On men who cry
The new "War of the Worlds"
flick features two emotional extremes. Child star Dakota Fanning
screams her little heart out. And Tom Cruise
cries. A lot.
For a time, men who threw up on screen were telegraphing their status as sensitive guys. But Cruise is strong enough in his masculinity that he can cry. And cry. And cry again.
All while he tries to save his children from being eaten alive during an alien blitzkrieg
(can you say Muslim terrorist?).
I'm tempted to see the endless flow of tears as Hollywood's shorthand way of outing Cruise's working-class character. But perhaps assuming such shallowness is wrong, and the movie powers-that-be are busting stereotypes.
Except when it comes to class. It's so strong a theme in this movie that, at the very end (shocker! there's a treacly reunion scene), the divorced dad who makes his living operating heavy machinery can't actually bring himself to approach the posh townhouse in which his ex wife, her rich new guy and her parents, have miraculously remained untouched during the bloody invasion. Cruise stands apart.
Ain't that America.