Metropolitan (or: Bows)

I finally watched Metropolitan, and while I enjoyed the experience, I was left feeling slightly uncertain what to make of it. Made in 1990, the film often feels like it belongs to a much earlier era. This tension between the present and the past is a key theme in the film, which focuses on a group of young, upper class Manhattanites who spend the winter break going to party after party through the decidedly old-fashioned debutante season. Fashionwise it was essentially girl in giant pouffy dress and red lipstick + boy in tuxedo. Repeat. There was one image I really wanted to share though, for the sheer glory of the giant hair bows.

Overall, I found the film surprisingly awkward, though occasionally charming. Which I guess might be the point – these kids, for all their affectations, money and lace, are just kids, with all the awkwardness that entails. Still, I feel like there’s something I’m not getting. People loved this movie. People still love this movie. It was nominated for an academy award, for a script I found somewhat stilted. While I definitely didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it either. In fact, I felt very little emotion whatsoever. Maybe that’s the problem – I like when my movies make me feel something; this film, with its overly intellectual characters and their lofty pontifications, only appealed to my brain, not my heart, so I couldn’t really let it in all the way. Aw, I’m such a sentimentalist. I still liked the bows. And I loved Chris Eigeman as Nick Smith. Thoughts?

3 Responses to “Metropolitan (or: Bows)”
  1. Alexandra says:

    It took me two tries to finish watching this film…and yes it is kind of hollow. I think maybe that is the point? But I think if you watch it with/close to Last Days of Disco it seems a bit better? It did seem oldtimey for the 90s or 80s or whatever time period this is.

    • xine says:

      oh you. i gradded in 1990, so i guess the whole feel really appealed to me on some level i can’t articulate. it has been that long since i watched it, and i actually really did not enjoy Last Days of Disco as a sophomore effort.

      aside: i saw it at viff and the filmmaking team was there to field questions and they were all “oh canadians get so much funding and we don’t so that’s why our film is so amazing” which prompted ire from the audience.

      • Ange Friesen says:

        Yeah – I think context is key here. I think one of the reasons I didn’t really get it is that I don’t really feel a connection to that generation/era…

        And I would have loved to be there for that Q and A.

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