Here I was. Sitting in a dim movie theater watching a movie that for the most part wasn’t something I’d normally see. Next to me was a male co-worker who agreed to see the movie as well only to see what the buzz was about.
As I sat in an uncomfortable theater seat I could see out of the corner of my eye his hands covering his eyes as one of the more graphic sex scenes I’ve seen played out. I didn’t know whether to shut my eyes or just laugh disgustedly as the two actors got their jollies in a flying space pod.
I did both.
“Watchmen” was not worth my time or money and to redeem myself and my culture I rented two Cary Grant movies for the weekend. “To Catch a Thief” and “An Affair to Remember.”
This time I was in my comfy chair and pajamas watching an art that’s long since gone. Acting.
In the midst of watching, in my humble opinion, the best actor ever, I wondered how we went from a culture of class, sophistication and style to a culture obsessed with sex.
In both movies the sexual tension between Grant and his female counterparts is so vivid you can feel it, but even so you don’t want them to act on their feelings. Your mind has already set the stage for their perfect love. Grant doesn’t need to undress the actresses. He doesn’t need to show cheeks, although if his chest was any indication… I digress. Point simply being sex does not have to be shown for a movie for the actor/s to be sexy.
Movies like “Unfaithful,” “300,” “Original Sin,” “Watchmen,” “Fatal Attraction,” and “History of Violence” just to name few, are all heavy in the sex scene area. Two actors ripping each other’s clothes off and breathing heavily like dogs is not sexy. What made Grant, Rock Hudson, Paul Newman, Clark Gable, Gene Kelly, Gregory Peck and others sexy was their swagger. The way they talked to a woman. The way they held her hand or saved her from the consequences of life or the evil in it. Their eyes showed their love for the other.
Women like Sophia Lauren, Ingrid Bergman, Debbie Reynolds, Grace Kelly, Deborah Kerr, Doris Day and others were real women. No plastic, no fakeness, they were soft, pretty, walked with a sense of self and were sexy without trying so hard.
Our culture is obsessed with seeing. We have to be witness to the act. If George Clooney says he loves Anne Hathaway, he better have a wild romp in the sheets to prove it. If the movie is to sell, viewers better see breasts because we all know with a set like Pam An’s you’re a box office hit.
I’m shocked at how many male nether regions I’ve seen in recent movies. I thought nudity was rated XXX, but it’s more like rated normal. I can’t watch a movie with my mother without being embarrassed about what body part may be whipped out. Is this what film is about? Are we that desperate as viewers that film makers think we’re that naive? We can’t understand love or lust without impromptu sex scenes?
Sadly, this seems to be the trend. Sex, breasts, butt and whatever else can be shown. Give me a classic any day. Give me great acting, a great story and a great looking cast. Let my mind decide they do in fact care for each other.
If actors of yesteryear saw what we call acting today, I’d wager they’d move to a different country. Not only has acting gone down the toilet but so have the minds of the directors and viewers.
After seeing previews for upcoming movies, I will continue to drive to my local movie store and proudly rent a movie made when acting was an art, men were gentlemen and women were graceful.