Saturday, June 5, 2010


I referenced the movie Penelope in this post about the rarity of Animal Bride tales in our culture, and just came across my journal entry for the first time I saw the movie. Many of the issues in the movie are relevant to issues that are prominent in the interpretations and significance of Beauty and the Beast.

"...I thought it was funny that her snout really isn't that bad, it certainly would never make people scream and run away from her. Stare rudely, talk about her behind her back, not date her, sure. I thought it funny too that people make a pig snout out to be hideous but no one mentions that the one guy's a little person. Making a point that men are allowed to be less than the perfect ideal and still taken seriously but not women? Probably not the intent but I think it's true. The snout may also symbolize how cruel people are to ugly women through exaggeration, or maybe how girls criticize themselves and in their minds a minor flaw is a grotesque thing.
I'm probably analyzing too much. It did at least have a moral, more than most chick flicks. I was kind of hoping she would have to choose b/t marrying the jerk and losing the snout, or marrying James McAvoy and keeping the snout and she'd do that and they'd both live happily ever after. But beauty and the beast tales rarely end that way.

As far as the love story itself went, modern movies try to create witty conversations and relationships so it's not love at first sight, but what ends up happening is so far from reality it might as well be love at first sight. They only have a couple of conversations over a couple days- maybe three-before they've both fallen in love with each other. What is it that attracts them to the other? He happens to steal the one book that's her favorite? She happens to intuitively know that he'a musician and later that he plays the piano? So now we're supposed to look for psychic abilities in place of looks.
I did like the whimsical scenery, the props, and music, and I can't be too harsh on it as it did try to tackle a very important theme and much needed message to our society. It was cute. I did find James McAvoy to be extremely attractive (although that's not supposed to matter...) and I do want Penelope's wardrobe.

One more thing-I didn't like how the villain was all exaggerated and was afraid of Penelope and called her a monster. Men don't fear ugly women. I think a woman's worst fear isn't to be considered a monster, but simply to be insignificant. To be so ugly you don't matter; to not be taken seriously. I think more girls would connect with a character that's ignored and looked down on rather than run away from."

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