Of course I saw The Two Towers tonight, and of course it was wonderful, and I could blather about what I liked and what could have been done better and what adjustments they made to the book. But what I did not expect was the audience composition at the 3:45pm showing I attended. Sure, there were the hardcore geek fans with their cloaks and scruffy beards. But the most significant, and certainly the loudest, group was the early-adolescent girls with “I [heart] Frodo” painted on their face and pictures of Elijah Wood pinned to their shirt, who serenaded Orlando Bloom with shrieks and hoots when he appeared on the screen or did something exciting. Lord of the Rings has become a teen heartthrob movie, and a corner of me suspects that market segment is how a particularly out-of-character and out-of-genre scene for Bloom came about. The phenomenon is utterly bizarre, and I feel as if these girls are missing the point of the movie. They don’t seem to want to be Arwin or Eowyn, or join in the fantasy or Tolkien’s world. They were the crowd that wasn’t comparing the movie to the book afterwards, though they were fans enough to buy tickets for a show that sold out days ago.
And there is the odd way in which the teenaged girls latched on to the most genderless of the men in the movie. Even as the hero, Viggo got no cheers as his name appeared in the credits — have these girls no eyes???? It’s so easy to forget the appeal of the non-threatening, cute male to an adolescent girl. But then why the lack of love for my favorite hobbit, Sam? He’s sweet and strong and faithful and absolutely adorable to boot. Those girls puzzle me greatly, but at least they are helping support some movies I love for a change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *