Kudos Carrie Rickey!

Terrific article by Carrie Rickey in today’s NYT about Lindsay Doran called “Perfectly Happy, Even Without Happy Endings.”

And here’s a parallel thought from the Press Kit for my new book Penny’s Picks: 50 Movies by Women Filmmakers: “What I’ve learned is that women are very interested in narrative. They’re interested in human stories, and stories about character and development. In my lectures, I sometimes joke with my audience: I tell them that no matter how bleak a film might seem at first, if there is a tiny glimmer of light, if you can show a woman there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, she’ll go for it. Most women don’t like the sardonic, bitter, world ends, blow-it-all-up kind of thing.”

Back to Lindsay Doran, here’s my favorite example: “…[Doran] mentally rewound the concluding scenes of these ‘accomplishment’ films. Ms. Grey leaps into the arms of Patrick Swayze at the end of Dirty Dancing, and after that she reconciles with her father.”

Just like I’ve always said: the best moment of Dirty Dancing comes after the leap, when Dad aka Jake (Jerry Orbach) says to Johnny (Patrick Swayze): “When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong.” And then, turning to Baby (Jennifer Grey), he adds: “You were wonderful!”

Now we finally understand why Shakespeare in Love won the Best Picture Oscar in 1999 instead of Saving Private Ryan (as predicted by the mostly-male critics who had picked Saving Private Ryan over Shakespeare in Love of course). It had nothing to do with the “evil genius” of Harvey Weinstein’s marketing campaign & everything to do with “Lindsay’s points about what audiences care most about–relationships and the positive resolution of those relationships.”

Brava, Lindsay Doran! And brava, Carrie Rickey 🙂

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