The news the Monday after the ’04 Superbowl was disturbing. No, it wasn’t Janet Jackson’s almost bare breast that had me bothered. It was the story about box office receipts and the top film in the country that had me flustered and confused. You’ve probably forgotten about it by now. I wish I were so lucky.
“You Got Served” was the number one movie in the country. How this happened is beyond me, though it was a slow movie week. I didn’t see the film, either, so it could be that it was the best thing since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. I doubt that, though, seeing as it dropped off the radar the next week. All I know is that the trailers for it made it seem like it was about some kids who settled scores by breakdancing or something. It looked like a lot of MTV-style editing, cliched dialogue and hip-hop fashion. Not a lot of substance, but tons of style and attitude.
The fact that this was the big money maker for the week paints a disturbing picture of the future. The most terrifying thought is that Hollywood will pump out more of these movies because the profit margin is high. I’m sure the money this one made its opening weekend (I think it was around $16 million) was more than enough to give the studio heads erections. That, of course, means “You Got Served 2: Electric Serving Dish.”
Being a thirtysomething male means I have little understanding of the appeal of a movie like this, the very title of which sounds like it came off the back of a Big Dogs shirt. If anything, I would like to believe that this kind of movie only appeals to kids who aren’t allowed to play video games, but that may be wishful thinking. It doesn’t matter if people thought the film was good or not, or if they just went because they were bored. It doesn’t matter because it made money … lots of money. That’s what executives in Hollywood care about more than artistic integrity or merit. “Save that for the loser indie films. We want the number one spot,” they say.
Well, they got it, and this may prove to be quite troublesome. You got served? No, we got served, and it will probably happen again by this summer as a flood of hip-hop inspired dance movies with vapid titles ooze into a mall theatre near you. You can almost smell the triple-strength face cleanser as I write this little rant.
The only plus side to this is that any similar movie will have to do better than its evil father in order to continue the trend. If Hollywood pumps out three losers in a row, then you can be sure that anything else in development Hell is going to be canned before anyone even gets to say, “… and it will star Jay-Z.”
As a genre, I like teen dance films about as much as I like cancer. I wish teens were smart enough to avoid them, and I wish directors had enough balls to decline the work, but we live in a world where the Olive Garden is considered a good Italian restaurant and where people will gladly sell out themselves and their family by pretending to marry a jerk. So will these films end anytime soon? Probably not. But they will eventually die out only to come back maybe thirty years from now when kids will flock to the theatres on Super Bowl weekend to see “You Got Served: The Remake.” If that isn’t enough to make your blood run cold, you’re obviously a lobotomy patient.
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