Ed Driscoll

"We’re In A Big Puritanical Mode"

I’ll say one thing about the Hollywood studio system of the 1940s and ’50s: every actor and actress had the occasional bomb, but you rarely heard Cary Grant, John Wayne, Bogie or Bacall blaming the customers when their picture tanked:

Another day, another nugget of awesomeness from Megan Fox.

The actress tells The New York Times that her movie “Jennifer’s Body” tanked because “the movie is about a man-eating, cannibalistic lesbian cheerleader, and that pretty much eliminates middle America.”

Which sounds like a repeat of the blame-the-booboisie quote uttered by the screenwriter of the craptacular sequel to Basic Instinct when it bombed, as City Journal’s Stefan Kanfer wrote in 2006:

Paul Verhoeven, director of the first Basic Instinct, made in 1992, avers that politics in the U.S. of A. have taken the fun out of eros. Indeed, insists the Dutch native, “anything that is erotic has been banned in the United States. Look at the people at the top. We are living under a government that is constantly hammering out Christian values.” Scenarist Nicholas Meyer (Fatal Attraction; The Human Stain) agrees. “We’re in a big puritanical mode. Now it’s like the McCarthy era, except it’s not ‘Are you a communist?’ but have you ever put sex in a movie?”

On which planet do these gentlemen live? It is difficult to determine from their remarks. In an epoch when XXX rated videos are available at the local DVD store, when the Internet contains countless pornographic sites, when surveys show that more Americans hear suggestive language than ever before, when celebrities promote oral sex for teenagers, when nudity and semi-nudity are a part of prime time programming, it is impossible to reconcile the opinions of Messrs. Verhoeven and Meyer with the facts of life.

Still, we must congratulate them for their originality. It used to be fashionable to hold the Jews responsible for everything that went wrong. Blaming Christianity is a new one.

Heh. So why didn’t you take your low expectations for what Americans will accept at the box office into account before you made the movie?