The Horror Honeys: SO! You Can't Be Bothered to Read Subtitles?

SO! You Can't Be Bothered to Read Subtitles?

A Revenge Honey Review/Honey Buzz Rant by Linnie

Like it or not, America does a lot of shitty things. The KFC Double Down, electing Bush twice... making the Kardashians famous. All of that is on the States, and our overwhelmingly obese asses have to own it. However, one of the worst things America insists on doing (besides forcing so many antibiotics on people that we're all now prime breeding grounds for superbugs) is remaking films from other countries that do NOT need to be remade. This arrogant need to take things that are already amazing and make them better, 'MURICAN STYLE, has now become so fierce, it's being applied to movies that aren't even a year old. Hell, some of these movies are even OSCAR NOMINATED. Which brings us to today's rant...

Fox Searchlight is remaking the Oscar-nominated Swedish film Force Majeure and that REALLY just chaps my ass.

Ruben Östlund's Force Majeure is easily the most terrifying film I've seen this year, and it was rightly nominated for an Oscar. While vacationing at a ski lodge in France, a married couple and their two children find themselves in the path of an out-of-control avalanche. With no time or strength to pick up both her children and run, mother Ebba cradles her babies close and prepares for the inevitable. Daddy Tomas grabs his cell phone and books it for safety, abandoning his family to be swallowed up by the snow. But you see kids, this was a controlled avalanche. No one was ever in any real danger. And when the clouds of snow subside, Ebba and the children are left looking at a father that left them to die in favor of saving his own ass. And his iPhone.

"Now uh... could you pretend like you love each other? Please?"
And THIS is just the beginning of the film. What follows is a tense, sometimes painfully so, meditation on marriage, manhood, and what it means to be in a relationship with someone you can no longer trust. If you thought Gone Girl left you side-eyeing your significant other, you might find yourself engaged in some truly uncomfortable conversations when Force Majeure ends. And Östlund's brilliant script acknowledges that. When Ebba and Tomas turn to friends for advice after the tension has reached a breaking point, their problems infect their friends' relationship, and breed unexplored tension between them. This pair of outsiders is a proxy for the audience, who too may find themselves changed by the conversations they must have after watching Force Majeure.

It all goes downhill from here. Pun intended.
Americans don't look that good in matching jammies.
But what truly made Force Majeure a masterpiece for me was the deliciously ambiguous ending. I won't go in to details, except to say that if we spend the whole of the film viewing Tomas as a villain for not caring enough about his children, we are left wondering if Ebba perhaps has gone too far in the other direction. The film's final moments leave you just as confused as the characters about the future of their relationship, and you will inevitably project your own attitudes and opinions about family on to Ebba and Tomas. Force Majeure is a genius film, a dare I say... perfect film...

And if you don't watch it because you can't be bothered to read subtitles, don't you DARE ever say another word to me again about how there are "no good movies anymore."

And here, my darklings, is a bullet point list of why an American version of this genius movie will NEVER work. Ever. No matter who tries really hard to make it so:
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus: I love the woman. And she is a solid dramatic actress... as long as that drama is tinged with comedy. Nothing about this story lends itself to comedy. If anything about this story is altered in any way to ADD humor, it's ruined. There are 1,000 other actresses that I might be willing to imagine in this role. She is not one of them. 
  • The Culture Divide: In Force Majeure, after the inciting event, no words are spoken. The family sits down and continues eating their meal like nothing happened. I dare you to find one American woman that wouldn't throw her plate of food at her husband when he returned to the table and scream, "Do you want to tell me what the FUCK that was?" I don't know a single woman from America OR Canada that wouldn't grab their husband's iPhone, smash it, and tell him to get the fuck out of her sight. But that isn't how it is done in Sweden. There is ZERO legitimate way to adapt this for American audiences while keeping the tension intact. 
  • The Setting: Where the hell are they going to set the movie that won't somehow involve subtitles, since reading is apparently something to avoided? Are controlled avalanches a big thing in Aspen or Lake Tahoe? Because if they set the film in France, I think some of those pesky wordy thinky things on the bottom of the screen still might be necessary. 
  • The Time Frame: THE ORIGINAL JUST CAME OUT! Some countries haven't even had a chance to see it yet. I may not love it, but I'm willing to accept that remakes of films like Martrys are going to happen eventually. But when it comes to movies like Force Majeure and Housebound (which is in ENGLISH, for fuck's sake), give the movie-going audience a chance to see the original before you assume they are too dumb to understand it and have to be placated with a 'Murican remake. It is beneath the film-going audience, it is disrespectful to the original filmmaker, and it's downright insulting to everyone involved.
Every culture is awkward in their own way. Let them be!
Just this once, I am going to implore you: whenever this remake DOES come out, skip it. There is no reason for it. The original is a fantastic example of exceptional filmmaking and all a remake will do is sully the reputation of a film that deserves better. Ruben Östlund's Force Majeure is on Netflix right now. You literally have no excuse.

And if your excuse is that you don't like reading subtitles?


Revenge Honey Rating: 5 Terrible Vacations out of 5

Force Majeure is available on Netflix Streaming, Amazon Instant VideoYouTube VOD
Google Playblu-ray/DVD