What’s a studio to do when it wants to rake in some tweenie moolah but is afraid their parents won’t shell out for the flick because… well, it sounds so risque! And thus Louise Rennison’s Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging hit the theaters this Friday as Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.
Way to go, Paramount.
At one shot you ruined one of the most perfect titles ever coined and took away half the fun any girl might have experienced in going to see this movie. I mean, not only does the original read much better but it’s also the only reason my wandering eye paused at the teen section of my bookstore – and I’m not even in my teens! The first is exciting and daring, the second sounds like a manual. An odd manual about red meat, underwear and sex, but a manual nonetheless.
And I’m not a parent but if I were one and I was the kind who’d object to “full frontal snogging” (which, hee! The memories, although we obviously never called it snogging or even mentioned the words “full frontal” – mainly because we didn’t know them. Such sheltered little daisies we were in the olden days), then I’m pretty sure that I’d veto thongs as well. In fact, I think as a non parent I’m more incensed about thongs for tweenies than full frontal snogging.
Much as I enjoyed the books, I’m in two minds as to whether I want to see this movie. For one thing, I might be able to read and enjoy teen novels but I really don’t like teen movies. I’ve tried. I’ve done my best. But I didn’t like them when i was a teen and i don’t like them now. I always walk out at the end, feeling as though I ought to apologize for not being dumb enough to enjoy the experience of being talked down to. It’s also a bit like I’m back in high school and everybody is talking about how meaningful Boyzone is to their life and I’m nodding my head emphatically, assuring them that Words might have been written specifically for me OMG, and all the time I’m thinking, “Wow, this is crap.” I’m older, I’m wiser, I’m bitchier, I don’t do that shit any more, thank God.
The second thing that gives me pause is that this was directed by Gurinder Chaddha who not only had the bad taste to make Bride and Prejudice and try and pass it off as some kind of homage to Bollywood, but then tried to kill both Aishwarya Rai’s and Dylan McDermott’s careers by writing and producing The Mistress of Spices which was directed by her husband, Paul Mayeda Berges. Although she recouped some ground with Paris Je T’aime, it’s not like five minutes can make up for five hundred hours of cringing or however long Bride and Prejudice lasted.
And then she threw her hat in the ring for the Dallas remake. WTF?! Ultimately it fell through (Gurinder should nickname her twins “Thank” and “God” for saving her from that mess and teach them to sing hymns to JLo) but the fact she was interested at all gives me pause, because really – who is this person? I understand the lure of a big studio movie, especially for a woman director, not to mention a woman director of color, but hello? Did you just skip over that part where it’s John Travolta and Jenny from the Block in a Dallas movie?
She sounds great in this interview and she makes me want to see her movie but then she probably did this routine for her last couple of feature length movies too. The only thing that gives me hope is that this movie arrives with way less hype. Which is pretty much always a good sign in my book.
PS – This write up gives a better explanation for the title change (everyone thought it was a porno film! Coz “full frontal” was in it and their brains automatically froze!) and also explains why I never liked Bride and Prejudice – it’s (unwitting) target audience are tween girls.
This chubby little 10 year old American girl with a pony tail came in and was really boggle eyed at me. I asked her if she liked Bend It Like Beckham. She said, ‘yes but I really like Bride & Prejudice and I know all the songs.’ She then proceeded to re-enact all of them at this dinner party, including the Indian ones. She sang phonetically and did all the moves. It turns out that it’s the No 1 sleepover movie in the States.
I feel better about hating that movie now.