"What Happens in Vegas" should have stayed in Vegas.
But there is it, blown-up larger than life on the big screen. And my only rational response is, "Why?"
While I haven't seen the Cameron Diaz-Ashton Kutcher rom-com about a couple unhappily wed while on a Vegas bender and then bound together in unholy matrimony over a $3 million jackpot, nothing about the film makes me want to go.
And while the film may in fact turn out not to — what's that that word? — suck, it certainly doesn't look to break any ground.
I feel like I've seen this movie, and countless other recent "chick flick" offerings, before. And, again, my response is, "Why?"
I am a chick and I in no way want to see these flicks.
I guess the problem stems from the whole concept of a chick flick in the first place. Turning an entire gender (and majority gender at that — hello, 51 percent) is problematic at best and darn-right insulting at worst.
The conventional wisdom at the box office today is that women will go to a movie about men but men won't go to a movie about women. And today, the most coveted demographic of all (if the skyrocketing success of Judd Apatow and his copycats is to be believed) is the 14-year-old boy.
No wonder I feel like hurling a brick at the cineplex marquee every time I drive past.
The problems inherent in our current crop of here-today, forgotten-tomorrow romantic comedies (like "The Holiday," like "Over Her Dead Body," like "P.S. I Love You"... if you even remembered them in the first place) is their cookie-cutter approach.
Every story now has a "meet cute" (improbable but adorable way for the intended couple to first meet) or a cutesy concept (She's been a bridesmaid 27 times! He's going to be the maid of honor!).
Just imagine the horror if such classic proto-chick flicks like "It Happened One Night," "His Girl Friday," "The Philadelphia Story" and, yes, "Casablanca" were made today. In fact, you don't have to imagine, because the concepts of so many of the classics have been recycled and reduced for various lesser remakes.
It seems that in an effort to niche market the entire female population, they've forgotten the first rule of making movies for any gender.
Just make a good movie. Period.
Elsewhere around the Scene:
Get Southern rocking as the Marshall Tucker Band returns Thursday to play the Fat Cat Music House & Lounge.
The band — known for hits including "Heard it in a Love Song," "Can't You See" and "Fire on the Mountain — played downtown Modesto's annual outdoor music festival X-Fest in 2006. Opening will be Suicide Shift, the 2007 Modesto Area Music Association Award winner for best blue-collar band.
Show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 524-1400. ...
The personal is political, and at Wednesday's Slam on Rye, so is poetry.
The monthly poetry slam will be sponsored by the Central Valley Democratic Club. Spoken-word artists can compete for $200 in cash prizes. The event is limited to 12 poets (the first seven to enter and five randomly drawn). The night's theme is politics, so poets should focus on social justice, peace, freedom, civil rights, etc.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at Modesto's Prospect Theatre Project. Admission is $5 for poets and the public. For more information, visit www.slamonrye.com. ...
For a taste of the Middle East, try Raquy and the Cavemen, a New York-based group specializing in Arabic music, Tuesday at The Barkin' Dog Grill.
Raquy Danziger, whose father, Robert Danziger, is a music professor at California State University, Stanislaus, is an internationally acclaimed dumbek player who has performed all over the world. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5. Visit www.raquy.com. ...
Mark your calendars and get ready to laugh. The Stanislaus PRIDE Center presents "Live, Love, Laugh! A Night of Queer Comedy" on May 17 at the State Theatre as part of its ongoing pride celebrations.
Performing will be headliner Karen Ripley, along with Dana Cory and Nick Leonard. Tickets are $20 ($30 VIP). Call 527-4697 or visit www. stanislauspridecenter.com. ...
And finally, aspiring animation artists still have time to submit their work to the California International Animation Festival. Entries are being accepted until Thursday for the film festival. The CalAniFest will be held July 16 at the State Theatre. For more visit www.calanifest.com or call 537-5221.