Since movie blurbs are influential items, I am writing in response to the Indy blurb for He's Just Not That Into You (by Nathan Gelgud), which seemed marked by ugly identity politics. "A gaggle of preppy, straight, white actors ... fabricating a group of needy, silly women"— strong words!
All of us dumbos who care about falling in love or marrying, what could we be thinking? Or caring about how to negotiate the minefield of cell phone and e-mail and Facebook, etc.—that's just all too petty!
It is curious to me that Gelgud says in the full review ("We're just not that into these stereotypes," Feb. 4) that he generally likes romantic comedies. I am interested as to what in particular made this movie so unredeemable, so "silly." I am wondering if there was some earnest, everyday quality to it, as opposed to the more satiric qualities of, say, Clueless, or Legally Blonde. I would "strenuously" (to use Gelgud's word) argue for the value of just this kind of street-level look at the everyday mechanics of some young peoples' lives. It doesn't have to be brilliant all the time, never miss a note, to be worth the trip to the multiplex, when there is so much to be viewed there that is bitter and brutal. I found this movie well-written and well-acted in both lead and minor roles. It was paced well and engrossing. Contrary to Gelgud's statement, the individuals involved did not all simplistically "win the right man."
It matters, for instance, whether and how our new president keeps his BlackBerry. It matters that on their first or second date, Michelle and Barack Obama went to see Spike Lee's She's Got To Have It, and discussed it as they were getting to know each other. We're all in this together, and I want to hold the Independent to that touchstone.
When I was near the end of Steven Channing's remembrance of John Hope Franklin (Front Porch, April 1), it caught my breath when I read his line "He was truly a free man." What a magnificent statement to be able to make about a person regardless of race, gender or ethnicity.
Donna S. Elliott
Re: "John Hope Franklin: Apologies aren't enough" (April 18, 2007, by olufunke moses)
Excellent article/ interview. And I agree that most of you haven't a clue as to what reparations is all about: a debt owed—repairing the gap in opportunities that was caused by racism. There are reparations made by murderers to the families of the victims. Reparations happen all the time. And ever since slavery was outlawed, there have been many African-American leaders suggesting policies and solutions to repair the incredible gap, but the U.S. government hasn't supported those ideas, for instance carving out a new country for those forced by slavery to enter this country. We did it for Israel, carving out for them a place in Palestine. We restored Europe after World War II. Kuwait was carved out of Iraq. What have we done for Mexican, African and American Indian slaves? I would argue not much.