Salma Hayek and John Lithgow teamed up for the upcoming Beatriz at Dinner. Billed as a dark comedy, the preview looks more like a parody found on Saturday Night Live than an actual movie meant to be taken somewhat seriously.
The plotline of the dramatic comedy has been described thusly:
Beatriz (Salma Hayek), an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, has drawn on her innate kindness to build a career as a health practitioner in Los Angeles. Doug Strutt (John Lithgow) is a cutthroat, self-satisfied billionaire. When these two opposites meet at a dinner party, their worlds collide and neither will ever be the same.
Sounds riveting, doesn’t it?
In the official trailer, Lithgow’s character (who owns hotels) first meets Hayek at a dinner party where mistaking her for the help, he asks her for another bourbon. During the dinner toast, Lithgow interrupts Hayek to ask her if she came to the U.S. legally. Later, Lithgow boldly proclaims what America really needs is more jobs, drawing a direct parallel to Trump’s campaign messaging. Several cuts praise Hayek’s character, calling her a “saint.”
If that’s not ridiculous enough for you, there’s more! Bragging about shooting a rhino, Lithgow passes around his phone, on which is pulled up a photo of himself behind his dead trophy. Hayek throws the phone at him saying, “you think it’s funny?! I think it’s sick!” as she storms off.
The official trailer, if you dare. WARNING: You will not get the 2:29 minutes of your life back if you proceed.
During an interview hyping the film, Hayek referenced the women’s march saying she hoped Trump saw the march for what it was (whatever that means) and concluded by saying “we’re America too”. In other interviews, Hayek said Beatriz at Dinner was meant to highlight two very different perspectives and the difficulty the country currently has speaking to one another, a remarkably fair and accurate point.
Outrage is en vogue and listening and consensus building are traitorous, all to the detriment of a productive, just, society. But I digress…
If the trailer is any indication of the film as a whole, it’s perfectly illustrative of the Hollywood bubble and their perception of somewhat right-leaning Americans. The evil, white businessman, ignorant to the ways of the little people, feelings, and everything else humane, must be taught a lesson via public humiliation so as to correct his wrong thinking.
A film fabulously unaware that it’s attempting to address wrong thinking by demonizing “wrong” thinking. Never change, Hollywood. Never change.
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