I’ve made a big deal out of not watching many films, especially your man Disney’s films. I’ve made some trite arguments about how socially conservative and oppressive and sentimental and etc. they are. But the truth is a bit more clouded than that.
While it’s true that the Disneys are maudlin and reinforce negative social roles, this is just as true of my favourite program: the Master Chef. Witness, for example, the way that women cook from the heart and just love to feed people, or, if belonging to one of the ethnicities, understand spicing because they learnt it at their mother’s hip, whereas men cook with flair, intelligence, creativity, precision or eccentricity, and only incidentally have families or emotions.
And yet I watch Masterchef. Why? I think it’s because the emotion is pretty well signposted and self-contained: you’ve got a little light-jeopardy (my favourite type) throughout, followed by relief or disbelief at the judging. No surprises. No big emotions. That is, until the final, when they smear the background music ham-fisted across the reactions of the contestants, bullying the emotion into the viewer.
Part of the reason I’m so ready to dismiss the disneys of this world (or any film that isn’t cynical in tone) is that when I do, rarely, watch one of these things without safety measures, I get far too emotional. Example: I watched Freaky Friday last week – the one with the Lohan in it. I teared up throughout. I’m not nearly cynical enough for my own good.
And, yes, I cried during the Master Chef final. I always do. Even in the ridiculous Professionals final where they gave the win to two of them.
I’m not sure why I felt the need to share this. Maybe it’s all those flowers making me emotional, or something to do with being on a counselling course. Either way, here’s Greg’n’John singing. It never makes me cry.
PS. Your man Wallace has the same glasses as me. This was not deliberate.