Sunday, May 24, 2009

In Praise of Cheese

I love cheese. No, not the gooey stuff you put on crackers (although that is one of my favorite food groups). I'm talking about cheesy movies.

Delicious but irrelevant.

Merriam-Webster defines cheesy as "shabby; cheap". With all due respect to both Merriam and Webster, I have to disagree. While a cheesy movie can be both cheap and shabby, it doesn't have to be. A cheesy movie, in my decidedly less than humble opinion, is a movie that realizes what it is. A cheesy movie doesn't try to change the world, it doesn't try to open anybody's mind. It entertains without shame or apology. It's movie after all, not a politician or teacher. And there's nothing wrong with that.

I take a special joy in cheesy movies that I can't really explain. They're just so much fun. I get burnt out on movies that take themselves seriously and have a message but forget how to entertain. I like a low-budget wonder. (Can someone please explain to me why movies have to be so expensive to make. I truly do not understand this.) They're often more entertaining despite or (my favorite) because of their budgetary limitations. It forces filmmakers to be creative and solve problems without just throwing money at them which is responsible for more movie innovations than we're probably aware of.

Even if a movie does have a budget larger than a college student's income the cheese factor is still something to treasure. A movie that winks at the audience and says "I may not be the most important thing in the world, but so what?" Movies like "Snakes on a Plane" that are knowingly ridiculous are something that we have too few of in this world.

So in order to promote the cause of cheese, which is suffering from a negative image almost as bad as its edible counterpart, I have decided to have a weekly series of my favorite cheesy movies because you guys have to be sick to death of my lists and I am too.

First up in this, my first weekly post is...

Clue (1985)

I have a long-standing love affair with Tim Curry as do most people who've seen "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and had confusing thoughts afterward. He's hilarious in this movie that is absolutely silly and ridiculous and best of all it knows it and embraces it. The movie uses the Red Scare as a backdrop but as Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren) says it's "...only a red herring". Make no mistake, this movie is about laughing and having fun, nothing else. Madeline Kahn is perfection as usual as Mrs. White and I have a special place in my heart for Michael McKean's role as the nervous Mr. Green. If you don't love this slapsticky masterpiece you might be a Communist and I'll be calling the House Un-American Activities Committee on you.

No comments:

Post a Comment