Ed Driscoll

Hollywood, In A Nutshell

Steve Green (who gains bonus street cred for his admiration of debonair William Powell), highlights exactly what’s gone wrong with Hollywood, by examining, of all things, the trailer for Rob Schneider’s Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalo:

The trailer for “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalo” had been up for a couple days, but I just couldn’t bring myself to click on the link. Rob Schneider is not now nor has he ever been funny. It’s not that I don’t enjoy lowbrow stuff – far from it. Give me a couple beers and some Three Stooges, and I’m a happy man.

But Farrelly Brothers-style comedy just isn’t funny. There’s enough humor in the human condition as is, that I find it impossible to laugh with (or even at) characters who don’t behave like real human beings, responding to impossible situations.

Case in point: “There’s Something About Mary.” The hair gel scene is empircally not funny. Semen doesn’t just hang there, and women don’t grab random blobs of “is that hair gel?” off of people’s ears, then apply to their own hair without so much as a mirror. You want funny? Watch Bill Murray’s flower-golfing scene in “Caddyshack.”

But back to Deuce Bigalow’s European Vacation or Whatever.

Finally, I succumbed to my Watch All the Trailers Rule, and loaded it up. There wasn’t so much as a grin to be had. Halfway into the trailer, for reasons I don’t understand, a fat American woman in a bad dress is shown speaking practically to the camera. She says “Give thanks to America for bringing freedom to Iraq” or words to that effect.

And then a brick flies in from off camera and hits her in the face.

I know Hollywood doesn’t approve of the Iraq campaign. I don’t expect serious debate in a Rob Schneider movie – and if there was some, I’d hold it in contempt. But just what the hell is going on here? Making a political statement with a thrown brick? That’s supposed to be funny? That’s supposed to have a point?

That’s in a Rob Schneider movie?

What the hell?

I know the audience for these films – young folks without enough real-world experience to appreciate just how funny real-world behavior can be. I know, because I used to be one of them. We all were once: It’s called “youth.”

So it’s come to this: Hollywood now feels the need to propagandize – with a brick! – in a summer teen flick. Or maybe “need” is giving too much credit. Maybe “audacity” is a better word for it. Whatever the case, at least we know where they stand.

Me, I’m not standing anywhere. I’m sitting in front of the laptop computer – having earlier tonight attacked my desktop monitor with a brick.

As I feel like I’ve written innumerable times already this year, I wouldn’t have a problem with this sort of thing, if Hollywood was releasing a wide variety of product, to appeal to both those who are pro-freedom and pro-liberation, and those who are anti-war and/or anti-Bush.

But when everything comes with the same mindset and worldview attached to it, is it any wonder that they’re losing audience-share? The same thing has crippled the news industry as well. If your mindset is exactly that of the New York Times, then great, you’re good to go. But for the rest of us….well, like Lucy and Charlie Brown, you can only pull the football away so many times, before you give the game away.

With Weblogs, there’s a blog for every mindset and attitude–and if there isn’t, that’s probably reason enough to start one. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with Hollywood these days. Maybe, at some point in the future, just as the right side of the Blogosphere competes with the MSM, and Fox News competes with CNN, there will be widely available alternatives to Hollywood’s product.

But until then, we’ll keep wondering why they keep doing the stuff that Steve describes above, and hopefully, they’ll keep wondering why they’re losing money.