In praise of Nicholas Sparks

Brady… the scenes of a group of teenage and 20-something women sharing a featureless suburban house in Florida, watched over by an apparently amiable, eerily blank young talent agent who is a combination of concierge and pimp, are authentic and effective — banal, sad, funny and weird. 

Mike Hale  New York Times  MAY 27, 2015


Last night I watched the Netflix Documentary Hot Girls Wanted and I have to say I found the whole experience unsettling.  I like to think that I have not lived a sheltered life and so shouldn’t be surprised at the levels of depravity that we humans will descend to but this documentary reminded me all that I no longer have to endure dealing with such things.  The idea for the documentary is to explore the reasons why and the consequence of  young women entering the amatuer porn sex market.  It is really soul destroying to see how many young women think that the quick bucks they make for their VERY short carrier compensates for the mistaken life choices.  One of the girls claims to have earnt $25k in just over three months but by the time she had finished she had only $2k left.  Unfortunately for the girls in the business there would seem to be a never ending stream of women willing to take the leap and so the average shelf life of these girls is around 3 months.  This leaves them only two options; Leave or move into even more degrading videos which, as a man, I just don’t understand the attraction of. The documentary is not without its fault, I’ll leave it to the New York Times critic above to outline those, but it is worth viewing if only to open your eyes to world out there.

To purge my soul of this I turned to Nick Sparks whose movies are a favourite.  For those of you not aware of Spark’s work well they are a variation, only slightly, of the same thing:  Boy meets girl, the relationship is complicated but they eventually work things out.  The End.   They all seem to be the same idea of small town America, usually by the sea, where the sun always shines and people seem to do most of their walking and interacting at sunrise or sunset.  I suspect it is about as real a reflection of life in America as  Richard Curtis films are about life in London – neither reflect my experience of both places.  This, of course, is not the point.  Sparks’ movies are escapism nonsense and all better for that.  He can’t be doing too many things wrong as his movie have grossed almost $1 billion.  After the heart acre and distaste served up in Hot Girls Wanted it isn’t such a bad thing to settle down to a bit of safe romantic nonsense.  Perhaps I’m getting soft in my old age…I certainly hope so.

About Guthlac

An artist, historian and middle aged man who'se aim in life is to try and enjoy as much of it as he can
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