Monday, November 22, 2010

Due Date

So....this weekend I saw Due Date. In the theater I saw the film as merely an extension of the trailer, one of those frustrating movies with the age old formula of imbecile (Zach Galifinakis) making life horrible for a hapless straight man (Robert Downey Jr). Zach Galifinakis’ character becomes the catalyst for a series of unfortunate events muddled with perverse undertones of masturbation and dick jokes preventing the main character, Robert Downey Jr. from making it home in time to see the birth of his child. BUT what's interesting is that it subtly hints to discrimination. There are a few scenes that struck me as having racial undertones. For instance, in some instances people are called hicks and hillbillies and Jamie Foxx's character (the successful and most responsible character) stereotypically is a football player.
The part that made me think of this class was when Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr. accidentally end up at a border crossing to Mexico. They are both stones out of their minds and Zach's character promises to take care of everything. He ends up running away leaving Downey with the pot and the border patrol. They arrest him and in interrogation he is being asked why he is illegally trying to sneak into Mexico and Downey remarks "isn't it normally the other way around?". I have to admit it was somewhat comical but at the same time I find it really interesting how subtle the scene was in relation to the rest of the movie, and really, how subtle all of the racial implications throughout the movie were. When you see the film you don't really notice how many racial implications are riddled throughout. When I started thinking about it a little more it made me realize how easily it is to absorb these kind of pop culture subtleties without noticing it.
I foolishly thought that subtle racism was not subtle to the trained eye, and was soon humbled by my exploration. In an era when the politically correct is often the socially correct, negative racial connotations still reside so often in undertones that the viewer internalizes a message and I believe it can be really dangerous.

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