' ' Cinema Romantico: Once.....we hold hands everything will be all right?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Once.....we hold hands everything will be all right?

So as I popped my disc of "Once" into the ole' DVD player last night (the movie, by the way, is just as fantastic the fifth time as it is the first) I paused and took stock of the DVD cover. It appeared that the film's stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova were holding hands. That couldn't be right, I thought, since there is never a single moment in the entire movie when the two of them hold hands (they engage in no - as Irglova's character puts it - "hanky panky" of any sort). I thought perhaps I'd just somehow never noticed this little nugget in regards to the film's poster.

Therefore I snagged my "Once" soundtrack (bought back in May when the film was released), examined the cover and confirmed that, in fact, they were NOT holding hands. So no, I wasn't crazy. And again I wondered why on the DVD cover they're holding hands?

This is an important piece of the film. The fact the two of them never hook up, never kiss, nothing of any kind, and yet still manage to share the deepest, most intimate connection possible for two human beings. So again WHY THE HELL ARE THEY HOLDING HANDS ON THE DVD COVER? (By the way, I noticed Jim Emerson covers this topic on his blog as well.)

I suppose the only explanation would be that some marketing department - in all its glorious and infinite wisdom - decided this little gem of a film couldn't simply be marketed by, let's say, it's 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes critcs tomatometer. No, they probably determined it needed to be played up as a conventional romance and thus decided to just photoshop up that original cover a little bit to make them appear as typical romantic movie leads. We can't scare people away from a love story where the two main characters don't - gasp! - get together at the end. Golly, no!

And so I will borrow the line Lewis Black used at this years Emmy Awards in regards to TV Network Executives and direct it at DVD marketing departments instead: "What is it you people do exactly other than come up with bad ideas?"


Wretched Genius said...

After seeing the artwork, I don't think it is a very big deal. Sure, the images has been altered so that they are now holding hands, but look at their faces. There's no sign of romance, just a look of recognition and companionship. I believe this was a great decision by the marketing people.

Yes, I know the film is great and critics are raving about it, but how many people do you think have actually read those reviews or even know that the movie exists. This cover is more likely to draw the attention of someone who just browsing through the DVD section at Best Buy. They'll see the DVD cover with the actors holding hands, think it's a love story, see the critcal praise that printed on the DVD and hopefully think "This looks like a feel-good movie, I think I'll buy it." And y'know what, it will be a feel-good movie, and they will love it. And after they've seen it and look at the cover again, the image really won't seem all that out-of-place.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'll just stand outside my local Blockbuster and conduct exit interviews to get to the bottom of this.

Me: "Excuse me, did you think at all about renting 'Once'. The film with the guy and the girl on the cover holding hands?"

Consumer: "Oh, that one? It did look interesting and I did think about renting it. Unfortunately, they only had one copy and it was out. Therefore I rented 'Pirates of the Caribbean 3'. Don't worry, though, they still have 743 copies left."