Pour me another coffee, stat! We watched the new version of Rocky Horror last night, and then the old version – just until Frank shows up and sings his first song – and now I just want to finish this coffee and then climb back into bed for another couple of hours.
I was on the fence about watching it… I can see why a new version would be a good thing for a lot of people who don’t see themselves represented in the original… but I was worried the cast was going to be too young and too pretty-perfect for me to get into (I was right). Still, it didn’t, like, ruin my childhood or anything. Here’s what I said over on Facebook –
It wasn’t awful… it just wasn’t mine. I’m genuinely glad this version is out there so that young people who are maybe unsure of who they are can see it and see themselves – see themselves represented in gender or sexuality or color or temperament – and through that find their feet a little bit more firm on their path. If this is the movie that turns someone’s life around, for the better? Lovely! And I’d love to think that a whole new generation is going to fall in love with the music and the characters just like I did, and that it’ll mean something to them growing up. I’m sad that they might not get the sense of community, of going to see it in the theater with a bunch of like-minded people who also feel they’re on the outskirts, but I’m genuinely glad this version exists for them.
Having said that… everyone was too beautiful. One of the things I liked about the original was that everyone – Tim Curry included, and I love me some Tim Curry – wasn’t supermodel perfect. To me that meant that even dorky/loner/weird people can claim their sexuality and shine brightly by finding themselves and exploring their own individuality. And everything was very showy, very… as if they were pointing towards it going “ISN’T THIS COOL, YOU GUYS! HEY! HEY! HEY! THIS IS SO COOL! WE’RE SO DIFFERENT AND EDGY OOOOOO!”. And if this was different, new… then why were almost all the lines exactly the same, and delivered with almost the exact same intonations and beats? Trust me, I’ve seen Rocky Horror more than 100 times, I could tell what was said exactly the same way. If you’re going to make it different, commit to that! Otherwise you’re just dressed up and doing the show in front of the movie screen for the audience, like I used to do at the old Oaks Mall 6 on Friday nights. And the obvious lip-syncing in parts made me sad.
So, I liked it, but I didn’t like it for me. I hope that makes sense. I really, truly, deeply hope that there are kids out there who see this version and it becomes a deep part of their lives, the foundation upon which they can begin to be, not just dream. But it won’t be the version I return to again and again.
And that’s about as chatty and thoughtful as I can get without another cup of coffee in me. Coffee, ho!
Edited to add: I just now realized that by staying up late and watching the original after the remake, we did in fact literally make it a “science fiction double feature picture show.” YOU’RE WELCOME.