Saturday, March 05, 2005

Meet the Parents' spawn

Many big-budget movies have become just another brand/franchise these days: Star Wars, LOTR, Son of the Mask. All the sequels (some good, some embarrassing) that flood theaters.

And then there are the movies that try to be very similar to other successes without actually using the same brand. Case in point: two new flicks that seem like they're trying to ride the coattails of "Meet the Parents" and its inevitable and surprisingly successful authorized sequel. The new films are "Monster-in-Law" and "Guess Who." (Both trailers were shown ahead of "Hitch" the other night.)

In both of these, you have a giddy-in-love couple come home for a "meeting the parents" moment. Opposition (and supposed hilarity) ensues. These summaries, of course, are according to my understanding of the trailers alone, but that's key to how many people decide whether to see certain movies.

We'll have to see if these movies do well, and if so, what is it about this story that appeals to people? Is it that these tales take the feared consequences to the extreme, thereby lessening whatever real-life embarrassments/obstacles young couples normally face?

P.S. It appears that "Guess Who" is actually sort of a remake of "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" (1967, starring Sidney Poitier), with (it seems) the race of the roles reversed. (Remakes: yet another version of branding/franchising.) Still, the choice to remake and sell this picture now seems pretty coincidental without the influence of Ben Stiller's recent hits.

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