Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Runaway Bride (1999)

Mrs. Sgt. T likes the romantic comedies.  So do I, but not as much as her.  She loves them enough to want to own them.  But not all of them.  And I can't figure out why she likes some but not others.  I'll think I have it figured out, and in a store sometime I'll point to one that, in my mind, is just like one
we own, and she'll say, no, you don't get it at all.  And I don't. 

So we have a lot to talk about whenever we watch one.  Like, we just watched Runaway Bride, which I'd never seen all the way through, even though I've walked through the room several times, it feels like, while she was watching it.  This time I watched it all, and when it was over I asked her why she liked it.  Like, doesn't the misogyny bother her?  I mean, the Richard Gere character starts out by saying these heinous things about women in general, and about the Julia Roberts character in particular, and sure he loses his job, but on the level of the movie where it counts he never has to pay for it.  He's never humiliated, never has to apologize or say he was wrong.  Sure he gets away with it because Richard Gere's so damned charming, but meanwhile the Julia Roberts character basically has to go through this long bout of self-searching where she realizes that, yes, she has caused all her lovers, and even friends, to suffer because of her lack of self-awareness - that basically everything the Richard Gere character said about her was true except for the malice.  He never has to humble himself to find happiness and true love, but she does.

To which Mrs. Sgt T said, you're making the mistake of assuming he has anything to do with it.  He's irrelevant.  The story isn't about him.  It's a story about her - about the female viewer, if you will - and her own self-searching;  he's basically just an externalization of her own self-critical voice.  The only journey that matters in the film is hers.  It's not that the man gets off scot-free, it's that he doesn't have any meaningful existence beyond her.

I never thought of that.

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