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July 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Warren Scott Oberman <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 18 Jul 1994 14:26:26 -0700
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Possible spoilers!!!
I agree with Sylvia, TL has a lot to offer, and its good fun too!
1. Almost as if previous posters are following the post-script to TL,
they have keyed in on the line misogynist (?) T. Arnold has about women,
can't live with em can't shoot em...well yea, Tom's character can't shoot
them, he's essentially a coward, he's a vanman, the brains to
arnold's bronze, etc....
he is also "married" to Arnold S.'s character, just as bored
and dysfunctionally frustrated (note his divorces and complaints of his
current spouse) as pre-enlightened/awakened Jamie Lee is in the
outset...recall Tom's last
line of the film: "I've been in the van for 15 years" as many years as
Helen and Harry have been married! Coincidence? NO. It is an important
line because it is said by TOm, a man in a castrated role...
2. How about the political commentary on how we should treat domestic
violence/drugs/gangs/terrorists etc? Recall the scenes when Arnold S. is
taking off and landing the F-16 fighter-jet, he knocks into police cars
both times as if they were mere tinker toys...Visually this is funny and
stunningly makes you really wonder why are we playing
"cops and robbers" with crooks, drug-dealers, terrorists, you name it,
when we have such arsenal at our disposal...
3. The film really saves itself, for me, from the typical action no
brainer film in its ambigous representation of fantasy-role
the way, whose fantasy is this film? Arnold's, Jamie's, Tom's?
I lean toward the idea that it is Jamie's  fantasy...she loves her
husband but wants him to be more exciting, more intriguing, less plain
and above all, she wants him to be more interested in her...she wants to
feel needed, and it is this desire that clinches her attraction for the
wimpofake used car salesman--his patheticness, by the way, was overdone,
it only serves to make Jamie's character, helen, look more wretched and
lonely as she falls for such a lout...
the interrogation scene, already singled out as an abuse and uncalled
for, is essential, Helen finds herself in this scene, she combines brains
and bronze (she tries to smash through the two way mirror and does a
prety good job!) to stand up for herself and her innocence, it is the
fierce reality side of her fantasy that makes it so effectual...
anyone disagree, I hope so...