Thursday, August 24, 2006

So This is What Makes Life Feline...


As a Movie Guy, I admit I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with any genre, even the "chick flick". The genre formerly known as "women's pictures", with a long and illustrious history from Now Voyager to Love, Actually, may not be Jon's ideal Friday night entertainment, Davis hasn't gone out of his way to identify a specific torturous film. Jon is indeed the target audience, a young man on a date, and even if he doesn't find something to enjoy in the movie, he may make good by Liz and the genre is pretty inoffensive anyhow. We've seen Jon mention a love for children's films, and settle in for an evening with Brigette Bardot movies; while there's plenty to sustain male interest in a Bardot picture, most of them aren't Dude Movies par excellence. Choosing a date movie is tricky business anyhow, and most would agree a healthy ability to suck it up and let your date indulge their interests is a good thing. I spend this time to illustrate that it's not Jon's behavior at the heart of the joke.

Garfield witnesses one of the small compromises that happens in all relationships, and gives it a thumbs-down. Granted it is not just Jon's willingness to spend Friday night at a movie he doesn't want to see in exchange for time spent with someone he cares about that Garfield views as emasculating, but Jon's blissed-out zombie state confession that small nuisances don't bother him right now. Garfield's stubborn self-centeredness causes him to draw a hard line in all things: the cat will never do anything he does not want to do, and when his back is against the wall he will sabotage the situation (e.g.- constantly abusing Odie) or complain about it (e.g.- everything Jon does every day). Garfield cops a song title from Cinderella for his sarcastic refrain. It is a song which celebrates approximately the state in which Jon finds himself. Days like this both the guys might be right, but the thing about cynics is they think they're realists.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think Garfield is giving Jon's decision/additude a thumbs-down at all.

I think Garfield is fairly "thumbs-sideways" about the whole situation, and that the humor lies in the mundane nature of the sacrifice. The message is that love isn't always big, flashy, showy; sometimes love can be manifested in little ways. It's a deep message, but Davis has shown said message through Garfield's cynical eyes.

Instead of thinking "how dare you compromise your own interests!", I think Garfield is thinking "so what? So that's love? That doesn't seem so special..."

Anonymous said...

The humor lies in the mundane nature of the sacrifice.

Two problems with this: 1) there is not much humor in this particular strip (moreso than usual) and 2) there is no question mark. If Garfield had said, "So this is love?", I would agree with your assessment. As the punctuationless comment stands--and coupled with his signature scowl--I think Stangl's view is correct.

Aaron said...

Can we infer from Gar's comments that he never really loved Arlene?

Ununnilium said...

Perhaps, though if so I'm sure he doesn't realize it.