Friday 18 December 2015

Star Wars Seven - Ben Gibson untangles the romance

GUESS WHO'S JUST NOT COMING OVER FOR INSTANT GREEN MUFFINS? Many of you won't have seen STAR WARS 7 yet. I saw it yesterday in its full IMAX glory. It's so much about nostalgia for the innocent pleasures of 1 and 2 there's almost no film to review and so writers are just writing about their younger selves. Why not? . For all its seductions, it makes you think how much easier it was to see some of JJ's more subtle talents when he took on the STAR TREK franchise -- very old fashioned too, but somehow about grown-ups. 

But there's one big disturbing feeling for me: This screenplay sets up the healthy-self-sufficient-good-pioneer-girl Ray and the charming-tumbling-enthusiast Finn in the ways classical romantic comedies set up future lovers: they're not really joshing, or inquiring into the mysteries of one another's desires OUTSIDE their relationship as friends might do; he feels very keenly the embarrassment of not being what he's promised he was, and tries his best to hide it when confession would be the better way; they keep saving each others' lives because of that old kismet where they just find each other; she keeps asking him not to hold her hand (i.e. it confuses me -- maybe I like it and I don't like that). AND THEN? Then he's sent off as an Empire-respecting defeatist (unconvincingly) to test their bond a little. THEN (and I feel it's really just because there's a more than PELICAN BRIEF sized problem with interracial love, whatever anyone tells me) we get two big official clarifications to keep the reactionary parents at bay: a brother and sister hug, and a kiss on the head from her (while he's unconscious of course...) with the gentle instruction "You're my great friend". 

And don't get me wrong -- I don't absolutely need them to have a burgeoning romance, but if you structure the whole film so that they're going to flirt and then you think better of that after an hour, then you've really done much more for for the cowardly Hollywood bullshit culture than you might have been done by simply casting a blond white bread inheritor to Luke Skywalker in the first place. Suppose I should just sit back and enjoy asshole, I hear you say. Had to get that off my chestplate, though.

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