Sunday, April 24, 2005

Colorblind Love

Nicholas Kristof looked at another example of Hollywood's failure to reflect positive attributes of American life as it really is. The issue this time is marriage between blacks and whites:'s hard to argue that America is becoming more colorblind when we're still missing one benchmark: When will Hollywood dare release a major movie in which Denzel Washington and Reese Witherspoon fall passionately in love?

For all the gains in race relations, romance on the big screen between a black man and a white woman remains largely a taboo. Americans themselves may be falling in love with each other without regard to color, but the movie industry is still too craven to imitate life.

Or perhaps the studios are too busy pushing the limits on sex, nudity and violence to portray something really kinky, like colorblind love.


Blogger Johnnie Walker said...

While it is true that there is more interracial romance going on, I believe it happens mainly in more cosmopolitan cities across the country. Unfortunately, our cosmopolitan cities are not a fair representation of what "middle America" really is.

1:08 PM, April 24, 2005  
Blogger Martha O'Connor said...

You know, I've often wondered about this myself. My friend Joshilyn Jackson wrote a book called gods in Alabama, and one of the books an interracial romance that turns a Southern family upside down. I hope they DO make it into a movie because I think it's still a hot button issue for many people.

Nice blog. I blogmarked it. Take care and come and visit if you'd like.



10:51 PM, April 24, 2005  
Blogger Martha O'Connor said...

Well, it'd help if I could actually sound literate. One of the PLOTS in Joshilyn's book HAS TO DO WITH an interracial romance, BLAH BLAH. Sorry. {{blush}}

10:52 PM, April 24, 2005  
Anonymous Richard said...

It is curious that Kristof claims that there are no black and white intermarriages shown by Hollywood just as a remake of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" is being released as a mainstream comedy (starring Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher). I don't think this remake "underscores how little progress we've made" on the racial relations front since 1967, but just highlights how commonplace the subject is today. Of course, it also underscores the lack of origninality in Hollywood in general.

When I think of examples of interracial relationships in mainstream Hollywood films, I come up with 1994's Pulp Fiction (which boasts two interracial marriages) and 1985's Commando (Arnold and Rae Dawn Chong ride off into the sunset, so to speak). I am sure I will continue to thing about this all day and come up with more examples (it beats working). However, in these two films, the interracial quality of the protagonists' relationship was not an important aspect of the films.

The last "big" film that comes to mind that explores black-white interrationships themselves is 1991's Jungle Fever, but the characters' infidelity seem to be more the point of the film, and not their race.

The point I would like to make, however, is that contrary to what Kristof writes, interracial relationships are not uncommon in movies, nor are they still taboo. I think that black-white relationships may play an important role in a film, and then again they might not, as in Pulp Fiction.

To answer Kristof's question: "When will Hollywood dare release a major movie in which Denzel Washington and Reese Witherspoon fall passionately in love?" I think the more appropriate question, considering their age differences, is: "When will Denzel Washington play Reese Witherspoon's father?" ;-)

9:49 AM, April 25, 2005  

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