Thursday, November 17, 2005

Reynolds Wrap

Ryan Reynolds in a fat suit! Get this! He's handsome and fit, but what if he were fat and repulsive? That would be hilarious!

Is this worse than Shallow Hal? I think that it is. I'm sympathetic to arguments to the contrary, given that Gwyneth's character is fat for the whole movie and not just in the past, and given that standards of thinness are more cruelly strict for girls.

But for Ryan Reynolds to be the guy in the fat suit, the poor high school loser, is unconscionable. This smug bastard playing a fat underdog? It is a disgrace and an affront to underdogs everywhere. Ryan Reynolds, the hunky, braying, ever-superior party animal jackass bursting with frat-boy swagger, is exactly the kind of bullying prick who makes fat losers feel terrible about themselves. Just seeing him parade around in a fat suit is a slap in the face, a twisting of the knife, a roughening of the noogie.

Maybe this movie and Monica from Friends are supposed to provide encouragement to the overweight, like, "Look fatties--Monica lost the weight. Now you can see her rib cage! So what's wrong with you?" Or maybe we just enjoy cruel, hurtful laughter.

Are we too PC and guilty now to laugh at actual fat people, or are we just too grossed out by the real thing? Is it supposed to make us feel better that we only laugh at fat people when they're played by skinny people? Are fat suits the new blackface? What hath The Nutty Professor wrought?


matt said...

Back when Shallow Hal came out (or maybe the fat Monica Friends episode), there was an article in Ms. Magazine (or maybe Bitch) about how fatsuits were the new blackface. So you may be onto something there, at least as far as the maniac feminists are concerned.

I don't object to laughing at fat people. Eat less and exercise more, you bunch of fat people.

Anonymous said...

I still bet this movie is funnier than "Shallow Hal" because, how could it not be?


lyan! said...

I don't know enough about the history of blackface to comment on that, but fatness, I'm sure, can/should be an increasing theme -- since really it seems to be the new plague of the west.
But at the same time, I doubt it'll actually happen because it would then prove how shallow we are (we don't really focus solely on appearances, right...? I mean we like Vin Diesel for his acting!) and two, there's just too many fatties now that'd feel offended. Expect a coalition, a group, a faction, and maybe a Political party (mascot a pig) to be formed.
Anyway, maybe it's comparable to blackface, but either way fatness is the new anthesis of beauty to be sure. Especially when Sarah-plain-and-flat can get a boob job and become special... so pathetic.

matt said...

You people need to listen to more talk radio. There's already a fat advocacy group -- NAAFA (National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance). Check out

Kenny said...

It's not that I object to laughing at fat people, but laughing at fat people via attractive people in fat suits is disingenuous and patronizing. Where are the genuine fat comics like John Candy and Chris Farley, bringing versimilitude and a warped dignity to laughing at the fat?

Most fat people obviously have more control over their weight than black people do over their skin color, but there is a similarity in that blackface featured white performers playing up stereotypes for white audiences, most of whom would have felt too threatened or uncomfortable to accept real black performers, particularly in any kind of authentic performance. Fat suit comedy is pointing and sneering, rather than using comedy as a medium for any kind of incisive truth. In fact, Shallow Hal was intended to be a defense of fat people, but was undone by the disingenuousness of its own fat suit device. And not being funny, but there you go. If they'd had the balls to cast a real fat woman, their message would have seemed more sincere. They were trying to have it both ways and failed.

In that regard, maybe Just Friends will succeed on its own terms, since it doesn't bear the burden of trying to teach us a lesson about inner beauty. On second thought, it probably tries anyway, because they have to at least pretend to be okay with fat people or it will seem too mean.

Anonymous said...

i agree with you, kenny: the fat suit fad is getting to be a bit much. but was that intentional irony when you mentioned john candy and chris farley? both beloved overweight comedians died young. maybe that should tell us something, too.

lyan! said...

it does: don't OD on drugs.

Sarah said...

"Especially when Sarah-plain-and-flat can get a boob job and become special... so pathetic."

My mom says I'm special.