Last week, I put forth the proposition that there are some movies that women, for whatever reason, just don't like. This week, I'd like to examine the flip side of that admittedly broad-brush assertion and take a look at movies that men have never been able to embrace. These are not movies such as Fatal Attraction or Thelma and Lousie, that we like but are made more than a little nervous by. Nor are these movies such as An Affair to Remember, that often are scoffed at but secretly enjoyed. No, these are the movies that, as men, we really can't stand. Bear in mind, my view of these films will be tainted by my testosteronic leanings:
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES (1991): While men understand, appreciate and, hopefully, urge the empowerment of women, a movie in which one of the few positive male characters is killed in the first five minutes is bound to repel most men. It's not that we are adverse to the strong female characters in this Southern gothic, it's just that we have difficulty finding any common ground with them.
GREASE (1978): Although I have made discrediting this enormously popular film something of a crusade, women will have none of my nonsense. Iconic in its own off-kilter way, this movie adaptation of the stage play might have dance sequences with feet shot outside the frame and show and pop tunes that pay only the slightest lip service to the early years of rock, but there's no denying that, more than 25 years later, the women still love it.
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1995): Lush, lovely and full of nuanced performances, this is a movie that I understand, intellectually speaking, is an exceptional work. However, two hours of females fretting over suitors in Empire dresses (the women, not the suitors) is really more than I can bear. Chances are, I'm not alone.
PRETTY WOMAN (1990): The painful truth is, unless there is a sprinkling of scatological humor, the fairy tale (which this film essentially is) is not a storytelling form men are particularly attracted to. Well, unless baseball is involved. Either way, this too-sweet film about a business baron and the prostitute who loves him is another that appeals to a relatively she-centric audience.
BEACHES (1988): Sure, the road travelled by two firm friends is an appealing enough plot, and men certainly should not and do not dismiss this film just because the two friends in question are women. No, the thing that gets us is all that crying. Here's a little secret: Nothing makes a man more uncomfortable than the sight of a woman crying, and because half this movie involves one character or another in tears, well, it's a battle that just cannot be won.
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
paramount picturesOlivia Newton-John and John Travolta had the starring roles in Grease.[CAPTION]
columbia/tristarHugh Grant and Emma Thompson starred in the period piece Sense and Sensibility.