We may be relishing a surge of female power in Hollywood, from Sandra Bullock's box office-breaking turn in The Blind Side to Kathryn Bigelow's wide-spread success with The Hurt Locker, but for every eye looking forward, there's always another looking back. As I wrote last week, Warner Bros. is looking to bring manner maven Emily Post back into the spotlight for a new, as-yet-untitled romcom about a "prissy Emily Post manners coach who turns a rough-around-the-edges guy into a proper gentlemen."
Adding a slice of courtesy to modern cinema? That simple idea sounds great -- we've all had our share of flabbergastingly rude folks who can't see past their own nose, and maybe a little movie fun could give the jerks a kick in the right direction. Unfortunately, this isn't about dosing the public with a little manners. It's lavishing in that old-school mentality of the "prissy" female manners coach and the gruff and impolite man who needs to be polished to "perfection." (Unless, of course, Warner Bros. is getting ready for a prissy man and his gentleman protege? Yeah, not very likely.) On the plus side, the project is pushing politeness rather than striving to loosen up the uptight woman so she can grab a man's man a la The Ugly Truth. On the negative side, the coach is still "prissy," while the film itself relishes an ancient mindset, rather than updating it with a little modern class.
For a business that's supposed to be so very liberal and progressive, our entertainment industry thrives on the conservative and passe.