Summer Blockbuster with a Side of Xenophobia
So, guess what movie I’m NOT going to see this summer? Yep. That’s right. The new Adam Sandler wart of a film, You Don't Mess With The Zohan, brought to us by the same douchebags who brought us last summer’s I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. The premise, in a very small nutshell (think pistachio or filbert), is an Israeli commando fakes his own death in order to move to the US to work as a hair stylist. A concept that will, no doubt, hilariously allow for plenty of both racial and gay jokes. Hollywood is ushering in the summer with offensive cultural stereotypes and homophobic language! Boo-ya!
Even though it doesn't come out until June, from the synopses and early screening reviews I’ve read, it seems fairly unanimous that the film takes every offensive stereotype of middle easterners and exploits them until your teeth are grinding uncomfortably together. One reviewer wrote, “If you are middle eastern, have middle eastern friends or just don’t like racist jokes, this movie is definitely not for you at all”. So, I guess if you’re an ignorant red neck who has no middle eastern friends and really likes racist jokes, then this movie is TITS.
Yeah, the thing we need most right now is a good ole racially charged comedy about middle easterners just to strengthen the cultural stereotypes and strongly reaffirm US and THEM. And way to surreptitiously encourage people to blindly support the IDF! – that’s a smart move right now too. Hezbollah hotline? Seriously? How is that okay?
How about a comedy that is evenhanded and promotes peace, using a little device known as wit? Because here's another thing, I'll bet that anyone who condemns this craptastic movie for the culturally offensive, Israeli propaganda that it is (yes, even despite the fact that Sandler's character apparently falls for a Palestinian), will be labelled anti-semitic. How much ya wanna bet? And then there will be those who high-handedly scoff it's "just a movie", get over it. Yeah well, Birth of a Nation was just a movie too.
Yes I know, stereotypes abound. Southerners are stereotyped as inbred and uneducated. But see, people can laugh at that kind of stereotype because they know it's not a true representation of southern people. However, arab-phobia is rampant largely due to people (okay, Americans) being globally unaware and not having any real idea what Arabs are actually like or how they live or what they deal with on a daily basis. So, movies like Zohan are dangerous because the majority of the population doesn't have any alternate information to combat the stereotypes being put in front of them. Hence the whole not funny thing.
I'm not promoting indiscriminant political correctness. Really. But many people are simply not mature enough for entertainment that promotes false images of other cultures. The majority of the people who will buy a ticket to see this movie will be the globally uneducated who will have difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction. Offensive stereotypes just serve to dehumanize, and do we really need that right now?
You Don't Mess With The Zohan - this summer’s huge gay bashing, xenophobic comedy! Yippee.