28 March 2005

If you can't be original, at least fake it

Exercise: 30 minutes (dance video)

How much copycatting will you accept in your entertainment? We watched Love Don't Cost a Thing this weekend, which is practically a scene-for-scene remake of Can't Buy Me Love, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So why am I perturbed by the fact that the TV series Kojak has been remade? I can't say which movies/shows/songs are fair game and which should be left untouched, but I know 'em when I see 'em. Love Don't Cost a Thing made a few changes out of necessity (the original is almost 20 years old, after all) but I think they would have messed up if they hadn't kept all the scenes that made the original a cult favorite. With cover songs, on the other hand, if the cover artist sticks to closely to the original then they suffer from the comparison. I just heard Amy Grant's cover of Carole King's song It's Too Late; it isn't bad, but it sounds thin next to the original. Ultimately, I think an artist should be pretty sure that she has something of her own to bring to the table or else don't bother. A well-worn plot can still be enjoyed if the dressing is pretty.
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