Crucial Minutia
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Felice Belle
Stakes is High: I Think I Love Real Life
2 Comments | posted March 25th, 2007 at 12:18 am by Felice Belle

Happily Ever After

We are a nation built on myth and legend. From Christopher Columbus’ discovery of already existing land to George Washington’s alleged inability to lie, the stories we tell ourselves become the foundation for the reality we create.

So it should come as no surprise that Hollywood continues to sell us fairytales. Nearly every romantic comedy created follows the once upon a time formula. Girl and boy meet, obstacles are overcome and in the end, an enchanted love prevails.

My Best Friend’s Wedding is notably one of few films where the girl does not get the guy. Julia Roberts, at her pouty-lipped best, plots and schemes to snag a never-been-sexier Dermot Mulroney. But it is the perfectly coiffed Cameron Diaz who rides off in a white limo with Dermot as Julia dances into the closing credits with the dashing Rupert Everett.

Every time I watch it I hope for an alternate ending, one where Cameron is kicked to the curb and Julia and Dermot get to live happily ever after. Still, I must say there is something satisfying about a film that ends with a rarely seen truth — sometimes all a single girl’s got is her gay best friend.

With five days left until the new Will Ferrell movie comes out, I found myself at a 7:30 PM showing of Chris Rock’s latest film, I Think I Love My Wife. Rock plays Richard Cooper, a husband bored with his sexless marriage and tempted by the feminine wiles of Nikki Tru, played by a sultry Kerry Washington. [Spoiler alert!] He doesn’t screw her. But he does come close.

Moments after Dick seductively slides off Nikki’s panties, he catches a glimpse of himself in the bedside mirror. Struck by guilt or love or something, he leaves half-naked Nikki alone in bed and hurries home to his wife. Now, I would argue that by the time any heterosexual man has slid Kerry Washington’s panties off, the last thing on his mind is his wife. But this is Hollywood.

Richard bursts through the door of his home and tells his wife how much he has missed her. I’m not sure when exactly he missed her. Maybe during all of the heavy petting, kissing and emotional entanglement with another woman. Nevertheless, in a move that almost makes the entire film worth your $10, the reunited husband and wife break into a Rick James/Tina Marie-esque duet about sticking together through the hard times. And in the final frames of the film, Richard realizes that he really does love his wife. At least he thinks so. And that is enough for him. But not for me.

Unlike fairytales, real life is complex. Sometimes the girl does not get the guy. Sometimes the dutiful husband strays. What would have happened if Richard had cheated and then been forced to deal with the consequences of his actions? What would have happened if Richard’s wife had taken up an extracurricular activity of her own? I know it’s not the movie Chris Rock set out to make, but Sunday night it was the movie I wanted to see.

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 25th, 2007 at 12:18 am and is filed under Pop Culture, Relationships, Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

There are currently 2 responses

  1. I’ve been wondering about this movie, whether it would fall in the “oh-so-stereotypical” box or the “ok, now we’re thinking” box. Thanks for your quick review.

    March 27th, 2007 | 9:22 am
  2. Kerri

    I love your posts. Better watch out. I see syndication in your future.

    April 18th, 2007 | 4:47 pm

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