Wednesday, January 2, 2013

No Kiss Blogfest: The Ending of Romeo Must Die

For those of you who are here for IWSG, that post came right before this one...

A big thanks and some heart-shaped sugar cookies to Frankie Diane Mallis for hosting the 4th Annual No Kiss Blogfest. Copied from Frankie's page:
The No Kiss Blogfest! This is when you get to write a scene or post one from of your favorite books, movies, or TV shows that show the almost kiss-- the rising, crushing, excruciating, longing, tension that comes  when two characters get oh-so-close to kissing that you can just feel it, want it, NEED it....and then...they don't
I still remember listening to the late R & B singer Aaliyah's "At Your Best" as a schoolgirl and being mesmerized by her sweet voice as she belted out the dreamy ballad. I also remember watching some action movie starring Hong Kong action star Jet Li and thinking HAI-YAAAH! while he worked his martial arts magic. So I was excited to hear that Aaliyah and Jet Li were teaming up to star in Romeo Must Die, a movie title that shouts STAR-CROSSED LOVERS and ROMANCE and of course, KISSING. Lots of KISSING!

At the movie's final scene when the bad guys were taken down and Jet Li and Aaliyah had a moment to themselves, they leaned into each other.....and hugged.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

A source says that the original film had actually shown the two actors kissing at the end, and it suggests the studio changed the ending when an audience who previewed the film didn't like seeing an Asian male kissing the girl.  

I find it troubling that anyone would be disapproving of or offended by a film scene featuring an athletic Asian male kissing a beautiful African American female. It's also unfortunate that the studio execs had a chance to push the envelope in their cinematic storytelling, and didn't. 

So what if it isn't conventional to see an Asian male getting his sexy on in American movies? 

As storytellers, some of the stories we want to share might go against mainstream convention, and that's okay.

If you've watched Romeo Must Die, what did you think of the last scene? What matters to you when you watch a kissing scene in a movie or on TV, or when you read one in a book?


Tammy Theriault said...

I thought we were over racism....I'm all for ethnic heinz 57 mixing

T. Drecker said...

Seriously??? I thought people were pretty much past that. Oh well, guess things like that will always exist.
By the way, I didn't tag you (the big thing)since I wasn't sure you wanted to do it. If you do, let me know and I'll announce it.

Ravena Guron said...

Wowza! When was this film made?

On another note, I hate it when books and films do that. If they create a relationship between two characters, it's like they've made a promise to me that at some point there will be kiss-eyness.

Liv said...

Interesting post. Makes me want to write a story with an Asian guy as the hero...

jaybird said...

I never knew that and I think it's a damn shame that someone's prejudice overshadowed what could have been a beautiful scene. Personally, I would have loved to see them kiss.

Anonymous said...

I remember that. It seems like they hinted at being more then just friends through out the movie. Even her father, seem to except him and then at the end. They hugged. What a cop out. Great post. And, Aaliyah is where I got my name from. She left us to young.

Amalia T. Dillin said...

What. How is that even remotely offensive?! Who cares! That is the most disappointing thing I've heard in a long time, honestly! Thanks for sharing this though, because I think it is important for people to know this stuff happens! Even if I'd like to think we've grown beyond it :-/

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Um wow! I'd never seen that movie before so I had no idea. But thanks for posting...and thanks for my sugar cookies;)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Yikes. I haven't seen the film and had no idea about the decision to change the ending. What the world needs is more tolerance and less prejudice. And we definitely don't need art shaped by opinion polls.

Larissa said...

Wow. Thank you for the informative post! I haven't seen Romeo Must Die. I think I heard something similar about The Pelican Brief: that in the novel, there was some romance between the main characters, but they took it out in the movie because they cast Denzel Washington as the male lead. So so sad and disappointing. :(

But an excellent post. :)

Elise Fallson said...

I haven't seen the film but from what you've described, I'm so disappointed. I don't see what the big deal is AT ALL. Sometimes I feel we're going backwards as a society. ):

Lynn Proctor said...

i didn't know this--a very interesting topic!

Christine Danek said...

Thanks for sharing this. I saw this movie and thought they should kiss. Thanks.

Julie Dao said...

I didn't know about this, but I'm not surprised. It's really too bad. Now I don't want to see this movie b/c I'll probably want them to kiss, just like I always want the characters to kiss in the no-kiss blogfest entries! Haha.

David P. King said...

I notice this happen a lot in Anime, too. Just finished season one of Emma and ended up with the throwing-hands-up-in-the-air-"What was that?!" reaction. There's a season two, and I'm going to hope it'll be worth the investment. :)

Nick Wilford said...

Wonder where they find these people? I've seen a bit of this movie, but not the end. A hug is definitely an erm, anticlimax! (Ahem.)

M.K. Louie said...

Seriously, when I watched the film in theaters, I was disappointed too.

And Jet Li can actually dance... he has to... he's a freaking master in martial arts. With all the flips he can execute, he didn't do squat on the dance floor.

As an Asian and a dancer, I was doubly disappointed. haha

Thanks for making me think as always, Cynthia. Awesome topic and got me a bit nostalgic.

Cynthia said...

Tammy: It's unfortunate, isn't it.

T. Drecker: Feel free to tag me but I might not be able to do a post right away if I do it.

Ravena: The movie came out in 2000.

Liv: Go for it!

Jaybird: Me too!

Sydney Aaliyah: Her early death was very tragic and unfortunate.

Amalia: I hear you on that.

Frankie: You're welcome, and thanks for hosting!

Cynthia said...

Tricia: Good point!

Larissa: I might've heard something about that too!

Elise: I was disappointed too.

Lynn: Thanks!

Christine: You're welcome...and me too!

Julie: I really wanted to see the characters kiss in some of the No Kiss stories too!

David: That's something I can pay attention to the next time I watch anime.

Nick: The hug was indeed anticlimactic!

Mike: You're welcome, and thanks for sharing your thoughts!

C. Issy said...

Urgh, I want to smack the test audience, each and every one of them. I expect the "love filled hug" out of Bollywood, where all kisses have been prohibited, but Hollywood? Really? Great choice for a no-kiss.

Sherry Ellis said...

They definitely should've kept the kiss in the script!

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen this, but I believe they should've kissed.

Stephsco said...

I'm curious whether that's true, about the test audience. I know endings have been changed b/c of viewer feedback, but that seems so asinine, even if the movie is over 10 years old. Then again, Hollywood has a lot of racial issues to overcome. Two of the most recent Oscar nominated films featuring a significant number of African American cast members were about slavery (Django) or segregation (The Help). I give some credit to Tyler Perry for branching out from his campy Madea series to make an action movie this year--we need more diversity in films, not just minorities cast in historical, period films that show the era of slavery and discrimination. Just have a romance with a multi racial cast. Wil Smith is working on that, but even for him in Hancock, the cast was mostly white except for him.

I could go on... but I hear you! Romeo Must Die needed a kiss.

Cynthia said...

C. Issy: Thanks!

Sherry: I agree!

Medeia: Me too!

Stephsco: Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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