Friday, 20 November 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #400: All Sex All The Time!

Welcome to the show folks...

A tip of my bon chapeau to the fragrant folks at Movieline, who led me to this study that puts a hole in what was considered one of the, pardon the pun, hard and fast rules of Hollywood:

Sex sells.

Well, maybe not.

According to the study movies with nudity and high sexual content usually do much worse, both at the box office, and with awards, than films that don't go for the crotch.

While I myself have no problem with nudity, I can understand why films with overt, and borderline explicit sexuality under-perform, and here's why:

1. NOVELTY OF NUDITY: When nudity first hit mainstream American cinema in the late 1960s it was new, it was daring, it was novel, and it had boobies. But that was 40 years ago, it's not new, daring, or particularly novel. It's old hat. The days when Roger Corman told Martin Scorsese that he could do whatever he wanted with Boxcar Bertha, as long as Barbara Hershey doffed her top are long over, because...

2. EXPOSURE OVEREXPOSURE: When nudity entered mainstream American movies it was extremely rare to see an the naughty bits of a famous actress outside of uncovering some stag film they made in their youth, or a rare photo spread in Playboy. Nowadays, thanks to a combination of the internet, constant and intrusive paparazzi, and poor fashion choices what were once the private parts of public figures have become all to familiar to the world at large.

And let's not forget...

3. NUDITY ABUSE: Remember when I mention Corman telling Scorsese that he could do anything as long as it involved nudity, well not anymore. Nowadays when an actress's nakedness is used as a selling point for a film an alarm goes off in people's heads. That alarm tells them that the film's going to have nothing to offer beyond a usually disappointing glimpse of nipple, and that you can get for free off the internet.

And then there's...

4. THE LITTLE BASTARD FACTOR: Remember that kid's movies are big business because they automatically deal in bulk. You sell tickets to the kids, at least one or more of their parents or guardians, and then little frigger wants to see the flick again, and again, then rent the DVD, and then get their own copy for their birthday. The only way you can lose is if you make a flick that makes the little bastards sick.

That's what I think, what do you think?


  1. Ironic how things like this almost prove that Hollywood is one of the most conservative institutions around.

    I think sex is to romance like the shaky cam is to action. Why bother with actually having a real romance, relationships and all that character crap when you can just throw in the beast with two backs and call it a day? It's a crutch, plain and simple.

    OH wait, I went over all that already. XD

  2. Nudity is film is like playing with TNT. Do not do it unless you know what you are doing. Or it will blow up in your face.

    Film nudity can either make you a indie darling like Rosario Dawson or Natalie Portman or end up in the slut swamp of former teen starlets such as Linsday Lohan with her nausea inducing "last sitting" photo shoot or Alyssia Milano's skinemax Vampire thriller "Embrace of the Vampire". Which is a HOT movie by the way.

    I would not call Hollywood conservative. Most conservatives believe in fiscal responsibility. Which is something studios and the left do not have in common. The DNC and Hollywood both believe that any problem can be solved by throwing huge amounts of money (usually someone else's) at it and it will go away.

  3. I would not call Hollywood conservative. Most conservatives believe in fiscal responsibility. Which is something studios and the left do not have in common.

    Well duh. I meant "conservative" in the meaning of "resistant to change".