May 09, 2007

AMERICANIZING SHELLEY

After the conference Saturday night, CVG and I went to see Americanizing Shelley, a movie I had learned about through Andi's World. It was a cutesy little movie, at times a bit corny and formulaic, but I've never been one for romantic comedies anyway. Plus, this formula is no different than The Girl Next Door or Maid in Manhattan, and those are blockbusters, right? I did like a lot of the jokes because my husband and I have many Indian friends, so I felt like I was part of the in-group for the humor. It was just a nice little movie.

But apparently they had a heck of a time getting anyone to buy it. I bet you don't even need three guesses as to why:

One "well-known producer," Miss Gujral says, watched a short work-up of the movie and liked it for the most part. There was that pro-American element: Must Shelley, the titular foreigner, lose her anti-American stance by movie's end? The producer, shaking his head, said, "Some people never learn."

Another producer, a female, reacted this way to the short film's dedication to "our troops who laid their lives on the line for our freedom": "We can't have that; that's ridiculous. In this climate" Iraq was going south, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal had erupted "I'm ashamed to be an American."

I had read this article before I saw the movie, and the entire time all that kept running through my brain is "This, THIS, is what they consider nutty American propaganda?" An Indian girl doesn't like Americans until she gets to the US and finds out we're not all that bad. Sheesh, I've lived that scenario more times than I can count with people from France, Switzerland, etc. I can't tell you how ridiculous it sounds when someone says, "All Americans are X, well, except you...and him...and all the students here in our group." So all Americans are greedy/rude/stupid, except for every single American you've ever met? Riiight. Americanizing Shelley captured that reality perfectly, and that's considering Red State Advertising?

The main character didn't end up hating the US, so the movie pitchers had to "pull a Mel Gibson" and start their own film company. Is every movie supposed to be flippin' Syriana these days? You can't say anything good about Americans without having to resort to selling your own movie?

Even if this movie sucked, I'd tell you to go see it because I want American Pride Films Group to make money. We should all want them to make money so we can at least take steps toward loosening the stranglehold liberalism has on Hollywood. But the movie didn't suck; it was just a decent romantic comedy. With one line about how Americans aren't really so bad. The rest of it is jokes at the expense of white and brown people and everyday ridiculous romantic comedy scenarios. I can't even believe this movie is supposed to stand out for being too kind to America.

I swear, Crocodile Dundee couldn't even get made today.

Posted by Sarah at May 9, 2007 11:27 AM | TrackBack
Comments

I didn't go to the movie because I wanted to hang out and talk to people. But I really do want to see it - I just don't know when. I figured it was like that from the trailer I saw - cute and fun.

Posted by: Teresa at May 9, 2007 11:11 PM

it is playing at amc shirlington 7 all thru this weekend and next week incase anyone wants to catch this charming flick in dc...

Posted by: Katharine at May 10, 2007 02:05 AM