Monday, May 19, 2008

Fluff

So I read this piece today- If you cannot be bothered clicking on the link - it is about a man complaining about how watching the new sex and the city movie is akin to poking one's eyes out with red-hot pokers, burning skin off, and rolling around in salt for a while.
(A man who has not seen the movie incidentally)

Really? That terrible? I realize that the show is about women with 'inside women jokes' but surely men get it? But then I think about being made to watch 3 hours of cricket or golf and can suddenly emphatize the poking and ripping one's skin off business.

(But what I am still puzzled about is that a lot of women seem to enjoy watching sports...or male oriented sitcoms or movies..don't even ask me what I mean by the term.... but I don't think a proportional number of men would enjoy a sex and the city.... but then again I don't know....there are no numbers for this sort of thing)

While why men hate chick lit/chick flicks and my theories on that itself can create a whole post, this one I think I will devote to understanding why I like chick flicks or chick lit.

( But what is chick lit/flicks...books about women by women? Well those are not the kind i am referring to...I am referring to the happy feel goody warm Sunday afternoon stuff....I have read stuff by women for women like Fay Weldon or Maragret Atwood that are totally not warm or feel goody....... Ill be referring to the stuff I am talking about in this post as Fluff rather than  calling it chick lit or chick flick. There is enough 'chick lit' thats not Fluff)

Truth be told most Fluff really really annoys me - I hated 'maid in manhattan' (ugh ugh...quick poll: how many people actually like that movie? chick or no chick?)  Also hate pink colourful books where there is the heroine who spends first 25 pages fucking up, the next 25 being chased by two men both who have the answer to all her problems and the last 25 picking the nicer of the two and realising that she could solve all her problems by herself all along.

Then why this defense of fluff...cos I really do very deeply love Fluff. Good Fluff. Maid in manhattan, and the pink books all give Fluff a bad name bu just being bad.

Theres nothing like watching Roman holiday for the 100th time on an off day or a quick read of Bridget Jones to perk u up at the end of a brain dead day, or any John Cussack movie ( the ones where he is being cute and mushy, not pyscho. Cute as in serendipity or high fidelity (ha! guy chick flick!)

Sure its silly, sure its ridiculous, and defies reason and is repetitive and can be watched with your brain left behind. Sure its superflous, sure it promotes a slightly regressive agenda that says shopping is fun, shoes are nice, careers are showpieces for clothes, but the life can only be the sweetest with that handsome man sweeping u off into the sunset. (But comeon like rambo has impeccable logic and is a thought provoking film......I know this is no argument to promote Fluff appreciation but I am just saying though equally mindless and regressive action as a genre does not get the same kind of derision that Fluff does)

But hey,  its fiction. We know that. Sure life doesnt change when you have a makeover. There are no great sunsets. But heres what it is about Fluff:

- its easy. Its well defined. there's a formula, there's a pace, there's familiarity, even if it is escapist, it escapes along well known paths and corridors. You do not have to worry about plot twists or new ideas. Its relaxing. (Ironically this is often why the genre fails to be considered as a 'serious' one. And it’s a classic case of cultural snobbery: if it is good it should be hard to get - Not so. A good writer makes the labour of great writing appear effortless in the reading)

-its got style:
I’m talking about shoes and clothes and ...more. The Fluff tone is stunning. Its fast, there are always funny one liners, dialogue is snappy, the sets are pretty. The music is almost always brilliant and it is nice to look at . People in Fluff are always pretty

- its not always about shoes and clothes and men: really sometimes it can be fluffy but not shoes, men - See confessions of a teenage drama queen. And yes Fluff does focus on shoes and clothes and men...but there is a lot more...witty commentary about the world we live in, interesting plots, the characters self discovery , tear inducing triumphs and laughter inducing falls.
- Its identifiable : Sure I have already acknowledged that it has creepy retro 'ride away with your man into sunset' agenda. Fluff has bad role models, Fluff is superflous and sells you thimgs, Fluff reinforces media images of women and requires them to be thin, pretty obsessed about their weight, pine endlessly for that one true love. Sure sure I agree. 
Bad role model?- I agree. But one female character should not have to bear the burden of speaking for women everywhere. (and she so does not claim to!!) But we understand and identify with this crazy shoe obsessed, weight obsessed flawed woman who would love to be carried away into sunset. There is a little bridget jones in all of us.

and here I end my defence of fluff
Also see this and this and this all very nice pieces saying a lot more about Fluff and a whole lot better on both sides.

8 comments:

  1. Guys love chicks and chicks love chick-lit.

    Long live chick-lit ;)

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  2. i agree...i think fluff serves very valuable purposes...it's good to intersperse it with more serious readin every so often so that your world view doesn't get skewed but in general i'm a fan...afterall when you deal with reality everyday i don't also want to read about it...

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  3. super post darling!

    why should anything Chick get so much flak in life? like chick anger is ave n Rant and men anger is always legit and taken seriously...

    Plus good Chick Fluff serves a changing pattern in popular culture which is learning to make space for women (sometimes hot, sometimes overweight, some shoe-obsessed- but all claiming spaces in mass media)...

    Like Chick blogs (hate them, love them) occupying increasing cyberspace which would otherwise be about the latest game or some more male backslapping...

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  4. Being a guy who unconditionally loves High Fidelity and Loveactually and Four Weddings and Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally and so on and so forth, I heartily endorse this event and/or product.

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  5. awesome awesome..i love the warm fuzzy associated with chick stuff, but like all good things, you can o-d on it after a while

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  6. @ aniil: also girls dont need boys to like Fluff. U can like or hate Fluff independently.

    @m and inky: ya fuzzy fuzzy good. im having serious lack of fluff material at home and feeling v upset going to stock up.

    @anglophillic: thanks u thanks u. really its so annoying. You should see that first piece i linked. How come we don't find articles by chicks whining about how much they hate being dragged to this new alien v predator movie or some other shite like that.


    @nerfherder: ah fellow after my own heart. part off with all the Fluff products i say.

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  7. the love of my life.... you have reassured me that we are made for each other..... on a long working sunday you have motivated me to watch bridget jones for the millionth time in life tonight.... long live fluff i say! in terrible times it is the light and hope in life.....wht better than "roman holiday" to make one happy and many more of those.....

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