Saturday, June 2, 2007

Hollywood's Hidden Conservatism

So obviously Hollywood would never consciously produce a film with anything but an ultra-liberal message, but a few current examples suggest that, when packaged with enough sex, obscenity, and violence, a hint of conservatism might sneak through and end up on the silver screen. I already wrote about Tarantino's Death Proof and its pro-gun, anti-victimhood message. Today, Hugh Hewitt's movie guy, talking about the extraordinarily vulgar Knocked Up, said that it would be very difficult to have an abortion after having seen the film and its full-screen sonograms (follow the Hewitt link for audio). Also today, a zombie-loving friend excitedly sent me a link to this movie, which, at least based on the trailer, could be seen as a parable about the dangers of abusing an illegal immigrant underclass to tend the lawns of the WSJ editorial board (although I am, as you may remember, greatly turned off by anti-Fifties themes in cinema).

Whit Stillman managed to film a first-class conservative body of work by writing scripts that went over liberals' heads, getting the critics, whose default setting is to praise that which they do not understand, to applaud works about their own shallow immorality. For those of us without Stillman's skills, however, it now seems that there is another way to sneak some sense past the p.c. focus groupthink. Call it the Apatow Approach: the most square, most old-fashioned values in the world can make it big in Hollywood as long as you couch them in enough swear words, penis jokes, and, in extreme cases, an occasional disembowelment.

UPDATE: A quick Google search on "Apatow's conservatism" reveals that Ross Douthat and the New York Times beat me to the punch.

ANOTHER UPDATE: My tip made it onto HotAir!

OKAY, LAST ONE: Prof Althouse mentions the surprising theme of Knocked Up, too!

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