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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 50 The Girl Can’t Help It

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55 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

I think I might have also liked the movie better if I had a better grasp of what Jerri sees in Miller - aside from his crippling alcoholism that is.

He's not Fats?

I'd at least understand if she wanted to be a famous singer and was using him. She didn't want the only thing he had to offer.

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I think what I would have enjoyed more is if Fats wanted her to be a famous singer like Julie London, but she wanted to sing Rock and Roll. Fats could still hire Miller, but when Miller realizes what Jerri wants, he secretly helps her to become a Rock singer instead. Fats gets angry when he finds out, but when he sees her on stage, he realizes they they  want different things. I feel like this would give Jerri more agency and a reason for her to fall for Miller other than her character is "supposed" to. 

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4 hours ago, Cinco DeNio said:

Question: What can't the girl help?  Seems to me she knew exactly what she was doing for most of the picture.

Also, I only knew the phrase "The girl can't help it" when the song was sampled in Fergie's song Clumsy.  (I didn't know TGCHI was a sample until I saw this movie.  I just thought they had come up with it for Fergie's song.)

 

My wife instantly recognized this song while we were watching. I'd never heard it. Why does Fergie's music suck so much?

 

1 hour ago, Cinco DeNio said:

He gave her a limited vocabulary so she didn't have to remember a lot of big words.  All she had to say was "Ask my agent."

Seriously though, I think it was simply that he didn't see or treat her as a sexpot.

Except for that whole "Can't stop shaking my glass of scotch" meet-cute they had. 

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It's interesting to see a movie where the main point of tension is that a woman doesn't want to be an artist or creator and that the husband won't marry her otherwise. I'm so used to the plot being "Sweetie, it's either me or your career" that having a man demand that his future wife have a creative job in the face of an adoring public was downright confusing to me at first. Usually, the wife has to hide her creativity, not her apron.

I think, if anything, this is the part of the movie that creates the sense that the movie is lampooning early rock -- one might think that someone like Jayne Mansfield should be dying to be famous, and so seeing her only want to be a housewife seems ludicrous because many people in the audience are probably wishing they could be Jayne Mansfield. 

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I really just can't get over that this movie was made to mock rock and roll. Is there another movie made specifically to mock an audience that they realized worked only for that audience? The closest I can think of is Talladega Nights and NASCAR fans but even that  seems like it was lovingly teasing.

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j/k... i feel like this had to have happened with hiphop at some point though.  like there's gotta be some movie that's like 'look at this stupid rap music' when it's actually cool (as ice)

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9 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

j/k... i feel like this had to have happened with hiphop at some point though.  like there's gotta be some movie that's like 'look at this stupid rap music' when it's actually cool (as ice)

The only hip hop parody movies I can think of are Fear Of A Black Hat or CB4 but they are definitely done with love.

Maybe Spinal Tap? I can't tell if that was insulting the audience or not.

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I think it's fair to say TGCHI includes a rebuke to rock and roll in Fats's character. I'll agree that it takes (maybe unintended?) an ambiguous stance to rock and roll. But I think it's ultimately celebrating it as a new and exciting sound and including so many musical acts in 90 minutes. Fats critiques how, in his opinion, the rock musicians can't sing and don't need natural talent as long as they can create something new that people haven't heard before, and maybe the tunes are considered rebuked by Jerri's unwillingness to be part of the music industry. I''m still just not sold that it's main aim was to parody all rock and roll. It parodies Jail House Rock with the Rock in a Rock Yard song, but the filmmakers go out of their way to include and promote the actual stars in the show. 

Query - is there something to be said about the protagonists all being white, and critiquing/appropriating a burgeoning Black style of music? Or am I looking too much into 50's fluff? 

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4 hours ago, The_Triple_Lindy said:

My wife instantly recognized this song while we were watching. I'd never heard it. Why does Fergie's music suck so much?

 

That Fergie song is painful to listen to and the sample is jarringly misplaced. 

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29 minutes ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

Query - is there something to be said about the protagonists all being white, and critiquing/appropriating a burgeoning Black style of music? Or am I looking too much into 50's fluff? 

Hm.  Not at all, in the history of rock, it's definitely a fair point.  I don't know if this movie approaches this very much though, especially because the protagonists are pretty much not dealing with rock music (Fats and the other guy were dealing with Julie London!).  I guess you could argue Fats' "Rock Yard" nonsense hit song does it, but it's so dumb, that I think it probably didn't appropriate enough haha.

There were a couple of black performers, Little Richard and Abbey Lincoln, though I honestly thought they were the two best performances in the film.

I was looking at a timeline.  1955 saw "Rock Around The Clock". 1956 had a Rock Around The Clock movie.  Elvis broke big in 1956.  Little Richard's big hits were around this time too, and same with Chuck Berry.  This movie came out in December 1956.  ("Jailhouse Rock" song and film came out in 1957!)  So this movie was right on the cusp, where I fully believe that they didn't know what was happening re: the culture shift/popularity that the music was causing.  They just knew it was popular, is all.

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7 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Hm.  Not at all, in the history of rock, it's definitely a fair point.  I don't know if this movie approaches this very much though, especially because the protagonists are pretty much not dealing with rock music (Fats and the other guy were dealing with Julie London!).  I guess you could argue Fats' "Rock Yard" nonsense hit song does it, but it's so dumb, that I think it probably didn't appropriate enough haha.

There were a couple of black performers, Little Richard and Abbey Lincoln, though I honestly thought they were the two best performances in the film.

I was looking at a timeline.  1955 saw "Rock Around The Clock". 1956 had a Rock Around The Clock movie.  Elvis broke big in 1956.  Little Richard's big hits were around this time too, and same with Chuck Berry.  This movie came out in December 1956.  ("Jailhouse Rock" song and film came out in 1957!)  So this movie was right on the cusp, where I fully believe that they didn't know what was happening re: the culture shift/popularity that the music was causing.  They just knew it was popular, is all.

I was about to say the same thing regarding “Jailhouse Rock.” This movie was released right as Elvis was becoming a thing. 

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Ok so I genuinely enjoyed this movie. I mentioned it in a comment in the preview section but the line Jayne has about wanting to be a mom but people only seeing her as a sexpot, is in my opinion, a really feminist statement. I know that sounds insane because it's such a 50's idea of the perfect woman who just wants to stay home and have babies but Janye sells it. She sells that she is a genuinely maternal person who loves being domestic and people keep sexulizing her and putting their fantasies onto her and forcing her to be this person.

Which we see literally happen with Fats who won't even let her clean her own house or cook for herself. Girlfriend can't even wear one of her cute (and totally useless) frilly aprons! He just takes all agency away from her. She's like his doll through most of the movie (so I was LIVING or the bouillon scene)  I think it's highlighted best when she's being fitted for her wedding dress. She looks like a literal doll  with no life in her.

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So when they are driving to Long Island to see Fats Murder Museum of Memories did anyone else flinch at seeing that truck in the green screen background with Jayne at the wheel given how she died? I don't think it was the kind of truck that killed her but still... seeing her driving was eerie

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1 hour ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

I

Query - is there something to be said about the protagonists all being white, and critiquing/appropriating a burgeoning Black style of music? Or am I looking too much into 50's fluff? 

I was thinking about something along similar lines: How do you think the non white cast of performers were treated? This movie was made during Segregation. I'm sure they were paid less than the white singers because black performers routinely were. Doubly so for black female performers.

Do you think because it's a film set people were (there is no nice way to put this) less racist assholes? Because they were more used to dealing with different people and were tolerant/ not racist douchebags?  Or did the black performers just stuck together and didn't interact with anyone?  Was the set segregated and if so how much? 

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9 minutes ago, gigitastic said:

I was thinking about something along similar lines: How do you think the non white cast of performers were treated? This movie was made during Segregation. I'm sure they were paid less than the white singers because black performers routinely were. Doubly so for black female performers.

Do you think because it's a film set people were (there is no nice way to put this) less racist assholes? Because they were more used to dealing with different people and were tolerant/ not racist douchebags?  Or did the black performers just stuck together and didn't interact with anyone?  Was the set segregated and if so how much? 

I think that is a good question, especially because part of the reason conservative Americans were so against rock n' roll in the 1950s and 1960s was that black and white kids where, HORROR OF HORRORS, dancing together! At the same show! Maybe even touching! So if part of the reason for rock n roll's popularity, and the vitriol against it, was the natural integration of its audience, maybe that was the same with the performers as well? I know Elvis gets a lot of (deserved) flack for stealing from black artists, but that was also because he legitimately loved black music and loved singing with those artists.

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Just now, Quasar Sniffer said:

I think that is a good question, especially because part of the reason conservative Americans were so against rock n' roll in the 1950s and 1960s was that black and white kids where, HORROR OF HORRORS, dancing together! At the same show! Maybe even touching! So if part of the reason for rock n roll's popularity, and the vitriol against it, was the natural integration of its audience, maybe that was the same with the performers as well? I know Elvis gets a lot of (deserved) flack for stealing from black artists, but that was also because he legitimately loved black music and loved singing with those artists.

I actually started looking up stuff and I just finished this really interesting article in Rolling Stone and they talk about segregated concerts and how rock and roll really did start to challenge Jim Crow laws. 

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/the-rope-the-forgotten-history-of-segregated-rock-roll-concerts-126235/

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10 minutes ago, gigitastic said:

Ok so I genuinely enjoyed this movie. I mentioned it in a comment in the preview section but the line Jayne has about wanting to be a mom but people only seeing her as a sexpot, is in my opinion, a really feminist statement. I know that sounds insane because it's such a 50's idea of the perfect woman who just wants to stay home and have babies but Janye sells it. She sells that she is a genuinely maternal person who loves being domestic and people keep sexulizing her and putting their fantasies onto her and forcing her to be this person.

Which we see literally happen with Fats who won't even let her clean her own house or cook for herself. Girlfriend can't even wear one of her cute (and totally useless) frilly aprons! He just takes all agency away from her. She's like his doll through most of the movie (so I was LIVING or the bouillon scene)  I think it's highlighted best when she's being fitted for her wedding dress. She looks like a literal doll  with no life in her.

This definitely is a feminist idea given how she framed it. I want to do this with my life and men don't see me that way. I would never belittle a woman who actively chooses to be a homemaker. 

But part of me also recognizes, this is a movie written, directed by men and very clearly the male gaze. So, this scene comes across to me as, at best, accidentally feminist. It feels like Donna Reed wanted to be a homemaker on the show but it's also something that was used to hold down women. If women were moved by Jayne Mansfield and admired that scene, that's awesome. Maybe this was a more radical idea to have Jayne Mansfield say this in 1956 than i'm giving it credit for though.

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1 minute ago, grudlian. said:

This definitely is a feminist idea given how she framed it. I want to do this with my life and men don't see me that way. I would never belittle a woman who actively chooses to be a homemaker. 

But part of me also recognizes, this is a movie written, directed by men and very clearly the male gaze. So, this scene comes across to me as, at best, accidentally feminist. It feels like Donna Reed wanted to be a homemaker on the show but it's also something that was used to hold down women. If women were moved by Jayne Mansfield and admired that scene, that's awesome. Maybe this was a more radical idea to have Jayne Mansfield say this in 1956 than i'm giving it credit for though.

Oh totally! It's very much an accident . When the scene first started I was honestly, very annoyed. Like oh of COURSE she loves this stuff because she's the perfect 50's woman! But just the throwaway line of "I'm more than just sexiness" felt to me like that was probably something Jayne had to deal with in real life? I don't know I'm probably reading into it. I just found it very poignant coming from someone who was pretty much sold to the public based on her sexiness. 

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So I just wanted to give a shout out to the costume designer for this. Especially for the red dress for the pub crawl/ powder room trips. His name is Charles LeMaire and he was influential in getting the Academy to have a costume design award. He worked on Broadway for Ziegfeld Follies and did a bunch of movies one of my favorite being his work with Edith Head on All About Eve (he did Marilyn Monroe's dress) .

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1 hour ago, gigitastic said:

Ok so I genuinely enjoyed this movie. I mentioned it in a comment in the preview section but the line Jayne has about wanting to be a mom but people only seeing her as a sexpot, is in my opinion, a really feminist statement. I know that sounds insane because it's such a 50's idea of the perfect woman who just wants to stay home and have babies but Janye sells it. She sells that she is a genuinely maternal person who loves being domestic and people keep sexulizing her and putting their fantasies onto her and forcing her to be this person.

Which we see literally happen with Fats who won't even let her clean her own house or cook for herself. Girlfriend can't even wear one of her cute (and totally useless) frilly aprons! He just takes all agency away from her. She's like his doll through most of the movie (so I was LIVING or the bouillon scene)  I think it's highlighted best when she's being fitted for her wedding dress. She looks like a literal doll  with no life in her.

 

40 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

This definitely is a feminist idea given how she framed it. I want to do this with my life and men don't see me that way. I would never belittle a woman who actively chooses to be a homemaker. 

But part of me also recognizes, this is a movie written, directed by men and very clearly the male gaze. So, this scene comes across to me as, at best, accidentally feminist. It feels like Donna Reed wanted to be a homemaker on the show but it's also something that was used to hold down women. If women were moved by Jayne Mansfield and admired that scene, that's awesome. Maybe this was a more radical idea to have Jayne Mansfield say this in 1956 than i'm giving it credit for though.

All this, plus the fact that the one who wants Georgie to be more than a "nobody housewife" is also the scuzziest character in the whole movie. When she tells Miller that she just wants to keep house, your average 1956 movie-goer probably thought, "Well, yeah, why wouldn't you? Leave music to all these dopey white Elvis wannabes and people of color. Nice girl like you shouldn't have to work a day in your life." Hell, this movie features a woman who is getting married to a music mobster whom she refers to as "Mister" simply because she owes him for getting her father a reduced jail sentence.

Then again, Fats also said that Miller making Julie London a star ruined her life because he made her a star when she didn't want to be one. So in a movie where women have no agency, I'll default to "accidental feminism" ... which is better than no feminism, I guess. 

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I just want to give a quick shout out to the couplet in "Cool It, Baby:" I love your eyes, I love your lips. They taste even better then potato chips.

First of all, I can't think of a less romantic/sexy food than potato chips (except maybe coleslaw). And secondly, it's not entirely clear if it's just the lips that taste like potato chips or if the eyes do too...

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8 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

I just want to give a quick shout out to the couplet in "Cool It, Baby:" I love your eyes, I love your lips. They taste even better then potato chips.

First of all, I can't think of a less romantic/sexy food than potato chips (except maybe coleslaw). And secondly, it's not entirely clear if it's just the lips that taste like potato chips or if the eyes do too...

What about coleslaw with raisins?

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5 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

What about coleslaw with raisins?

tenor.gif

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I don't know if this is the first time I've heard Julie London's Cry Me a River or not but I kept thinking it was Superstar by the Carpenters. I'm no musical genius, but do these songs sound similar to anybody else?

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