Wednesday, March 05, 2008


. . . was charming, thank you. I very much enjoyed the comic when it came out, and was disappointed when I didn't get to a cinema to see the movie, so I treated myself to the DVD immediately it came out.

Charlie Thing was very good, Claire Danes miscast, Michelle Pfeiffer beautiful, Rickie Gervais predictable, and Robert de Niro a hoot. And I didn't mind at all the divergences in plot, except for the ending, which was awful. So much better in the comic.

But what I didn't get was why, out of all the favourable reviews, and there were quite a few, the DVD distributors decide to quote the Daily Mail* on the back, and, on a specially commissioned sticker on the front, the Sun**. Neil Gaiman himself was part of the production team, and surely he can't have lived abroad so long he's forgotten what these two newspapers are like?

I've always struggled against intellectual snobbery*** but for the life of me I can't see why the makers of this movie thought that the readership of the Mail and the Sun was an appropriate demographic at which to aim.

Shows just how much I know.

* The Mail is legendarily a bastion of knee-jerk right wing xenophobic prejudice, and even if it actually isn't, it's become a national stereotype, and 'a Daily Mail reader' is cultural shorthand for describing a knee-jerk right wing xenophobe.

**The Sun has a picture of a naked woman on page three every day, and no-one knows what is on the other pages. Or cares. And 'Page Three' is cultural shorthand for - well, naked woman with big breasts. All shot in the best possible taste. And anyway, these women enjoy it, and they are genuinely talented, and it's the first step on theit road to stardom. Or some such.

***that's a lie


Dave said...

Your third footnote (the one with three *) has nothing to which it refers. On the other hand you have two items in the main body of your article with only one *.

I haven't seen the film, or read the newspapers, so had nothing else about which to comment.

Mangonel said...

Thanks Dave - all fixed.

I, Like The View said...

comic? I knew it was a book, in fact I read parts of the book once. . .

I read The Guardian, so know nothing about some of the other things you refer to; does that make me an intellectual snob, or just very undereducated?

naked women! breasts! can't people look in the mirror for those, without having to pay! (I'm not suggesting dave has moobs, BTW)

Malcolm Cinnamond said...

The Sun's sports pages are terrific!

The Mail is and always has been a nasty, bitter little rag. "Hurrah for the Blackshirts".