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Save Our Plot Lines Coalition Formed

Industry heavyweights vow to stand united against new threat to fundamental themes of American entertainment

 HOLLYWOOD, CA: Spokesmen for movie producers, pop and country record labels, and publishers of romance novels gathered today to announce the formation of a new coalition dedicated to “nipping in the bud” any pop culture portrayals of people in love who are not obsessively possessive, constantly jealous or easily moved to homicidal/suicidal rage.

Leaders of the coalition said such portrayals are an insidious threat to the livelihoods of thousands of workers in these industries. “We rely almost exclusively on infidelity (or suspected infidelity or mere passing glances at another attractive person) to create plot twists, raise dramatic tension, and generate ideas for entire movies between film versions of popular children’s books,” said the coalition in a prepared statement. “If even a small segment of the American public is not moved to instant apoplectic fits by these idea, we’ll be ruined.”

Hollywood leaders said that when they saw the recent movie A Home at the End of the World, they knew they had waited too long to act. The movie portrays a long-term three-way relationship between two men and a woman. “Sure, they do end up splitting up in the end,” said Alan Rudolph, director of Secret Lives of Dentists, “so it could be worse. But it’s just sort of a sad I-can’t-make-this-work kinda breakup. Where are the screaming fits? Where are the completely fucked-up neuroses and unbearable inner torment? Where is the bitter hatred and threats of retribution? I mean, they practically act like adults the whole way through the movie. I could count the lies on one hand!”

“Thank God this mostly played in art houses,” he added.

This disturbing approach didn’t just start with A Home at the End of the World, said coalition leaders. Warning signs came in the final scene of the evangelical comedy Saved! when the main character’s current boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, and ex’s new partner all join in celebrating her new baby. Even earlier there was the 2003 Super Bowl Budweiser commercial where a girl tells her boyfriend it’s OK if he also dates her roommate. (Other examples, if there are any, can be sent to the coalition care of maxel-lute@metroland.net.)

“If things like this were allowed to go unchecked, we might have consumers demanding variety and creativity in our plot lines,” said Time Warner chairman Richard Parsons. “And that would dramatically change the way we do business.”

The coalition’s secretary noted that he had done some research and found that there are groups of people out there advocating, and even practicing, honest and responsible nonmonogamy. He surmised that they could be behind a conspiracy to destroy American cinema, and urged that concerned consumers report any information they come across about these freaks’ activities, especially party invitations, directly to him.

“These un-American irresponsible no-goodniks refuse to be automatically distressed by the idea of their lifemates taking a romantic or sexual interest in another person,” said Adrian Lyne, director of Unfaithful, Fatal Attraction, and Indecent Proposal. “How are we to introduce tension into an onscreen relationship without relying on cheating? I mean, what other plot devices are there?”

Families with good communication and even the barest of tolerance for open relationships “have a dramatically reduced amount of insecurities available for us to exploit,” explained an anonymous PR professional and aspiring screenwriter. “Even completely monogamous people who are confident enough to admit their other attractions to each other are dangerous.”

“It sounds kinda nice though,” he added.

Brian Hickey, CEO of Harlequin Enterprises, cited recent marketing data that show a slight dip in the percentage of young women who believe that they will someday be swept off their feet by a handsome stranger with a mysterious and slightly dark past who will then undergo various trials so that they can live perfect, happily-ever-after lives on a conveniently discovered fortune. He said his company joined the coalition in the hopes of stemming this downward trend.

Country-music label execs said that they had been hoping that the coalition would make “allowing jealous rage to be a complete exoneration for homicide” part of its platform. After much debate, however, this was deemed likely to be off-putting to the vast majority of Americans who are cheaters themselves.

To fight back against the dilution of jealousy-driven angst, the Save Our Plot Lines Coalition has created a partnership with clergy and therapists across the country to spread the message that adultery is both the ultimate sin and an ever-present danger. They also spoke of commissioning a study to prove that honesty in relationships is a figment of hippies’ imaginations.

In an impassioned plea for unity, the coalition leaders also called on the conspicuously absent television industry to stand with them. TV spokespeople said there is still internal debate between soap-opera producers, who are in full sympathy with the coalition’s goals, and the sitcom producers, who see a goldmine of possibilities in multiple-partner and open relationships. Possible shows already under discussion include Three’s Family and Friends, Lovers, Spouses, Spouses of Lovers, Etc.

After a final standing ovation from the crowd, Lyne proved that he walked his talk by pointing a shaking finger at one of the reporters in the front row and screaming “Stop looking at my wife!”

—Miriam Axel-Lute
maxel-lute@metroland.net

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