Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Danny Collins (2015) by Dan Fogelman

Rich successful man is tired of being fake and is roused by an artifice to become more authentic, caring and creative.  Then he falls for the first woman that he comes across.  That is supposedly a good, authentic event.

What is interesting in this film is the hidden glorification of money, despite the overt message that love is more important than success.

Notice the camera angles for his sports cars.

Notice the depiction of the private jet and the palatial house.

Notice the grand piano (the various superfluous scenes where it is being carried here and there) and the meaningless giving up of it.  (After all he still plans to remain a musician)

Notice his big bus and the way he makes a few calls to get a great favor for nothing.  And notice how the favor is talked about (dispensed with many years of wait, no, many many years of wait).

Notice the scenes where he tips hundreds of dollars.

Notice the sports car and the spontaneous, but ostentatious, renunciation of it, and the remark that the car is wonderful and the recipient should know what he is getting (as if anybody is doubting that).

The purpose of these scenes and the not-so-subtle glorification is to build up the wealth-based persona of a man who therefore is in need of saving and in need of "true love" of a woman.  It is a female fantasy that a rich, accomplished man will eventually just fall into their laps by a twist of fate and all their travails will be a thing of the past.

After all, the man is a musician and an artist.  Or was.  So maybe, he is a catch.  What does he immediately see in the hotel manager that he asks her out to dinner?

The answer: nothing.  Yeah she is slim and cute (for her age).  But more than that, what?  The man is ready to ask her out even before she appears on the scene.

I recognize that the common female fantasy is for the man to be a catch, but for the woman to be just lucky.  For something to be demanded of the woman will narrow and reduce the fantasy's appeal with the female demographic.

I have no quarrel with films or literature which cater to feminine (or for that matter, masculine) fantasies.  But I do frown at subterfuge: when a film is ostensibly about love versus wealth, but when it actually is about wealth and hence love.

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