As I suspected, a film that pairs Cameron Diaz and Colin Firth makes for intriguing synergy.
Here's the thing. It works.
In a nutshell, "Gambit" is a Joel and Ethan Coen penned comedy about a Texas gal (Diaz) - fish out of water formula - who connects in an art swindling scheme with the art curator (Firth) for a wealthy, arrogant and rude British collector. It's a remake of the Shirley MacLaine-Michael Caine "Gambit" of 1966. Enough said.
The film is stylish and pleasant and worth the $1.20 Redbox fee. Actually, I'm paying a bit more than that because I've had the DVD for a few days. No matter.
I'm writing because once again, through this film we're seeing art, in this case, a touted, $11 million Monet painting, portrayed in elitist, rarefied circles. It reinforces the fait accompli brainwashing that the public continues to get about art and how it's for a very select few.
Everyone wants to make money from art: artists, art dealers, art museums, art consultants and writers, you name it. This keeps contemporary art locked up tight in the misconceptions that most people have about the accessibility or shall I say, inaccessibility of art. Because everyone wants to make as much money as they can from art - including everyone in "Gambit" - it keeps art trapped in this mysterious bubble of exclusivity perched up on Pluto in the minds of people.
Add to that ... the fact that arts education doesn't really exist in public schools anymore and the belief that many people have that art just isn't important and ... well ... you know. Here we are.
"Gambit" is a cute, funny film that was a nice little Sunday diversion for me. Nothing more, nothing less. I must admit though that I am getting a little tired of seeing Colin Firth playing the stiff, upper-crusty WASP who is always mocked and made fun of. Whatever.
Still, it just burns my ass that art continues to be portrayed in this overly pretentious, "only for rich people" way. Could that be one of the reasons why this film tanked?