Last night, as I graded exams I popped in one of my favorite Marx Bros. films, A Day at the Races.
When you’ve seen a movie like that as many times as I have, you have time to pause and reflect on the minor elements of the film while watching it. I couldn’t help but be struck at how Groucho spent half the movie fawning over a lady who could charitably be described as “handsome”.
Have tastes in beauty really changed that much? I don’t want to sound like some lecherous jerk, but I had a hard time seeing what everybody was so excited about. The above image isn’t such a bad shot of her, but it isn’t representative of what I saw. During a dance scene with Groucho, for instance, she towered over him and wore a pulverizingly unflattering dress. Her appearance inspired cowardice in me. On several occasions I literally winced in revulsion and desired to leap in front of a swift-moving vehicle.
Oh well. I guess times have simply changed. Perhaps in 2077, somebody will come across my photograph and remark that I make Johnny Depp look like Rodney Dangerfield.
Unfortunately for me, by 2077 Rodney Dangerfield will represent the pinnacle of human beauty and aesthetics, so I’ll still be out of luck.