A friend of mine recently railed on me for saying I thought "Something
About Mary", the new Cameron Diaz movie, was pretty funny. Excuse me
if I sometimes laugh at a dick joke or two. It was a funny movie. I
havenít seen as many movies this summer as I would have liked to,
because Iíve been trying to save my money. But one movie that I did
see - and was disappointed in - was The Truman Show. Iíd heard it
hyped and lauded by magazines, critics, and my friends. But when I
went to see it, I was, of course, disappointed. First off, the
premise was supposed to be all original and wonderful and stuff, but
who hasnít, during their childhood, wondered if they were being
watched all the time? I know I did, but maybe I was just a paranoid
freak-child. I know I had a hyperactive imagination. Another
thing that bothered me was the product placement. Gee, how new and
innovative! Itís not like theyíve been doing that in movies and on TV
for years or anything. If my wife (my hypothetical wife, that is) and
friends and neighbors went around pushing products while I was trying
to have a conversation with them, I think Iíd go insane. And I didnít
understand how anyone could live their work like that - if it was just
acting, wouldnít you get tired of it after a while? Wouldnít you want
some variety? Fame isnít everything, and an acted life is no
replacement for a real life. Itís pretty obvious that Trumanís "wife"
isnít in love with him, yet theyíve been "married" for years and i
assume they have sex and stuff. Call me idealistic, but I canít
believe the entire world would let the show go on for thirty years
without more than token protest. They put in a bit of resistance from
Trumanís original quasi-girlfriend, but that was it. The majority of
the world loved Truman, even though he practically didnít know they
existed - and certainly didnít know they were constantly watching him.
(Of course, people also watch Melrose place and daytime soaps
constantly, which also says something about human nature.) The world
never ceases to amaze me.
The point is, how could the government let this poor kid be duped for his entire life? A corporation was allowed to adopt this kid for the sole purpose of filming his every action? I know stranger things have happened, but with something that public youíd think theyíd have to follow the law. Parents - even if theyíre corporations - arenít allowed to do just anything with their children. I donít know that Iíd want to live in a world where parents could do whatever they wanted with their children. There are some sick and irresponsible parents out there. Yeeps.
The movie was okay; it was an interesting idea (hey, it called up all my old daydreams from elementary school), but it wasnít as original and innovative and wonderful as everyone said it was. It was a little spooky, but only a little. And instead of making me think about the universality of experience and the triumph of human perseverance, it made me think how sick it is that I live in a world where everyone wants to butt in on the private lives of other human beings. When everyone was cheering for Truman, I didnít feel uplifted, I felt sick. Heís not an animal in a cage, heís a man with thoughts and feelings. People tend to forget that about celebrities, although they love those tell-all books where everyoneís intimate secrets are revealed (yeah, my ass they're revealed).
I donít understand the world. Or maybe I donít want to understand the world. Then again, I havenít been in it for that long yet. I suppose I should give it a chance before condemning it off-hand.
Signing off for today, Captain Sparky