Headed for fail­ure?

Rom­coms have a new, mind-al­ter­ing ob­ses­sion

The Guardian - The Guide - - Inside -

Is ‘hit­ting your head’ a new genre of film? Fol­low­ing I Feel Pretty (in which Amy Schumer bangs her head and starts to be­lieve she is the most at­trac­tive woman in the world), we have Isn’t It Ro­man­tic (Rebel Wil­son bangs her head and starts to be­lieve that her life is a ro­man­tic com­edy) and What Men Want (Taraji P Hen­son bangs her head and starts to be­lieve that she can hear ev­ery­thing that men think). In that spirit, Stu­art Her­itage pitches some fu­ture box of­fice gold …

I Can Have It All!

Dowdy house­wife El­iz­a­beth Banks feels like a fail­ure. Con­stantly clean­ing up af­ter her fam­ily has forced her to aban­don her long-held dream of open­ing a small-batch pot­tery shop. How­ever, af­ter a pi­ano falls on her head dur­ing a thun­der­storm, Banks wakes up to re­alise that the mag­a­zines were right: she can achieve a per­fect work/life bal­ance af­ter all! Sud­denly pos­sessed with all the fer­vour of a “Day in the Life of a ‘30 Un­der 30’ En­tre­pre­neur” pro­file, Banks starts wak­ing up at 4am to read emails and do yoga. Then she cooks break­fast for her fam­ily and does a 10k run. Af­ter that, she sends her kids to school, has mind-blow­ing sex with her hus­band and puts in a shift at the pot­tery, which now op­er­ates in 15 coun­tries around the world. Sac­ri­fice no longer means any­thing to El­iz­a­beth Banks. Truly, she has it all. At least for three weeks, be­cause af­ter that, she dies of sad­ness and ex­haus­tion.

I Need More Shoes!

Dowdy house­wife Emma Stone feels like a fail­ure. All her life she has al­ways wanted a re­ally ex­pen­sive pair of shoes, like the ones she sees ad­ver­tised in mag­a­zines, but she is too poor and sad to af­ford them. But one day, af­ter sus­tain­ing a se­ri­ous con­cus­sion when a lump of con­crete is flung at her head by a sneer­ing aris­to­crat, she wakes up to re­alise that nice shoes are a ba­sic hu­man right. Stone be­gins lob­by­ing the gov­ern­ment to ini­ti­ate a na­tion­wide so­cialised shoe pro­gramme that would see ev­ery man, woman and child in Amer­ica re­ceive a pair of ex­pen­sive de­signer shoes. Amaz­ingly, it works, and soon Emma Stone be­comes the poster­girl for peo­ple who wear high heels a lot. Suc­cess is hers, un­til the very next week when she breaks her leg chas­ing a goose across a cat­tle­grid.

Hooray for Breast­feed­ing!

Dowdy new mother Jen­nifer Lopez feels like a fail­ure. All the mid­wives and med­i­cal pam­phlets tell her that she should breast­feed her new baby, but she can­not get the baby to latch. Con­sumed with self-loathing, she starts feed­ing the baby for­mula in­stead. How­ever, when she’s knocked un­con­scious by a heavy­handed bur­glar, she wakes up to dis­cover that all that the judg­men­tal lit­er­a­ture was right along: breast re­ally is best. Through willpower alone, Lopez forces her­self to lac­tate; first into her child’s mouth, then into a bot­tle, then into a jug, then a bath­tub, then into a mu­nic­i­pal swim­ming pool and fi­nally into Amer­ica’s wa­ter sys­tem. Soon the en­tire coun­try is gorg­ing it­self silly on Jen­nifer Lopez’s milky goodness. She is Mother Amer­ica now, and stat­ues of her nip­ples are erected in ev­ery ma­jor city and port in the coun­try. Breast is best for ever!

I’m a Celebrity Pro­file!

Dowdy florist Mandy Moore feels like a fail­ure. All her life she has un­favourably com­pared her­self to the celebri­ties she’s seen pro­filed in glossy mag­a­zines. “Why can’t I live like that?” she asks, two sec­onds be­fore an as­teroid smacks into her head and de­stroys half her brain. When she wakes up, Moore re­alises that she is sud­denly liv­ing the life of a celebrity pro­file. She goes to McDon­ald’s and or­ders a quar­ter pounder, and ev­ery­one falls to the floor be­cause she’s so re­lat­able. A cry­ing man stops her in the street and tells her how in­spi­ra­tional she is for not wear­ing makeup. Peo­ple laugh at what­ever she says, treat­ing her most inane re­sponses as pro­found state­ments. This is the life that Mandy Moore had al­ways dreamed of! Two days later she goes mad with power and mur­ders a home­less man for kicks.

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