women, and their dreadful taste in movies — as well as their taste for the men in Hollywood that headline those movies.
The Marlboro Man, smoking and looking cool in his boots in the rugged Montana outdoors, is no longer the epitome of manliness nor the symbol of sex. Instead, manliness and sex is now embodied in the Friends look, where these Generation-X guys living with chick friends are 6’1", 130 lbs., with Gen-X defined haircuts, sensitive as all heck to the female’s plight, and always half-witted, too.
Intelligence is no longer a factor for manliness, according to Hollywood. Dumb, goofy guys that don’t get it — but try to — are the cream of the crop. Matthew LeBlanc was once considered one of Hollwood’s sexiest men. To me, he looks a little on the wimpy side.
But the new generation of “liberated” women like this, it seems. They like wimpy guys because they are more "understanding and sweet." They like stupid guys because they can keep them under their thumb. They like skinny poles that they can beat up if need be.
Look at our heroes of Hollywood’s yesteryear. Men were actually manly. What a concept! Humphrey Bogart looked so cool in Casablanca, how can one blame Ingrid Bergman for falling for him?
Bogey could no longer be cool because he smoked, and he was probably too politically incorrect. Hell, Bogey could never be PC, not for a moment. Cagney was too manly, and not nearly 90s-sensitive enough. Burt Lancaster would probably be considered a wife-beater and Cary Grant a "Deadbeat-Dad," and Charleton Heston likes guns, so he’s outta here. Chicks are afraid of guns, and know that big, bad guns kill people, so give Chuck the boot!
Don’t get me wrong, for I love romance, and love stories, and intelligent life tales as much as any romantic fool, for that I truly am. But most of Hollywood assumes the typical female wants to see the quintessential mush story that revolves around crying spells, middle-age crises, or meaningless affairs. Where are the stories of soulmateship and devotion, or marriage and monogamy? Rarely do movies ever rise to this level outside of the small-budget, independent filmmaking format.
The chick-flick types can have their Oprah and Sally Jesse, and any Lifetime Cable movies starring Richard Crenna, Jaclyn Smith, Donna Mills, or any other washed-up former prime-timer who cries over a busted relationship for half the movie.
I want something intellectually absorbing with a superbly-crafted plot, or anything ideologically appealing — especially where government is made to look as evil as it is — or special affects that just wow me, or even blood-and-guts excitement revolving around ancient history, or just good u2018ol fighting.
Jackie Chan movies are great "guy movies" for the "non chick-flick gal," too. I first saw Jackie kick up his heels in Rumble in the Bronx, and have been a captive Chan moviegoer ever since. Every time I attend one of these boisterous, testosterone-charged martial arts shows, I look around to see if there is any other presence of estrogen in the theatre. Usually there’s a few scattered feminine souls, with most looking like they were holding up their end of the bargain in a "I’ll go to the stupid guy-movie if you go to my chick-flick" deal.
Give me Al Pacino stomping up and down the sideline, spittin’ tobacco and swearin’ at his players, or Gene Hackman slappin’ some manipulating dingbat and saying, "See ya!", or Harvey Keitel cleanin’ up the blood from a murder scene, but don’t give me Jon Bon Jovi with a sensitive 90’s frosted hairdo, installing some woman’s cabinetry, consoling her on her latest breakup with a macho guy who wasn’t understanding and kind, and therefore was a jerk.
Heck, Jon Bon Jovi couldn’t hold a candle to Harvey Keitel or the Marlboro Man under any circumstances.
Karen De Coster is a politically incorrect CPA, and an MA student in economics at Walsh College in Michigan.