Mar 15, 2007

Bond: The Chick Flick

I loved Casino Royale. As I walked out of the theater, I wanted to walk right back in and see it again--
as I have a tendency to do. (I didn't). But in this case, I wasn't alone. And had I walked back in, my heels would have been stepped on by the pointy toes of lots and lots of women.

Up to now, Bond has been firmly identified as male territory. Hell, it has dumb puns and cars that are operable via remote control and explosions and Denise Richards and characters named Pussy Galore, for God's sake. Not things that women tend to care too much about, generally.

But all of a sudden--and after all the hoopla over Daniel Craig--Casino Royale comes along. Here's a sampling of female reactions*:

A friend who is ordinarily very restrained, not to mention loving of her husband: Damn! (Fans herself) I saw it last week, and I'm going again this afternoon. Dan's not getting laid tonight!

My sister, whose previous favorite scene ever was George Clooney coming off the escalator in Ocean's 11: I could watch that walking-out-of-the-water scene over and over and over and . . .

And male reactions*:

My dad: There weren't enough gadgets and cars.

Guy, who was an American Studies major, after all: There's a jauntiness of spirit [in the Sean Connery films] that I find hard to resist. They're an odd mix of campy, silly, and serious. Also, his head looked way too small in that walking-out-of-the-water scene.

Casino Royale is certainly a bit more serious and less pun-ridden than previous films, but why don't they think it was fun? That first running-through-Madagascar action sequence with that freaky jumping guy--that was the most fun I've had in an action movie in years (barring only that scene in Mission Impossible II when Tom Cruise jumps off his motorcycle to hug the villain in midair, but then that's mocking fun so it probably doesn't really count).

Why the Mars/Venus thing? It's not Daniel Craig's looks, I'll tell you that. He's definitely attractive, but the small head thing is a slight problem, as is the enormous lower lip. And I've got to tell you, we women didn't buy the whole settling-down-with-Vesper thing either.

For me at least, the difference lay in Bond's skill and commitment. I liked that he had to rely on running and punching instead of on nonsense gadgets. I liked that he walked out on the woman with the fabulous pink dress, because his job was more important than sex (not much more important, but a little). I liked that he wasn't all suave and punning, but that he got beat up and had to work hard and didn't give a damn how his martini arrived except that it had better have booze in it.

All of which goes against the very definition of James Bond. Well, I guess that explains it, then.

*Chosen to support my thesis; those that didn't were ignored.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

So. EFFing. Hot.

That is all.