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

human & civil rights | media criticism

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

James L. Brooks' new movie "How Do You Know" is a real cat shit of a low ball. This "propaganda" movie is a fairytale that starts out as: ... Once upon a time there lived an insulated, highly paid, professional straw-blonde pitcher (Wilson or Matty) who lived like a prince in a castle—that is a posh, high-rise penthouse. How many movie reviews noted in this movie patterned the willingness to suggest blonde men are less sophisticated, such as less well read (notice all the books in George Rudd's dive after his innocence fell from the mighty towers of finance—whereas Matty Wilson's penthouse was straight from a sterile and soulless shopping mall—just a kind of manikin factory).
Alternative News movie review: free sample: Arts/Entertainment (an example of how the movie industry actually promotes prejudice while pretending to counter it)

James L. Brooks' new movie "How Do You Know" is a real cat shit of a low ball—as he has Owen Wilson or Matty Reynolds, a never-too-conscientious self-centered autistic, but still capable of relating a hope-you-feel-better story to Reese Witherspoon. Since Reese as Lisa Jorgenson, didn't make the cut for the U.S. Olympic Softball team she might appreciate a silly joke about some disgruntled x-professional baseball player sending cat shit, by mail, to the manager that fired him.

But this "propaganda" movie is a fairytale that starts out as: ... Once upon a time there lived an insulated, highly paid, professional straw-blonde pitcher (Wilson or Matty) who lived like a prince in a castle—that is a posh, high-rise penthouse, in which for example, the bathroom was as big as a kitchen. 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, American-Jewish screenplay writer, who has an attitude about America's Teutons; so although the main characters have bodacious, adult bodies, they act out childlike characters with childlike fantasies—that is formulaic "stock" characters.

This blonde male Matty the Prince, has a $14 million dollar baseball pitcher position with Washington Nationals, and according to Brook's story (as both writer and producer) Matty is not really "connected" with anyone, except as he lives, more or less, egocentrically to him-self in a sports star's success-object castle. But most noteworthy however, as we are led to believe, is that this male, blonde, sex object of a jock "processes" women in and out of his high-rise castle as if women lined up outside his door. So even though we are not privy to his expertise at picking women up, we learn he nevertheless has a closet of souvenirs to send the ladies away when he is through.

Of course, James Brooks had to select an American sport that Caucasian men engage, even if the most pastel of sport would have been golf, had it not been for the fact a golf scenario might too readily trigger recent memories of Tiger Woods cheating on his Swedish Cadillac parked in his own drive way, and thus subtracting from the "stereotype" as attempted "prejudice" that blonde men get so much easy attention. (You see Mr. Brooks has a penchant for wooing attractive women away from "unworthy" blonde men in his movies—remember his Broadcast News movie, in which blonde William Hurt was gaining too easy attention from a woman another Jewish-American, actor Albert Brooks of the mainstream media biz, wanted to date?

James Brooks' calculation of a lie then was to portray a suggestion that relatively shallow blonde men easily get photogenic news broadcasting jobs because of their good looks when any reality check shows the opposite true—that blonde women more easily get such jobs (which includes just about any PR or tip related job).

Whereas, in this latest schmaltzy attempt to give the same theme he chooses a baseball background movie, that portrays his prejudice against "jocks" in general as insensitive and spoiled, but he 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 to go 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 fellow troglodyte figures it must be "when you are wearing condoms with the 'other' women you sleep with." (Must be something there!?)

Whereas, if the sport had been basketball the storyline could have been besmirched with a reality of ethno-multiplicity of say a Magic Johnson hanging around—even if it is almost always true blonde cheerleaders are seldom in short supply at those games. Hockey is too masculine and you cross the tracks of the poorer side of town, which subtracts from the idea of the blonde being the forever stereotyped "rich" kid (never could any 'ethnic' people or brunettes be living in wealthy neighborhoods—even if plenty do marry blonde women?).

Still this movie is a kind of revenge against popular high school jocks—as they are just insensitive and self-absorbed studs. (It is similar in theme to The Breakfast Club high-school genre movie in which the "act-like-jerk" brunette troublemaker still got the girl despite his being a jerk to everyone—because he was not some privileged kid from suburbia (you know when the greasers are more real and soulful than the richer, blonder, crowd)). Pretty In Pink played on the same stereotypes (but the fact is these constant stereotypes have real consequences in the real world because many people readily believe this type of prejudicial propaganda).

So now in this current retread we naturally get equally a handsome "brunette" prince (perhaps considered even more handsome by women who like the tall-dark-and-handsome fashion set cause brunette men are often in style in the movie industry) played by Paul Rudd, as silly George. George is the boss' son of a high-powered finance firm, and the firm is also ensconced in the mighty towers of posh castle of a skyscraper.

But George, although a big shot in his dad's private finance company, is mysteriously let go because he is suddenly under investigation for fraud by federal investigators. Yet the unreality here in the tale is that George Rudd's persona, as a supposed corporate executive, is he carries no authoritative weight, or has little in the way of the tough, decision-making guy with steely moxie, one would expect from on top the corporate ladder. Unlike his dad, as played by the ever-seething and cantankerous Jack Nickolson he is just a prince born with the right socioeconomic cred, but more a youth's soul.

So this charmer George is a sweetheart who manages to escape all wounds of emotional harshness as he literally runs away from being emotionally distraught. Somehow the world of finance has not tarnished his soul one iota. More importantly, we are "not" invited to characterize him as any kind of spoiled rich kid, even though his father can afford a whole bevy of high priced lawyers. Rather his "innocent" 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 conversation that suggest playboy Matty, despite the fact he manages to sleep with a lot of women nevertheless is rather naïve about women—go figure).

Whereas, George is so caring and attentive he finds himself, not just enchanted, but "infatuated," just to listen to Witherspoon's every coo and boo. But never mind we learn little about blonde bombshell Lisa, such as her hobbies, interests, opinions, politics, etc., that is stuff that composes a fleshed out personality. (She is just a hell of a pretty jock—and equally "nice".) Oh yeah she is not living in a castle of wealth and is ready to bounce back to the real world with good attitude so she at least has some maturity.

So apparently it is OK to be a female jock—no sexism here—that is "she" as recent career softball player still is very "worthy" of male attention, even if she seems clueless about who is really "right" for her emotional needs (and of course there is always a Mr. Right somewhere—because the trick is to set up a straw man game, which changes the focus on the weaknesses of another (stereotype) rather then really question if one self is really all that worthy of relationship).

After all, isn't it "always" about who is right for Miss Blonde Bombshell—who seldom places second in the Hollywood celebrity parade or People Magazine, or in modeling agencies and the pornography industry? (Granted certainly there are always plenty of other "women" who willingly stereotype female blondes as "dumb" because they never quite come around to realizing that perhaps the men they want attention from, that is those all goggy-eyed to Marylyn Monroe, might not be all that smart themselves—so much easier to blame all the dumbness on her rather than him—after all shouldn't everyone who feels resentful and neglected deserves attention and love? Or could it be that just because a blonde might be dumb it still doesn't prove oneself a genius or worthy soul—does it?

And certainly we are not going to call into question Hugh Heffner's penthouse lifestyle or have any questions about his narcissism—after all he is not like some beach bum living in a fairyland? Because 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 rich corvette girl is not likely from the hood—rather from suburbia area of wealth—and you pretty much can guess Prince is singing about some Caucasian type so being an anglophile, that is liking Anglo-Saxon women (or girls) 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 as this movie makes clear via conversation—that is with its jock on jock schlock—because the poor gal has never dated any guy save fellow jocks—which suggests then she is not really all that worldly? 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 men—save maybe for the Sacha Cohen's gay Bruno bombshell crowd. But Cohen's in-your-face parody again was really another how dumb are you Americans once you leave the East Coast (irrespective of hair color)? And don't you just know it—many of those suburban white kids mysteriously have a need to "act" black with their ghetto rap personas?

Still Witherspoon's Lisa is not really all that much of a jock. She might have more awareness levels but here she comes across as a "girl" with pink ribbons in her hair. Women jocks are a little on the androgynous side, and perhaps do tend to have higher sex drives. But Ms. Clueless 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 for while reviewing this supposed "emotionally-with-it" movie, that is with all kinds of politically correct sensitivity as such—that is: "How do you know when you are in love?")

Perhaps Wilson and Witherspoon really are not the sharpest knives in the drawer; but many actors and actresses are "made" with lines and roles written by screenwriters who are not that physically attractive or young—so we might wonder: 1) Why do movies like Legally Blonde not more directly address "serious" animosity some blonde women face from other women—as if it was never a real race-like issue based on physical features—even if superficially that was the underlying premise? And secondly why is it people like Own Wilson are routinely hired to play men who are handsome but not quite in touch, like his stiff, mono-dimensional role in Meet the Parents, whereas compared to Ben Stiller's multi-layered role as the "sensitive" male nurse?

Nevertheless, it must be the blue-eyed blondes that live in protected universe—something relatively easy to sell in a culture of low self-esteem? (Yet in the documentary Inside Job about the mortgage crisis, even many of those rich, con-artists at Wall Street were "paying" for expensive hookers—is this because not enough of them were blonde enough to have them lining up to process through the door?) And small comfort this phony movie will provide to those who sleep outside as homeless, or to those still in homes but feel discontent and are ready to "project" their fingers elsewhere as who to blame about life's romance's disappointments.

The sad fact remains that very seldom do you see a movie that pares off a straw blonde female with a straw blonde male. (Or when you walk through almost any major U.S. city you are more likely see blonde women dating men of other ethnicities except blonde men of their own light hair color—that is as light as their own.) But some blondes might have actually made the rounds being so much in the limelight? But what comfort is this? You don't see Lady Gaga with a dance team of blonde men stealing her limelight of a halo. You don't see phony blonde Madonna dating blonde men, etc. It seems to be the same every generation. (But its OK and understandable for other women who are not blonde to get miffed and resentful—why is that?

Or apparently it was OK for Sarah Silverman to joke about Paris Hilton sucking jail bars painted as penises to her face in public? That was OK? After all Hilton is a rich, blonde, bitch from some high castle, and granted she may be easy to dislike and feel jealous but no one is truly superior that needs to make someone else inferior.) But it was exciting if some hacker stole her private cell phone information as target of hostility.

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

And speaking of self-centered forms of autism, it's not like there are not any snobs out there of every sort? Besides beauty snobs, you have food snobs, fashion snobs, status snobs, health snobs, Gothic brunettes in the dark and even literature snobs—you know those readers who think brains should rank—but it seems to at least a few of us that women "too" vie in such ranks of snobbery—even if not more so.

And let's assume brains should account for something. Why is it that scores from worldwide studies of reading levels suggest that people in Teutonic countries of northern Europe rank pretty well—yet here in America I guess we could say it is not the same—why I see blondes in bookstores and libraries? Still could it be that America has always had a distrust of the intellect with an undercurrent of anti-Intellectualism whereas if you are projected as a nerd nevertheless you are suspected of not being well-rounded in the departments of emotional and social awareness (maybe unless you're a Jewish intellectual)?

Today men, in general, are often assumed to have a chink in their armor—unless they "prove" themselves humanely otherwise (even if not too readily given much of a chance). It's not like women, on average, just run out of their way because they are dying to meet you. Or, for example, if you are male looking to meet someone over the Internet, you are expected to provide a background investigation just to have a cup of coffee—for fear you might be criminal or looser—but hey no profiling or female cynicism here? Why doesn't anyone in the film industry address some of the issues of prejudice against men these days—cause they are a "lot" of people who don't live in castles?

Or if women are so "equal" now then why aren't more setting more of a pace of chasing down dates rather than still dressing like sex objects and hoping the success objects from finance city come to them? In these last decades of guilt tripping white male domination I do not know of many women spending much of their money on men—or just allowing some generosity of spirit—a spirit to let a guy be something other than a caricature or stock presumption. (After all it would be nice if some could realize a person had some capacity for creativity, original thought, personal resource, etc., rather than relying on the prejudicial messages from the movie industry.)

Still there are plenty of indications in this society suggest some women just don't want to know or interact with most men—let alone have sex with them. And apparently it is easier to think oneself as emotionally, socially and morally superior rather than as equal—especially with all the TV crime analysis stories out there that reinforce trouble and distrust everywhere regarding men?

Had this movie How Do You Know been offensive to say blacks no one would question a critical review. Equally this would be true 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 stereotyping pattern based on Teutonic features—male or female—and they never do—at least when it comes to any overly hackneyed stock characterization of the rich and spoiled kid being brawn but no brain.

Truly, how many movie reviews noted in this movie that patterned willingness to suggest blonde men are less sophisticated, such as less well read (didn't you notice all the books in George Rudd's 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 or intellectual type—whereas Matty Wilson's penthouse was straight from a sterile and soulless shopping mall—just a kind of manikin factory).

And of course it didn't matter whether Lisa Witherspoon read or not because compatibility issues don't affect emotional alliances in the long run—that is when the dance is centered on her being a sunflower? Apparently she is just something to win over—and then you get a divorce later on?

Rudd's George actually had an interesting dilemma—whether to go to prison for 2 or 3 years so his father as a repeat fraud offender would not do 20 years—this could have been an interesting story of some depth. Of course George fretted hard on this and concluded that he would take the hit "if" he did not get the girl—that is to say with all his caring and kindness he apparently had some of his own emotional baggage invested in some kind of relationship—even though we really do not know that much of about the personality structure of the dark prince either as equally not fleshed out.

But maybe it's time to realize that one's life is just one makeover away from "narcissistically" presuming one is "better" than the next guy that comes along—that is to say isn't it narcissistic 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 such as in the rainbow coalition that has somehow managed to paint all white males, at least the blonder group, as somehow monochromatic? (And whose fault is it athletes get paid so well being America's bread and circus of mass distraction?)

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


P.S. Feel free to share with others.