Monday, April 16, 2007

Film and Folklore

We've discussed the use of fairy tales and fairy tale themes in the movies in class. There are the Disney "classics" that forever cement one version of a tale in the collective minds of late modern consumers, and there are films that play with fairy tale genres to varying degrees. Julia Robert's Pretty Woman (Cinderella) is such an example.

In many of these films, the fairy tale references are very obvious or even commented upon by the the characters (Julia Robert's character does just that). I saw the DVD Just Like Heaven over the weekend, and I was surprised to find that this film is clearly an adaptation of Sleeping Beauty.

The film stars Reese Witherspoon (clearly the Beauty) and Mark Ruffalo, two people who need to be loved and saved from themselves. Sleeping Beauty is eventually awakened by Ruffalo's kiss, yet the film made no other direct references to the fairy tale. It is one of the best film adaptations of Beauty and the Beast that I have watched, however.

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