April 6, 2008
96 daughters, but the one son gets all the attention
I like Peter Sagal, and I like what he has to say about the new movie version of Horton Hears A Who (which, for the record, I haven’t seen):
I don’t know what sins Dr. Seuss committed in his life to be doomed to have Jim Carrey star in movie adaptations of his books. But I came out of Horton Hears a Who, with my wife and my three excited and happy daughters, irritated by something even more annoying than Carrey’s tics. In a new subplot added by the filmmakers, the mayor of Whoville has 96 daughters. He has one son. Guess who gets all his attention? Guess who saves the day? Go ahead, think about it, I’ll wait.
No I won’t. What’s so irritating about this casual slap at daughters is the sense that the makers of the film didn’t really mean it. They seemed mostly interested in riffs on pop culture and jokes about violating bodily integrity. But what writers are told, you see, in Hollywood notes meetings, is that every character has to make a journey, towards something he needs and ultimately gets, and what they decided the Mayor of Whoville needs was a better relationship with his son. Here is a father with 96 daughters — 96 amazing, beautiful, unpredictable, mysterious, distinct, glorious human beings — but gosh, what in the world is he going to care about? I know, let’s give him a moody silent uninteresting offspring, but this one’s got a Y chromosome… that’ll be boffo box office!
Read the rest here.