In advance of their new romantic comedy, Love and Other Drugs, Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal "bared all" on the cover of Entertainment Weekly
to drum up publicity. But the marketing campaign—as
well as the frequent, casual undress shown in the film—only underscored a
query by Newsweek's Jennie Yabroff, who wondered when movie nudity became a sign of serious, artistic pretensions.
so long ago (in the "Porky's era"), gratuitous nudity was "pretty much
de rigueur for American actresses until they became big-enough stars to
say no," she argues. But "increasingly nudity has become a
self-congratulatory indication of European-style seriousness, an
interruption of the narrative to remind the audience we are watching A
Work of Art." And while movie sex scenes are often filmed casually, they
are "in fact" the most "tensely negotiated" moments behind the scenes.
(Hathaway and Gyllenhaal apparently demanded that the film's director, Ed Zwick,
also disrobe when they shot the film's poster.)
Yabroff isn't in
favor of prohibiting all types of movie nudity. She'd just rather see
explicit nudity in films only when it is "natural" and "necessary" to
character or plot development. And, yes, it can also be "just as jarring
when an otherwise realistic film goes to absurd lengths to pretend the
actors never see each other in less than their underwear or
strategically wrapped sheets," she readily admits.
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