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2009-09-29

Love For The Proper Pictures

Self Styled Siren tells us what we should be watching instead of 'Mad Men'


Self Styled Siren has written a terrific piece on movies called "Ten Melos The Siren would watch instead of 'Mad Men.'" Though she is giving the uber popular AMC show a chance, what with its cocktail shaker/everyone smokes/has perfect hair period detail, its handsome John Hamm, its depiction of class, race, gender in the early 1960's ad world and beyond, she is not so convinced. She finds the show (and I agree with her on this) dour.

As she wrote:

"Despite the stratospheric sex appeal of Jon Hamm, January Jones and Christina Hendricks, the show is just so goddamned dour. The Siren suspects series creator Matthew Weiner wanted to avoid the nostalgia trap, but this is too far in the other direction. A little soup├žon of affection for the past will not turn Mr. Weiner's dead-serious critique into 'The Wonder Years Meets Ad Age.' The Siren has seen movies from the era, and in those movies, people have a good time--every now and then, you understand, between bouts of weltschmerz."

Here is one of the many films of the "Mad Men" era that dealt with similar issues of the time, all that are better, and we should watch. Including, one of my favorite, underrated films of the '60s -- "Love With a Proper Stranger."

Siren says:

"'Love With the Proper Stranger' (Robert Mulligan, 1963)

"Social Issues: Premarital sex, abortion, unwed motherhood.

"Sets and Costumes: Supposedly low-end, but a mite too clean for all that. Steve McQueen made everything he wore look like a well-broken-in motorcycle jacket.

"Sex appeal: High. Look at that publicity shot and tell me different.

"Why the Siren Likes It: Has comic moments, but at heart a rather melancholy movie about a still-relevant topic, with legendary leads giving warm, authentic performances despite a wan third act. McQueen seldom let his vaunted cool slip to as much effect as here. When "Mad Men" gives a nudge about how far we've come, we should remember Wood planning an abortion, without hysteria. How many recent Hollywood movies or TV shows have let a beautiful, sympathetic lead do the same?"

Read her entire, wonderful piece here.

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