We watched “Tropic Thunder” last night. We watched it to the end with our jaws hanging down to our navels. This was a conscious decision, because we wanted to make sure we knew with certainty how far we have come as a society from any limits of good taste. My advice: do not watch this movie. Just as “Knocked Up” rocked me as an example of the decline on our collective morality, this movie confirms my belief that Hollywood should be ashamed of itself. While the great movie moguls of the early 20th century decided to produce pro-America films which helped create our sense of national pride during WWII, Hollywood is now devoted to ripping down any shred of dignity or right and wrong the old boys created.
While “Knocked Up” made a joke out of casual sex and out of wedlock birth, this film denigrates human dignity further under the guise of making fun of Hollywood. I suppose that makes it ‘okay’. Certainly, this notion of the open mindedness of Hollywood; letting a filmmaker create ‘satire’ which denigrates the very industry he ‘works’ in, seems to be the very epitome of open minded liberality. But that just magnifies the problem. When will too much be too much, no matter how tongue in cheek?
Consider me a former fan of Ben Stiller. I will never watch “Meet the Parents” again on HBO or DVD in protest. The Robert Altman movie, “The Player”, did a much more subtle job of showing what all of us on the outside with our noses pressed to glass already suspect: Hollywood is a big hunk of rotting meat stinking up our sense of self worth and dignity. They have turned everything topsy turvy.
But Tropic Thunder is a bridge too far, to use a war metaphor for this movie about a war movie. Gratuitous violence and gore is something to be not only tolerated, but embraced, hee hee. With “Knocked Up” it was casual, hook up sex and okie dokie, cutesie wootsie, out of wedlock birth that was in your face, ‘I dare you to even as much as blink your disdain’. As a result, single women having eights babies paid for with disability payments with no means of visible support is taken matter of factly.Quick! Get Ann Curry in there to interview the Angelina Jolie look alike! In “Knocked Up,” pornography is a right. Heck, the future deputy Attorney general of the US defended pornographers. No biggy.
I write this as one baying at the moon. The train has left the station, the genie is out of the bottle just to mention a few cliches. Pandora’s box is well and truly open…