You know what’s weird? That in some ways, we’ve kind of gone backwards. In terms of movies, at least. Because I’ve spent the last few months reveling in a bunch of eighties films – from comedies to thrillers – and though many of them are far sillier than anything that would be allowed now…there’s something glaringly missing from modern film.
Where are all the wonky romances?
There are plenty now in books. Or at least, the landscape is definitely shifting. But in movies? Where are all the Children of a Lesser Gods and Sleeping With the Enemies and White Palaces? Really strong, unusual romances, often paired with certain thriller elements – or even some eroticism?
I sat down and tried to think, and couldn’t come up with anything modern that rivalled these sorts of very adult, intense sort of films. So few films now seem to be about real, mature relationships. We either get daft comedies about older people (It’s Complicated, Hope Springs, Exotic Marigold Hotel) or angsty stuff about young adults (Nick and Nora, 50 Days of Summer).
Even Secretary was about a young girl, rather than two adults. And so few films are about internal pain causing rifts in burgeoning relationships. There’s The Town – which I really enjoyed. And certainly the central relationship in that is wonky. But really the movie is all about external factors. He’s a thief, she’s the woman he kidnapped.
Where are the movies about internal factors? About fooked up people trying to find happiness? Has Hollywood abandoned those kinds of films? It’s almost as though they’ve been ghettoised to the indie scene, where people can talk about their feelings. Mainstream drama has kind of stopped existing – it’s been polarised into romantic comedies or romantic films OR drama about big ISSUES.
Which is a shame, because I really miss the White Palaces and the Lesser Gods. I miss wonky relationships in movies. I wonder what it would take, to make them come back?
Say what you want about 50 Shades…but I think it might just do the trick.