Friday, June 1, 2012

Hollywood and the Curse of Fairy Tale Remakes

I've been keeping a wary eye on the recent wave of fairy tale retellings and imaginings. This year alone we have had Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, the latter opening today. Last year we had Beastly and Red Riding Hood. Most of them have been written off as abysmal. I have not, in fact, seen any of these films, but some anonymous Tumblr user asked me what I thought of fairy tale remakes, so I figured it was worth a shot.

Honestly, none of the recent makes have looked particularly appealing. If I was forced to see any of them, it would be probably be Snow White and the Huntsman, based on a few aspects, like Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Thereon, and Florence + The Machine on the soundtrack. It looks visually interesting, and I'm up for that. What I think to be the greatest problem with Snow White is that it has an epic miscast in the form of Kristen Stewart as Snow White. We are supposedly lead to believe that Kristen Stewart is the very picture of life and Charlize Thereon is the very picture of death. Backwards thinking.

Anyway, most of these films, aimed at the Twlight-ed, teenaged set, feature doe-eyed "empowered" women, sexy men for whom they fall for, and some variation of an evil witch/queen. They're apparently full of angst and vague symbolism. What I don't understand is this: Why are they so popular? We've literally seen this at least five times before. I mean, look at all the Alice in Wonderland imaginings? Tim Burton's was easily the best of the re-making batch, thanks to a kind of spunk present in almost all of Burton's films, but Alice has been overworked in particular.

And in the years to come we're going to see more double re-tellings, with at least two Little Mermaids, Peter Pans, Sleeping Beauties, and maybe even more Alice coming soon.

I'm simply asking this question to you: Why are they so popular? Is it sexy men? Is it the Twilight factor?

Oh, the Twilight factor. Here's the theory: Twilight's central heroine main person type thing, Bella Swann, is such a cardboard character, that girls of any age can insert their own personality traits or interests into the character and live vicariously through her fictional escapades.

Therein I think lies the appeal of these types of films. The fairy tale themes are just a very marketable way of wrapping up the Twilight factor.

I love fairy tales as much as the next teenage blogger, but these angst-y remakes need to stop before I A) finally give in and see  them or B) I go insane.



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