Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Tawdrywood does romance

There's a new movie out called The Wedding Date. Here is a New York Times review, saying it's an okay movie, but not very good. And here is a review from National Review calling the movie an icky, sleazy bit of movie making. Briefly, the movie's plot is that a young woman learns that the best man at her half-sister's upcoming wedding is the man who dumped her. Desperate not to appear solo at the wedding, she hires a male prostitute to pretend to be her boyfriend and attend the wedding with her. Naturally (this is a romantic movie), the prostitute is handsome, well-educated, debonaire and charming. What struck me about the movie is that the plot sounded familiar. Now, here I have a confession to make. When I'm tired, I have a weakness for junk romances. This plot reminded me of one I read a few years ago called Asking for Trouble, written by Elizabeth Young. In Young's rather sweet, scarcely original book, a young British woman living in America learns that her younger half-sister is about to get married. Rather than appearing at the wedding solo, she convinces her male best friend -- who is not a prostitute -- to pretend to be her boyfriend and attend the wedding with her. And of course, romance follows. Well, sure enough, at the very end of the New York Times review, I learn that the movie is indeed based on an Elizabeth Young book. My question is, "Why the heck did Hollywood have to turn the male best friend into a prostitute?" Why go from the book's charming conceit -- "male best friend, whom you've always liked, turns into romantic object" -- to the sordid, tawdry, icky idea of a well-heeled, attractive woman spending her retirement account to take a prostitute to a wedding. Where is the romance in that? No offense to the legions of Ivy League educated, handsome, charming men who are forced to earn their living on the streets, but . . . . Geez, I've lived in the big city. The men who earn their living on the streets are (a) drug addicted, or (b) alcoholic, or (c) schizophrenic, or (d) the products of horrific child abuse, or (e) gay, or (f) a mixture of all or some of the above. No wonder Hollywood is struggling if that's the best they can come up with in the realm of romance.