I started a thread “Can Anyone Name The Movie? http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=94174” where I asked about a movie where the main character is disfigured and falls in love with a beautiful dame. I found out what the movie was, but it left me with a lingering question… why are most of these types of movie (criple/deformed person falls in love), centered on men being “the beast” and women “the beauty.” The reason that pisses me off is men, be it normal or deformed, always go for the “traditional” beauty. Shrek aside, look at how many movies fit that plot summery: “Beauty and the Beast”, “Phantom of the Opera”, the “Man Who Laughs”, “Hunch Back”. Then there’s basic, “monsters” not being excepted movies, like a Man Without a Face, Frankenstein, and the greatest of all, Revenge of the Nerds Part 2.
It’s not that I mind men being given these roles, I just feel bad that women are so infrequently encouraged to be happy with who they are. I know… I’m sure they’ll be fine, it’s just that it may be something people would like to see.
What about The Truth about Cats and Dogs, where the male lead passes up the ethereal beauty of Uma Thurman for the homely visage of, uh, Janeane Garofalo. Okay, bad example.
Although I shudder to mention it, the upcoming movie Shallow Hal features a regular looking guy falling in love with a seriously obese woman. Of course, she’s played in the film by Gwyneth Paltrow, so this probably isn’t the best example, either.
You need to see “Freak,” directed by Todd Browning and produced in the early '30s. Its the tale of a midget who falls in love with a high wire performer in the circus. The supporting cast is played be real circus performers (including a number of “pin heads,” a man with no arms or legs who rolls his own cigarettes, a bearded woman, and various dwarves)and it gives a great new twist on “beauty and the beast.”
I once saw this older Mexican (?) movie where an “ugly and deformed” girl works for this rich and handsome blind man, who falls in love with her. He somehow gets his sight back, and the first person he sees is his cousin, whom he falls in love with and marries. Then the ugly chick dies.
Here’s the thing, a lot of men would pick Janeane Garofalo over Uma Thurman. Garofalo is hardly a monster, or oaf. And the movie “Shallow Hall” seems like it’s a good idea, however the guy in it is Jack Black… hardly a prince by society standards. Shrek was about a female oaf afraid to show her true self to a male oaf.
ThisYearsGirl tells a story of:
–“ugly and deformed” girl works for this rich and handsome blind man, who falls in love with her. He somehow gets his sight back, and the first person he sees is his cousin, whom he falls in love with and marries. Then the ugly chick dies.–
the man would rather get some ass from his cousin and fall in love.
I think the deformed girl deserved a little somp’in-somp’in! I think she should have gotten a little thigh. maybe just a little play!?
Green Bean, you are correct. The male “love interest” in the film was indeed a dwarf.
I just heard “midget” and got mixed up, thinking that a ‘mere midget’ wouldn’t have been shocking enough to put into a movie like this. Correct me if I’m wrong (again), but wasn’t this particular guy very small, like on the order of Verne Troyer small?
I’ve noticed this phenomenon in films, too, not necessarily confined to physical freakiness (think As Good as it Gets). Hollywood is fond of the woman-as-ministering-angel-who-makes-broken-men-whole mythos; the women, it seems, are never allowed to have quirks or imperfections of their own.
Oh well, time to shut off the VCR and read Pride and Prejudice for the tenth time…
Well, not all men are like that. I’m a guy, and I wouldn’t mind seeing a movie like that. Plus there’s a lot of women who, I think, would like to see a film that has a realistic OR “unattractive” leading lady, (notice I put “unattractive” in “”, because even when looks are concerned, what’s attractive is different for each person). I know your point is what’s fair might not always make money, but if done right I think most any concept could sell. I also think that if you get the right girl, one with an attractive personality, she would be likable across the board.
That’s not to say a “beautiful” girl, (by societies standards), can’t be in the movie, or even have a large role. “The Truth About Cats and Dogs” wasn’t a BAD concept, a story LIKE that could have worked with different actresses and a better script. There are people out there who like any sort of love story, I know some people (all women) who even liked “Sweet November”… and they all dragged there boyfriends to see the movie over again. The movie was… just putrid!
I really wouldn’t mind seeing a female underdog in a “Beauty and the Beast”, “Hunch Back”, or even “Phantom Of the Opera” type movie. Dosen’t have to be a comedy like, “Cats and Dogs”… it could be a triumph/classic/moveing movie too!
It could happen, and people are growing more and more excepting.
I agree, I think we live in a time where a movie, TV show, plays or even a book with an unconventional female beauty is trying to win over a conventionally handsome man, would be appreciated. I think if done right, it could be popular. Public opinions wont change unless people are introduced to the alternative in a convincing way. I also think short guys have it hard too. I’m 5"5’, not many men that height are cast for anything. Michael J. Fox was in a lot of hits, so a short man CAN be leads in movies that sell tickets, and I think unconventional female beauty can too.
There’s no set beauty, we all like different things. Some of us are even afraid to admit that we like “big” women, or large noses…
I like women who are stronger than me, and who snore.
Holy flurking schmidt! I was right about something!
Harry Earle, who played the lead in Freaks was 42 inches tall according to this site: http://bullseyedesigns.com/sideshow/people/people_index.htm It won’t let you link directly to the page on the Earles. Click on “people” and then on “big and little people.” Very interesting site. Also, there is more info on Johnny Eck there.