A disturbed 22 year old son of Hollywood privilege went and killed two sorority women after stabbing his roommates. So naturally, a Washington Post film critic blames Seth Rogen?
The gunman in his manifesto described his inability to get the girl and proclaimed his intent to go out as a "true alpha male."
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post film critic, blamed "outsized frat boy fantasies like Neighbors." The Judd Apatow directed film starring Seth Rogen features a 30 something year old couple. Rogen plays an undermature, kind of dumpy looking guy married to a beautiful woman.
Hornaday must assume that such men never "get the girl" and claims that such "fantasies" frustrate men in the real world. It is actually the case that many men, regardless of looks, have some sort of charm and promise of providing for a family someday. Even without dashing looks, they still get the girl.
Insanity often is a strong barrier against meeting a nice girl.
Another odd part of Hornaday's analysis lies in her assumption that "alpha males" are represented in these movies. Apatow movies boil over with admitted and unadmitted insecurities. Like them or not, they portray individuals dealing wit and overcoming insecurities in a demanding world. Alpha males are the best produced by the military, also CEOs, Peyton Mannings, John Walls, and other men in control, capable, respected, disciplined, and decent. When not perfect, they find ways to confidently achieve whatever it is they have set as a goal. Apatow characters reach their goals, but stumble and bumble their way to them. Their charm lies in their perseverance, despite the fact that in many ways all men are not created equal.
Hornaday's use of the word fantasy is perplexing. Hollywood markets fantasy. Why on earth would people go to the movies to see exactly what they see in real life? The crime gets solved, the polis gets re-established, the wrong is set right. And yes, the hero gets the girl.
Society's problem, not unnoticed, lies in the fact that much of the country has simply abandoned the idea of teaching boys how to be boys. One author explained that schools now treat boys like "defective girls." Traditionally, boys were expected to be rougher around the edges, more fidgety, more prone to fistfights and quick reconciliations, less able to handle sitting still for long periods. Boys have got to be boys, we used to say.
Boys now get taught that their behavior is bad, that playing war is anti-social (even though boys have done this for millenia), that they need pills to make them behave. Boys need to learn discipline, but they also need more outlets for the pent up energy most of them have growing up. And the problem gets progressively worse. In fact, if you didn't want a boy, no worries, you can send him to re-education camp.
From day one, males need to learn responsibility, discipline, responsibility, work ethic, leadership, responsibility, how to defend themselves, responsibility, and how to treat women. They also need to learn that, starting at age 18, they need to start putting away childish things. This means getting a job, helping to provide for your family whether you intended to start one or not, making commitments and meeting them.
Hollywood is not to blame for boys not knowing how to be boys, not when young people watch fewer movies than ever. Schools, experts, and parents are to blame for not recognizing that boys are different.