portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article creative united states

anti-racism | media criticism

“How Do You Know” is a real cat shit slow ball of a movie.

James L. Brooks' new movie "How Do You Know" is a real cat shit of a slow ball (that is as Owen Wilson, or Matty Reynolds, the never-too-conscientious autistic, actually relates a hope-you-feel-better story to Reese Witherspoon, as Lisa, about a disgruntled x-baseball player who sent cat shit by mail to the manager that fired him). Once upon a time there lived an insulated, highly paid, professional straw blonde pitcher who lived like a prince in a castle—that is an expensive high rise, posh, penthouse. By the way, this movie really is a more or less a juvenile fairytale—although at times it's surprisingly funny.
James L. Brooks' new movie "How Do You Know" is a real cat shit of a slow ball (that is as Owen Wilson, or Matty Reynolds, the never-too-conscientious autistic, actually relates a hope-you-feel-better story to Reese Witherspoon, as Lisa, about a disgruntled x-baseball player who sent cat shit by mail to the manager that fired him).

Once upon a time there lived an insulated, highly paid, professional straw blonde pitcher who lived like a prince in a castle—that is an expensive high rise, posh, penthouse, for example, with a bathroom as big as a kitchen. (By the way, this movie really is a more or less a juvenile fairytale—although at times it's surprisingly funny—but for sure written by a non-Teutonic, screenplay writer. Although the main characters have bodacious, adult bodies, they act out childlike characters with childlike fantasies.

Take this blonde prince is a $14 million dollar baseball pitcher with Washington Nationals, but according to the story he is not really connected with anyone, except as he lives egocentrically alone in his success object castle. Most noteworthy, we are led to believe, this blonde, male, sex object of a jock "processes" women in and out of his high rise as if women just lined up outside his door. He even has a closet of souvenirs to send them away.

Of course James Brooks had to select an American sport that Caucasian men engage in, even if the most pastel sport of golf could have too likely triggered recent memories of Tiger Woods cheating on his Swedish Cadillac parked in his own drive way. (You see Mr. Brooks has a penchant for wooing attractive women away from "unworthy" blonde men—remember Broadcast News in which the shallow blonde William Hurt was gaining too easy attention from a woman another Jewish-American Albert Brooks in the media biz wanted to date? James Brooks' "calculated" lie then was to portray the suggested reality that relatively ditzy blonde men easily get photogenic news broadcasting jobs because of their good looks when any reality check shows the exact opposite true—blonde women more easily get such jobs.

Whereas this movie, besides being prejudicial against "jocks" in general, as insensitive and spoiled, too tries to suggest that blonde men especially are the "stereotype" sport stars getting laid at the penthouse. This must be why this movie setting didn't bother too take the game to a basketball arena or football stadium because it would not have been quite as easy to portray good ole boy network of Angle Saxon male bimbos deciding "How Do You Know... " (... whether you are in love... ) when one clueless fellow troglodyte figures it must be "when you are wearing condoms with the 'other' women you sleep with."

Whereas if the sport had been basketball this fairytale would have been more easily besmirched with the reality of ethno-multiplicity of say Magic Johnson—even if it has always been true blonde female cheerleaders are seldom in a minority at those games. (So this movie is a kind of revenge against popular high school jocks of a white man's world—even if they are just insensitive and self-absorbed studs).

Whereas, the equally handsome brunette prince (perhaps considered even more so by women of the tall-dark-and-handsome fashion set for brunette men are always in style in the movie industry) is played by Paul Rudd, as silly George, the boss' son of a high-powered finance firm that equally is housed in posh castle. George, who apparently was a big shot in his dad's company, is let go because he is suddenly under investigation for fraud by federal investigators. But the unreality here is that George's persona, as a supposed corporate executive, carries no authoritative weight, that is, no tough, decision-making guy with steely moxie, like his dad, as played by the ever seething and cantankerous Jack Nickolson. No, this brunette charmer George is a sweet heart who manages to escape the brash affects of emotional harshness as he runs away from it. Somehow the finance world has not tarnished his soul one iota. More importantly we are "not" invited to characterize him as any kind of spoiled kid by rich parents, who nevertheless can afford a whole bevy of high priced lawyers. Rather this "innocent" prince is a real romantic, and if he were in a sex scene you know he would be making hot and heavy love (unlike the disassociated sexless sex scenes with Wilson and Witherspoon prattling their gooey conversation).

In fact George is so caring and attentive that he finds himself enchanted just to listen to Witherspoon's every coo and boo. Never mind that we learn nothing about this blonde bombshell Lisa, that is her hobbies, interests, opinions, politics, etc., that is the stuff that composes a fleshed out personality. (She is just a hell of a pretty jock—and "nice".) Yeah she is not living in a castle of wealth and is ready to bounce back with good attitude.

But apparently it is OK to be a female jock—no sexism here—that is "she" as softball player still is very worthy of male attention, even if clueless about who is really "right" for her emotional needs. After all, isn't it always about who is right for Miss Blonde Bombshell (who never places second place in the Hollywood parade or People Magazine, or for that matter for jobs in general or the modeling or pornography industry).
(And certainly we are not going to call into question Hugh Marston Heffner's penthouse lifestyle or have any questions about his narcissism—after all he is not like some beach bum or in a fairyland?) When you engage in a purple Prince production fantasy you don't question the worthiness of the "girl in red corvette," rather you just know she's bored with the "jockeys before me," (understanding that this rich corvette girl is not likely from the hood—rather is some comfy suburbia area of mostly white and of course Anglo Saxon—you know she is likely Anglo Saxon so being anglophile is good then—no double standard here?).

Still one wonders just how did Lisa Witherspoon and Matty Wilson come to be so great with sex—that is with their jock on jock schlock—because the poor gal has never dated any guy save fellow jocks? Did they secretly watch the Internet to study anything from California's porn industry, which although has tons of blonde females does not equally sponsor anything close to the same ratio of blonde males—save maybe for the Sacha Cohen's gay Bruno bombshell as a more in-your-face parody on how dumb are Americans once you leave the East Coast (irrespective of hair color)?

Yet Reese Witherspoon is not really all that jockey. She is more a "girl" with pink ribbons in her hair. Women jocks are a little on the androgynous side, and perhaps they do tend to have higher sex drives. Still Ms. Clueless as Lisa seems to sleep with men she hardly knows emotionally—yet she is suppose to be a female role model for what feminist crowd one wonders? (And this is not calling her a whore because this is not the kind of judgmental attitude we are aiming while reviewing this touchy-feely or "emotionally-with-it" movie, that is with all kinds of politically correct sensitivity as such—that is "how do you know?")

Perhaps Wilson and Witherspoon really are not the sharpest knives in the drawer—but you know many actors and actresses are "made" by lines written by screenwriters who may not be all that physically attractive—so we have a right to wonder: 1) Why in the movie Legally Blonde why there wasn't more serious attention given to the animosity some blonde women face from other women—as if it was never a real race-like issue? And secondly why is it people like Own Wilson are routine hired to play men who are handsome but not quite in touch like his role as a stiff in Meet the Parents whereas compared to Ben Stiller's role as the "sensitive" male nurse?

Never would anyone even think to suggest that some people harbor prejudice against blondes in America? Apparently you must be of an official minority to claim such a status? That must be why there are film festivals for Jews, Hispanics, blacks, women, etc., but never for Anglo Saxons? Funny they don't have mainstream media festivals for Jewish Americans? Nevertheless it must be the blue-eyed blondes live in protected universe? (Yet in the documentary Inside Job about the mortgage crisis, even many of those rich, con artists of Wall Street were "paying" for expensive hookers—is that because not enough of them were blonde enough to have them lining up to process through the door?) And small comfort will phony comfort of phony superciliousness help those who sleep outside as homeless.

The sad fact remains that very seldom do you see a movie that pares a straw blonde female with a straw blonde male. Or when you walk through almost any major city you are far more likely see blonde women dating men of all ethnicities except blonde men whose hair color is as light as their own. You don't see Lady Gaga with a dance team of blonde men stealing her limelight of a halo. You don't phony blonde Madonna dating blonde men, etc. (But its OK and understandable for other women who are not blonde to get miffed and resentful? And it was OK for some female comedian to make a joke about Paris Hilton sucking jail bars to her face in public—that was OK—because she was a rich, blonde, bitch?)

Nevertheless blonde men have seldom been treated as equals. Apparently blonde males are not good enough—thanks partially to the fashion setters, as purveyors of "emotional" correctness and self-awareness in Hollywood.

But more importantly why is seldom a question as to whether it is a woman who gets "lucky" when the woman happens to be a blonde bomb? Certainly there is plenty of self-absorption in this society. In the real world even going into a coffee shop you see self-absorbed people everywhere so into their lab-tops and books with little interest in social interaction.

And it is not like there are not any snobs out there of every sort? You have food snobs, fashion snobs, status snobs, health snobs, and ever literature snobs—you know those readers who think brains should rule, and women too vie in such ranks. Whereas, men in today's real world, are often assumed to have a chink in their armor, unless they prove themselves humanely otherwise. If male looking to meet someone you are expected to get a background investigation just to have a cup of coffee—for fear you might be criminal or looser—but hey no profiling here? Why doesn't anyone in the film industry address some of the issues of prejudice against men these days?

Or if women are so "equal" today then why aren't they setting more of the pace of chasing down dates rather than dressing like sex objects and hoping the success objects of finance city come to them? Since have some women thought themselves as equal when it is easier to think oneself as emotionally, socially and morally superior?

Had this movie been offensive to blacks no one would question a critical review. Equally would it be so for any minority including the ever-hyper capacity to see anti-Semitism. But when it comes to blonde men then it is a different game all together, because although this movie got trashed—as deservedly so—reviews did not address in any direct way stereotyping based on Teutonic features. How many movie reviews noted a willingness to suggest blonde people, at least blonde men, are somehow less sophisticated, such as less well read (notice all the books in George Rudd's lowly dive after his innocence fell from the mighty towers of finance—even if you really didn't get the impression he was much of a reader intellectual type—whereas Matty Wilson's penthouse was straight from a sterile and soulless shopping mall—just a kind of manikin factory). If blondes didn't have tinsel they wouldn't have much at all? Maybe it is time to buy some blonde Play-Doh so as to realize that one's life is just one makeover away from "narcissistically" presuming to "know" that one is "better" than the next guy that comes along—that is to say isn't it narcissism to presume one is the prince above the frog based on one's own physical characteristics as compared to another's—or does that just work with minorities?

By the way—how many diamond studded jewels did men get for Christmas when paper fiat is likely to hyper- crash so that it is not even worth make believe Play-Dough? They should have told the truth to the pregnant woman early on that is just isn't worth bringing a child into this human mess of a culture—especially with all its gloating presumptuousness.