I continue to be amazed at life. I consider myself to be rather open minded and that while I can go off on tangents, and sometimes it is just plain fun to play with stereotypes and their place in society, I feel that I keep an open mind. Frequently my words do not match my true feelings but I also am under the delusion that I am amusing to others. Sadly a movie brought my opinion of my thoughts into question. Even sader is the fact that the actor in said movie is not what you would call samaritan. The actor is Johnny Knoxville. The movie is The ringer. Before I had seen the movie I was expecting an over the top comedy that went devilishly close to stepping over the line and perhaps danced across it once or twice. To be frank I was expecting something along the lines of Drawn Together. I was wrong. I was very wrong. When I mentioned that I had recently rented the movie a comment was made “[…] and how is that not exploitation?” I felt at the time that it was most likely a form of exploitation but not to the extent that it would first seem. the only reply i can make to that statement now is until you see the movie keep your mouth shut. Really, becuase you will most likely feel like an ass afterwards. I sure do.
The concept behind the movie is well known. I won’t go into detail about it. What I feel the need to say however; Is, that if after watching this movie, you still feel the disabled actors and athletes were exploited, then you are just as narrow minded as the individuals you believe you are protecting them from. Bottom line is they are disabled but not incapable. A physical handicap is NOT a mental handycap. And a developmental delay does not mean they are stupid or incapable of making a rational decision. It wasn’t until after I saw the movie and went into the special features that I learned that this was a Faralay (sp) brothers film. The same team that brought us Shallow Hal. This gives the film a very large credit in my book because nobody else in Hollywood seems to have the bravery and capacity to make a film that takes their subject matter and makes “fun” of it to the point where the ones truely being made fun of, are actually the people laughing at the supposed subjects.
In addition to this being a Faralay bros. movie it was also %100 supported and endored by the Special olympics. Infact many of the actors in the film were actuially athletes in the Special olympics. These actors were mixed with non-disabled actors seamlessly and if you did not recognize an actor from a previous film it was nearly impossible to tell who was really disabled and who was acting. Kind of like Something About Mary. People still think that the guy who played Wendel was really, lets be frank, retarded.
So please do me a favor shut the fuck up and watch this movie. But really watch. Understand that if you really feel this movie is exploiting the disabled actors that you are infoact even MORE of an asshole for not giving these people (and I MEAN people) the credit they deserve in being able to tell when they are being taken advantage of.
(Note this is not directed at anyone in particular and the individual I quoted just happened to say something that stuck in my mind)