Tuesday, April 7, 2009

HOLD ME CLOSER, TINY DANCER: A RESPONSE TO JANNA YOUNG BARBER AND A REQUEST TO BE TOLD I'M WRONG



janna -

there is this weird connection that men have to the film ALMOST FAMOUS, especially men of my generation or a tad bit older, that i do not think women connect with quite as strongly. i could be wrong. maybe this is a gross generalization. i'm open to being wrong. what i know is that most women say, "yeah, that movie is really good", whereas most men do that tilting back of the head, slacking of the knees, rolling of the eyes, mumbling as if in whiskey-drenched pining, "awww, man, that movie. . . . pafoosh!" speechless. dudes become stupid speechless about that film, and it's not because of the kate hudson. (although, zooey deschenel may have something to do with it.) 

personally, i think it's because of something you mentioned in your last comment, and it's this: something about ALMOST FAMOUS reaches that melodramatic rock-n-roll addicted pubescent boy that knew - that JUST KNEW - there was a wild and wonderful, unpredictable and restless world out there beyond our scope, beyond our parents reach and our religion's hold, and the closest we could get to that place was in music. i remember listening to rock-n-roll as a teenager for the vicarious transcendence it afforded me. music, at that age of 15, did not just entertain me; rather, it took me elsewhere and promised me things that i probably didn't need to be promised. (maybe that's where kate hudson comes in). and the crazy bit is that i believed it. 

i haven't watched ALMOST FAMOUS in a few years. the last time i did, it wrecked me for days. i was nearly incapacitated for a week. i haven't met many women who had the same reaction. but i've met plenty of dudes who have.

oh, and also, besides all the transcendental stuff, we also really wanted to be cool, and to believe we were.

people are bullshitting when the say men and women are equal. thus, BEES. thus, FAMOUS. i would be interested to get your take.

oh yeah, i've never read DIVINE SECRETS, but i watched the movie. it was nice.

12 comments:

Janna said...

Why, yes, my husband has the exact same reaction. I used to think it was the Kate, so did he, until we saw her in a few more movies. And while I think it's a GREAT flick, I'm not as emotionally involved in the film. "Jerry Maguire" and "Say Anything" would be my faves in the C.C. category.

Just one more thing I forgot about the book, I do love the character, June?, the crazy one who goes to the wailing wall when she gets upset. Yeah, that's nice. I feel like her sometimes.

So am I supposed to tell you're wrong about men, or women, or "Almost Famous"? You could be stereotyping a bit, but I would not say you were wrong.

And thanks for putting my name in a post title, dude!

the hamster said...

i told you i was probably stereotyping, but i keep having these very similar conversations. so i'm stereotyping all the white people i keep talking to.

oh well. i've stereotyped about much worse than boys liking a film for its near john eldridge draw. yes, i probably have much more serious stereotypes swimming around in my head. you should hear some of things i think about hispanics and asians.

REPENT IN THE LATTER DAYS!

the hamster said...

also, what's to get emotionally involved in with "jerry maguire"? lloyd dobler gets me every time, but jerry maquire?

janna, i will need you to write a guest post on that one.

myleswerntz said...

okay.

i haven't watched this since i was in college, and didn't really like it that much. it's high time that i gave it another shot.

upstagepass said...

This is one of my favorite movies. Thank you for talking about it and making me want to watch it again.

Janna said...

Because JERRRY MAGUIRE is about more than Jerry. Dorothy Boyd: "You had me at hello, you had me at hello." This is when we fell in love with Renee. Before it was mocked and repeated over and over, it was awesome. Cute kids, clever conversation and creative camera angles, what's not to love? We love us some Cameron Crowe 'round the Barber house. He missed the mark with ELIZABETHTOWN, but it was still an ambitious film.

Oh yeah, and JM was our first date. That might have something to do with it.

John Barber said...

I've stayed out of this fight so far, mostly because I've got too much to say about it. One of these days I'll do a whole post on the film. For the moment, let's just say that the reason that boys like ALMOST FAMOUS is that every single one is William Miller. He is the single truest embodiment of the Everyman in modern art. If you're a dude, and you don't identify with William Miller, you haven't lived yet. Go get your heart broken and come back and see me.

the hamster said...

janna - okay. i will watch it again. i trust you.

john - i look forward to that post. sincerely.

myleswerntz said...

also, a story:

last year, at a conference, I met a guy named Anthony Dancer (his friends call him Tony), who lives in New Zealand and writes about one of the guys in my dissertation. So, we're having a nice conversation, and all of a sudden, I have to keep myself from laughing as I hear Elton John singing in my head:

"Hold me closer, Tony Dancer."

Said story would have also worked if I was talking with Tony Danza of Who's the Boss fame.

Jennie said...

I watched the movie and didn't understand what all of the hype was about, but now that I think about it, all of that hype came from boys. Very, very interesting. Makes me want to watch it again. (I didn't hate it; I just didn't LOVE it.)

the hamster said...

jennie beard -

only communists and (some) girls do NOT LOVE this film. you are clearly not a communist. i'm not sure what myles werntz's excuse is.

shucks, i love when you show up around here!

Stacey Lawlis said...

Damn. I should have read this post before commenting on the other one. Oh well. I'll just spam this site unapologetically.

You're dead-on in your appraisal of the male/female response to this movie. I saw it before I knew the Mr., and liked it alright, but when we watched it together, and a few times since, it's been an entirely different experience. This movie goes in his "holy awe" category, I think, for all the reasons you outlined. "Kate Hudson?" he grins. "Yeah, we had a thing for a while."

I pick up some of that holy awe just by watching this and other films with him. It's a second-hand appreciation, but an important one if you're married to a movie fiend.

His reverence for The Big Lebowski, though, I'm still trying to understand.