Friday, December 05, 2008

Let's Make Love In The Blue Lagoon

I absolutely abhor it when a person starts off a blog with "I'm sorry I haven't written", a preamble to some excuse that, frankly, nobody really wants to read; but today I have to do it. (Such is the curse of uttering the word "never".)

I've had a dreadful sinus infection, keeping me couch-ridden for several weeks as moms cannot afford to take to their beds and still watch the tots -- yet I was too tired to climb the stairs just for a change of sleeping venue. The reason I mention this is not to 'excuse' my absence (as a hobby-blogger, you pay me nothing for my services; so I owe you nothing in return), but rather to explain just how I managed to watch hours upon hours of films as I just have. OK, and maybe to justify things if, still under the influence of cold medicine & an antibiotic still ripping its way through my digestive tract (and sure to cause a yeast infection), I don't make a lot of sense right now.

Enough of the disclaimers already; get yourself a beverage and settle in to read because I'm about to begin a long post.

For the second time in my life I watched Let's Make Love (1960). The first time I saw it in its entirety I was about 16 & I really disliked it.

I told myself that I didn't like it because of Yves Montand. His personal ickyness in his relationship with Marilyn was so visible in his character (Jean Marc Clement) -- or at least that ickyness was the general perception of Jean Marc Clement & why the theatre group in the film was mocking him. Also, because 16 was the age at which I began stalking Marilyn Monroe, knowing how horrid director George Cukor was to her made me feel the whole film was a mean mess. While this film isn't Marilyn's greatest, and there's something valid in Marilyn's real life situations which would affect the film thus, the real truth -- the honest truth -- is that sixteen-year-old-me was uncomfortable with Marilyn's sexuality.

And it hits you right from the start of the film, with the voluptuous blonde wearing a bulky but short purple sweater over a sheer black nylon catsuit.



Strangely, I've always loved Marilyn singing My Heart Belongs To Daddy. I've owned it on CD and even performed the song, including public impersonation of Marilyn singing it (actually I did so twice, if you count my parody performance of My Heart Belongs To Mommy at a "lesbian music festival"). But the vision of Marilyn in such sexualized 60's beatnik garb just didn't sit right with me at 16; while the song was verbalized peek-a-boo & tease, the physical display was nearly vulgar to me.



Aesthetically speaking, I prefer more glamour and peek-a-boo tease than blatant sexuality in dress; but what made me squirm at that age, though I never would never say so out loud, was all those curves -- including a soft, feminine, rounded tummy. Watching the film again as an adult, I was once again embarrassed -- but this time, over my confused, immature, 16 year old self's reaction.

It's easy to understand, and forgive, a young woman's discomfort with such an out-there, highly-sexualized presentation of the female form. And I did forgive myself for that easily enough. But that other part, that lack of acceptance of a woman's real form -- including her belly, that seems unforgivable... Unless you allow for my early indoctrination of beauty standards which eschew the realities of the female form. And that's precisely what upsets me.



How unforgiving I was, how unkind to my idol, to not allow her her humanness in physical form when I was so ready, willing and able to condemn those, like Cukor and Montand, who wouldn't allow her human frailty-- or would exploit her for it. My inability to accept her non-perfection -- even when so uncomfortable being confronted with her attractiveness, her sexuality -- seems nearly unforgivable.

My only consolation is that I have out-grown such childish notions. Having put them aside, I no longer will need to avoid watching Let's Make Love.

Feeling wiser and somewhat emotionally victorious, but no better health-wise, I was prompted to then watch another movie that I had not seen since I was 16.

That movie was Blue Lagoon.



Blue Lagoon was the 'it' film for teens in 1980, and raised quite a ruckus which I felt was a much-to-do-about-nothing. Maybe it's because I was already reading far 'worse'; or maybe because while I found the film to be a sensual ode to (primarily) Brooke Shields, I did not find it erotic. Shields was (still is) beautiful, but I found the film footage to be more artistic than smutty... The island setting, the flora and fauna, the ocean and sky, were beautiful and Shields' beauty just seemed to blend in with that. It was natural. Not that sex isn't natural, but I didn't feel any heat. Not 'down there', not on my cheeks either.

You'd think that after all I said about Let's Make Love and Marilyn's obvious prancing sexuality that I'd have had some discomfort or other with this film. Especially as Let's Make Love was watched at home alone, while Blue Lagoon was a public trip to the theatre with my peers. But I didn't experience any sexual confusion or discomfort; at least not directly.



Perhaps this was because Christopher Atkins did next-to-nothing for me. He was too soft & pretty -- like those non-threatening boy-band guys (then and today). Which totally explains his 1982 nude appearance in Playgirl.

Even watching it again as an adult I was more moved by, attracted to, Brooke's beauty than his. But I certainly didn't feel 'erotic'.

Not that Let's Make Love made me feel erotic (then or now); but there was the idea of sex, much more so than in Blue Lagoon... In fact, Blue Lagoon, while lush & far more beautiful (in terms of film quality too), just had the feeling of kids playing at being grown-ups. It could have been the awkward acting, simplistic dialog dumbed-down rather than portraying innocence (almost mocking what we then-called Third World countries for a lack of education and superstitious rituals in place of actual Religion), but even then I held the director, Randal Kleiser, accountable for being too in lust with 'beauty' to care about the story.

In fact, I wasn't just "not erotically moved" by the film, but disappointed angry at what was delivered as opposed to what could have been. There were hints of possibilities, things to think about, but it was campy -- and what was up with that tacked-on rushed ending? Wasn't the family's return to 'society' one of the most interesting concepts to explore?

I guess Brooke & Chris were too beautiful for anyplace other than that island setting.

Anyway, the sticking point for this film, the food for thought for today, is what happened after my friends and I had watched the film back in 1980. All my friends, those I had seen the movie with and those who had just seen it period, were absolutely in teenage love-lust with Christopher Atkins -- and staring at me oddly because I was not.

This is where my embarrassment kicks in.

No, I didn't think I was a lesbian; I didn't think I had any problem at all. I was embarrassed by their adoration of this pretty man-child, that they would fall for some mishap of movie making which attempted to manipulate them -- transparently, cheaply, and without any skill or finesse. Like a cheesy country song or the clumsy hand of a careless lover whose only concern is to please himself. (Yes, Kleiser, you can take that personally.) How could girls fall for that? Truly embarrassing.

It was even more embarrassing & disconcerting than those who objected to the film for moral reasons.

I was keen to watch Blue Lagoon again after my recent experience with Let's Make Love, I wondered how I'd feel about it now; but nothing had changed after all. I'm still disturbed that anyone could be moved by the film enough to fall for the romance or be outraged by the immorality.

Whatever points 16-year-old-me lost with Let's Make Love I more than recouped with Blue Lagoon.

But my re-run movie fun isn't over yet.

Next, up The Wedding Singer. There's not much to say other than I have always loved this film (I own it and the soundtrack); as a product of the 80's why wouldn't I? While watching it with my husband he asked, "What else has the actress who plays Linda been in?" I couldn't think of a thing -- which is rather a shame because Angela Featherstone's excellent as the bitch-to-hate.



But the real reason I mention this is that right after The Wedding Singer ended, I flipped channels.

What did I find?

On the Sci-Fi channel, Caved In: Prehistoric Terror, an as-to-be-expected campy horror film -- starring Angela Featherstone and Christopher Atkins!

I shit you not.

Featherstone is still pretty; but Atkins isn't -- he's finally handsome!



Chris and I have finally grown up, I guess. And now I wouldn't mind some nude photos...

PS If you're still reading this, I will be (fingers crossed) moving this blog to its own domain & private hosting this weekend.

I do this because ever since the "blogger warning" has been issued to me (and yes, I take it personally), traffic (also affected by a lack of posting, I know) and stat tracking (which should not change with poor posting habits) has dropped drastically.

I honestly have no idea what fresh hell I shall discover with such a move, but, despite the possibly snarky sounding (yet accurate) statement that I owe you nothing as far as guaranteed postings, I do apologize in advance for any craziness which comes from 'moving' the blog.

Labels: , , , ,

4 Comments:

Anonymous John Coulthart said...

Ugh...I read a lot of posts via RSS so I didn't realise you'd had a warning attached. Good luck with the move. I've shifted a database myself but not a Blogger one so I don't know how difficult that might be. I'm very familiar with the standalone version of WordPress if you need any advice on using that.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous gigi said...

Love you ... I will follow you anywhere. And I don't remember that much nudity in Blue Lagoon!

5:33 PM  
Blogger Ron Eklof said...

I do appreciate your growth in perception and find there was a sensibility when you were a youth that was adult in nature. Hope I'll be able to follow your move. Don't want to miss a thing.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Silent-Porn-Star said...

Thanks all -- it wasn't a slam-dunk to move, but I think it's done now. There are some changes (features not available 'off blogger', etc.) but let me know if you find any bugs!

The New URL is www.silent-porn-star.com

1:20 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home