The movie Knocked Up is everywhere at the moment – in case you’ve been walking around in a daze, it’s a comedy about a dumb, porn-loving geek who gets a beautiful intelligent girl pregnant and then the hilarity that ensues, as they try to make the relationship work.
In today’s Guardian movie critic Joe Queenan rails against the movie, the latest in a series of what he calls ‘misogynist nonsense’.
Now, I haven’t seen the movie, so clearly can’t comment on how misogynist this particular film is, but one of the strands of his argument was that it’s unrealistic that geeky, unattractive men are getting films made in Hollywood, where they, effectively, get the girl.
He cites the likes of Something About Mary, High Fidelity and Sideways as further examples of films where a deeply unattractive, juvenile leading man manages to snag a very good-looking, intelligent woman.
This particular comment sums up his argument: The script sought to suggest that she had picked Stiller over Matt Dillon; the fact that Diaz and Dillon began a real-life relationship off screen tells you all you need to know.”
Well, excuse me. Are “ugly guys” not allowed to try and date attractive, intelligent women any more? Clearly Queenan thinks that Hollywood should return to the days where all men looked like Cary Grant and were chasing the likes of Doris Day or Grace Kelly.
The trouble with this is that those ‘screwball’ comedies were just as misogynistic in their own way, making fun of women and portraying them as ditzy blondes (where were the dark-haired leading ladies, I ask you?).
I agree that Hollywood is still dominated by men and, it just so happens that geeky Jewish men seem to have the upper hand in getting funny comedies made, but it’s hardly a recent phenomenon and not exactly a reason to cite the death of Hollywood.
After all, no-one moaned about “dorky” Bill Murray in Groundhog Day wooing Andie McDowell back in the 1990s.
In real life, quite often funny, yet superficially unattractive men do get the girl. Laughter always wins out and women admit, time and time again, that being funny is almost always as important as looks in a man.
Let’s just celebrate the fact that comedies coming out of Hollywood seem to be funny again, for once, rather than the turgid nonsense that we’ve had to endure over the past 5-10 years.
Which would rather watch – Knocked Up or Runaway Bride? I rest my case…