Wednesday, March 07, 2012

One Look Says A Lot

My second article has gone up at Screenwriters Utopia. You can check a portion of it out below.

I recently watched the 2011 Fright Night remake with some friends. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it,Fright Night is about a high school boy who comes to realize that his new neighbor is a dangerous vampire. It was fun enough, worth throwing on to go with dinner and drinks, as was our plan last Thursday after work. Very early on in the film, though, protagonist Charley (Anton Yelchin) does something that got me thinking much more than anyone probably intended.

He checked out a girl.

So what, you might ask? Every guy does that. (Yours truly does it a lot; I just can’t help it.) It’s only natural. Sure thing, you’re damn skippy it is. Every person checks out people of the opposite or same sex, depending on their inclinations. They do it on a daily basis.

In this instance, though, it didn’t sit well with me. When we meet Charley, he’s wheeling a broken dirt bike down the street, muttering to the bike about its inadequacies and failings as a vehicle. This in and of itself is a funny and effective enough intro; we get that he’s trying to fit in by having a motorcycle – or motorcycle-ish – vehicle while in high school, but we also understand that the image he wants is probably not the one he has. Yeah, he has a bike, but it doesn’t even work! What a loooooser. It also makes perfect sense, then, that when his smoking hot neighbor, Doris (Emily Montague) comes out of her house to drop the trash off at the curb, his eyes would run wild over her before settling on her butt as she walks away. What high school guy wouldn’t do that?

The problem arises (no pun intended, stop being dirty) when – minutes later – we meet Charley’s girlfriend, Amy (Imogen Poots). Not only does this protagonist who was just checking someone out have a girlfriend, but she is equally attractive. And, from a passing comment Charley makes to his mother when she enquires about Amy (“Well, she hasn’t broken up with me yet”), we get the sense that Charley thinks Amy is out of his league. When they get to school, Charley’s friends express this sentiment. We’re supposed to think it, too...

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