Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bridges of Madison Crappy

I’ve always been curious about the film The Bridges of Madison County. So I went to the library this week and borrowed the book. It turns out that the book took less time to read than the movie would have taken to watch. Yeah.

The story is horrible. Almost vomit-inducing. Mostly because it’s a manipulative exercise in giving female readers permission to have week-long affairs with rugged “hard” men (I hate that adjective, but that’s how the guy was continuously described. I guess “toned” or “athletic” would be too many letters to type. Plus, it gives an uncomfortable sexual insinuation for those of us who aren’t really into middle-aged men) while their husbands are away. It turns the tables on how women and men are supposed to see each other, with a man falling for a woman’s intelligence (although she never really says anything all that particularly enlightening) while the woman is obsessed with his body.

For a brief moment, I fell for such an idea. Personally, I’m quite tired of the stupid-lug-with-a-hot-wife concept. Enough with Raymond, According to Jim and King of Queens. So the idea of an ordinary housewife and the worldly, handsome Clint Eastwood (okay, so I cast the book’s characters with the movie’s actors) is appealing. But it’s still so twisted and wrong. She’s married. And somehow, after she dies (okay, major spoilers here. But since you probably don’t care, you can keep reading), her children’s reaction to the discovery of the affair is the most ridiculous thing ever. They feel no betrayal. They feel no hurt on behalf of their father. They think it’s a beautiful love story.

I’m supposed to believe it’s romantic that their forbidden affair lingers on for a lifetime despite never seeing each other again: an emotional investment that remains forever. He dies with her name around her neck; his photos are in her underwear drawer.


If I wrote it, things would be a little different. And shorter:

A handsome man knocks on the door. The housewife answers. He asks about a bridge. She tells him where it is. He smiles. She smiles. Then she closes the door and goes back to her book and her tea. The end.

1 comment:

michael lewis said...

I will avoid it.

Sounds terrible. Was Kevin Costner in it? This sounds like his kind of film.