Saturday, March 12, 2011

Red Riding Hood...My thoughts...

I went to check out Red Riding Hood last night. It's directed by Catherine Hardwick, director of the first Twilight movie and I was curious about what she would do with this fairy tale-turned-cinematic-event. The book has been updated in a new form, called Red Riding Hood (eliminating the word "little") by 22-year-old Sarah Blakely-Cartwright. She's a family friend of Hardwick and Hardwick suggested she write a book to tie into the movie, thus Blakely-Cartwright wrote the book based on the screenplay. If that's not a case of "it's who you know", I don't know what is. We should all have that kind of a hookup!

The first thing I noticed was the Twilightesque feel of the opening and in the landscape. By this I mean the sweeping camera shots filmed high above a forest landscape and misty mountains. There was even a scene of "Red"( named Valerie in the film), with one of two love interests, laying in a meadow-like environment. I quite liked the scenery. I thought it was very pretty, and mystical; it was the ideal fairytale look.

Red kissing Henry. He's cuter than this picture
I'm sticking with calling the main character Red, though I know she's called Valerie in the movie.  Valerie just seems so wrong...I'm not sure why I feel like that, but I would have preferred a softer name, I don't know, maybe a Julie, Julia, Mary! Valerie just sounds too modern or something! Anyway, Red is torn between two boys, one a childhood friend, Henry, who's essentially penniless and the wealthy boy she's betrothed to, Henry. Both guys were sweet so it was a total toss-up as to who should get her to me, but I guess I was leaning toward the childhood buddy; after all, a guy shouldn't be excluded from love just because he's broke! Lol...It is here that I felt the movie missed it's moment.

I think the intent of the movie was to appeal to Twilight fans and girls that are looking for the next angsty love story, but here's the problem: It didn't really explore the relationship between Red and the two boys. Their connection felt rushed and superficial. There was potential, but it was never delved into. The story became focused on discovering the identity of the wolf (werewolf) and that was fine, but it would have had more meaning if it connected with Red and the boys with greater depth. I kind of had to invent more meaning in my own mind as I watched, because the love triangle was somewhat neglected on screen. This was especially the case with Henry, the wealthy boy Red was engaged to. They hardly had any intimate (or otherwise) interaction together.

There was a village celebration and Red and her old buddy Henry were at odds: he's dancing with some other girl and Red, in anger grabs her BFF and starts dancing with her, but it was kind of a sensuous, girl-on-girl action. I didn't get it. Maybe it was a nod to the gay populace, but it felt gratuitous, weird and out of place in this kind of a story. It just didn't feel organic or real to the story at hand. In the time period of the story, no one would have been openly gay. 

Now, this being said, I still enjoyed the movie and there were some heart-stopping moments as the wolf did it's thing, wrecking havoc and making it clear he wants Red. Bad. It will have you wracking your brain to figure out who the wolf is.

It was an enjoyable movie, but I wished it could have plumbed the depths more and went deeper into exploring the romance triad. That could have made it closer to awesome. So, nope. The next Twilight is not to be found here...too bad....



  1. I hadn't really thought about watching this movie till I read your review. About halfway through, I wondered: Will she rank it good enough to watch? I'm glad to see the answer is yes, for in the end, I'll always be drawn to (watchable) paranormal stories! Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

  2. Yeah Deb, go check it out. I mean, it was certainly a fun show, it just could have been so much more...thanks for your interest in what I had to say!

  3. I think I will wait til it comes to Netflix...but I really do want to see it...

  4. Netflix is a good way to check it out Patty.

  5. I have contemplating this move as well. Thanks for the review.

  6. It's worth seeing Kari, definitely entertaining.


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