January 22, 2004

Down With Remake & Rehash

For the last few weeks, every time Cinecultist would tune into TNT for the Law & Order syndication fix, we'd be innundated with commercials for the remake of The Goodbye Girl. CC had vowed to ourselves not to watch this for the intensely offensive Hootie and the Blowfish slo-mo water droplet accompanying music video alone, but what with the weather as it was this weekend and fighting a cold, we found ourselves in front of the tv watching it. Please please don't see this thing, we beg you and join CC in our new campaign to outlaw remakes.

Partially this aversion to redoing what was pretty good to begin with has to do with nostalgia. The 1977 Goodbye Girl with Richard Dreyfuss is one of those childhood movie discoveries that whenever it is on tv, we always sit down to hear the famous line, "well then go cry on the horsey!" But when you are familiar with a movie intimately, down to the certain way that a line is delivered or a scene played, then a new version is always going to seem wrong. And to spend this much energy comparing the old and the new only detracts from any viewing enjoyment and even CC knows it's pretty silly. Although we must say with indignation, no out of work dancer and off Broadway actor is going to be able to afford a palatial West Village apartment like the one used for the TNT set. That's what it always comes down to for New York movie watchers, does the real estate seem believable.

Sadly though, this good fight against mediocre simulacra is going to need a lot of grassroots support, since it has infiltrated not only television and the big screen but the stage as well. The Producers, Hairspray and the like have been huge Broadway hits and while originality (whatever that is) isn't the end all be all, there has to be something else we can come up with here people. A new take, a new interpretation of our old obsessions and no Patricia Heaton thankyouverymuch.

Posted by karen at January 22, 2004 8:23 AM