Monday, July 25, 2005

Million Dollar Booby

Because I pride myself on remaining on the cutting edge of popular culture, I saw Million Dollar Baby a couple days ago. I was surprised by how much I didn't like it, especially since it brought the crazy people such agony. (Spoilers like crazy follow)

After all the hubub from the Schiavo crowd about how this movie was all attacking their faith (it seems like everything from education to weather patterns are intent on attacking Christianity nowadays...), I expected an entertaining flick. I was disappointed with it. The fact that anyone reacted to this movie at all or compared it to the Teri Schiavo tragedy shows just how lost this movement is. The MDB situation was pretty freaking far from the Schiavo debacle because of one major fact: in the movie (do I need to remind everyone this is a fictional movie?), the Hillary Swank character is begging to die. Begging! Now, I can see how anyone would be unable to fulfill a request like that (kill someone no matter how many times they ask), but what gall to say that the question should not even be posed. What kind of movie would the wingnuts make?

Swank lies on the bed with a bunch of machines hooked up to her.

Please kill me.

No. Just lie there and watch TV.
I think the 700 Club is on.

Eastwood turns on the TV and leaves. Swank lies in bed for 30 years.

Of all the "kill your best friend" films I've seen MDB is surely one of the least controvertial. How about Last of the Mohicans when Daniel Day Lewis shoots his buddy being burned at the stake? (Uh, spoiler warning?) What about the scene in Starship Troopers where Michael Ironside shoots one of the soldiers under his command after one of the evil alien bugs starts to eat him? Or The Fly, with Jeff Goldblum asking Geena Davis to blow his head off?

Why don't these people raise a stink over Of Mice and Men? George puts down Lenny, his mentally retarded (but otherwise healthy) best friend after Lenny kills a woman out of fear and panic. (Wait, I think I know why the wingnuts don't want to object to that.)

So, why this film? Why Million Dollar Baby? As I look through all the above examples, I notice that all of them have men dying. Which brings me back to Teri Schiavo. Could anyone imagine a media shitstorm of that magnitude over a man in a persistent vegitative state? I honestly can't. And what if in the movie it was Jamie Foxx that was begging to die? Would anyone have objected?

Is it that simple? Is it that sexist? Is it that disgusting? That these people only object when it's a woman trying to make decisions for herself? Surely not.


Otto Man said...

You sure have watched a lot of films about friend-killing, Rod. I'd like to state for the record that I've always considered you to be a casual acquaintance, and not really a friend.

Studiodave, now there's a friend for you. Focus your attention on him, OK?

Thrillhous said...

Nice post, Inanny. I do think the wingnut script would be a bit different, though. After Swank asks Clint to kill her, he says "Sure thing!" and starts choking her. But before he can finish the job, a pure-hearted candy striper rushes in and puts a beatdown on Clint. During the beatdown Swank realizes she loves life, and as she breathlessly repeats some latin-sounding prayer she finds feeling returns to her limbs. She triumphantly climbs out of bed, only to find that the candy striper, in her spiritual fervor, has beaten Clint into a persistent vegetative state.

Swank devotes her life to caring for Clint. The candy striper becomes supreme court justice. Miniature American flags for all.

alex supertramp said...

thrillh -- I applaud the mini-flags (and of course abortions for some) I think there is one weak thread --- the candy striper should be wicked hot and when she runs in she puts a beatdown on Clit, thusly sparking said feeling and usage of Swank's limbs (she's filled with the spirit y'know....homosexuality is only frowned upon if you are a man, or fat, or ugly, and esp if all the above are true - if you are a hot blonde it is encouraged) --- freshly imbibed with the glory of god, and the aftermath of some hot steamy sex the begin to kick the living shit out of clint (I'm envisioning this to the tune of "all hands on the bad one" by sleater-kinney - turns out clint is gay, and a democrat)....after all, in the immortal words of Mustain sex sells, or some other trite sentiment like that ... and inanny, leave jamie foxx out of this.

Mrs_Thrillhous said...

Maybe I'll like MDB when I'm old. It moved so glacially. And Pretty in Pink has a more controversial ending than that!

Now, we could learn a lot from soaps, who don't always stoop to the death-is-inevitable- so-kill-him plot device. For instance, there was an episode of General Hospital where Brenda and Sonny were trapped (in a mine?) and thought they were going to die--so they made love!

Wasn't Lenny dehumanized after their bunkmate likened him to a pet dog? And no one can kill a Twin Peaks girl and get away with it. Oh wait, I think someone did.