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October 16, 1987 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-16

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Page 8 -The Michigan Daily-Friday, October 16, 1987
'Surrender

4

loses

out to

stereotypes

By Mark Shaiman
In Surrender, Sean Stein (Michael
Caine) doesn't like women. That's
understandable for him: his wife
took him for loads of money, his
live-in girlfriend does the same, and
then a hooker steals his car.
But in Surrender, the writers don't
like anybody. What seems to be a
harmless film turns out to be filled
with discriminatory stereotypes.
This comedy-romance, which has
few laughs and less sensitivity,
could have been cute. Obviously
Caine will fall for his co-star Sally
Field, and learn that he had

previously just picked the rotten
apples. Yet, what this film has to
say makes all women appear rotten.
Surrender does try to convey a
moral message. Caine, a best-selling
author, scorns women because he
feels they only want his money. So,
when he meets Daisy Morgan
(Field), he pretends to be as broke as
the starving artist that she is, and
they fall in love. She is also dating
Marty (Steve Guttenberg), who is a
very well-off corporate lawyer and
jerk. So who does she go for-
money or love?
Money, of course, means Marty.
Love conquers all except money, ac-
cording to this film. Then Daisy

MEN"

Saturday,
Oct.17
Sunday,
Oct.18

The University of Michigan
SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Contemporary Directions Ensemble,
Richard Rosenberg, director
Program includes works of Susman,
Greenbaum and Davidovsky
Rackham Auditorium, 8:00 p.m. Free.
University Band/Percussion Ensemble,
Eric Becher, conductor/Michael Udow,
director
Program includes works by Jacob, Grainger,
Dello Joio and Arnold
Hill Auditorium, 4:00 p.m. Free.

finds that Sean is rich, too, so why
not have it all? Back to Sean she
goes. And the audience is really
supposed to like this woman?
Then occurs one of the worst plot
contrivances I've ever seen: Daisy, at
a casino, wins two million dollars at
a slot machine. Sean earns his
money writing novels; Marty earns
his as a lawyer; and Daisy wins hers
by gambling. Are the filmmakers
trying to tell us something about the
worth of women? Whatever it is, I
don't like it.
At this point, you probably know
what is going to happen, but you're
not likely to care anymore. The
"statement" that the film is trying to
make about power and t h e
overwhelming importance of money
simply goes bankrupt. There is
nothing left to it once one realizes
that the film terribly abuses the lead
female character. By placing her in
the same group as the ex-wife and
the hooker, the moral shifts from a
concern with money to the money-
loving nature of women.
And why should the film stop at
criticizing just women? When Sean
still hates women, he is confronted
between two open elevator doors:
one with a well-dressed beautiful
woman, the other with a large Black
man with a half-open shirt and
equally large and snarling dog. Sean
chooses the latter. This is intended
to be funny, but it is clearly racist.
How about some ethnic bigotry?
There is a stocky foreigner who
works for a company called "Macho
Movers." And Daisy won't even
give him the address of the place to
bring her stuff because he "won't be
able to find it." Sure, Hollywood has
lots of Hills but anyone with a map
and an address can find any place,
especially if that is the person's job.
And the hooker who stole Sean's
car? That was no female prostitute,
it was a male transvestite. There
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Sally Field plays just another money grubbing broad, while Michael Caine wins it all in 'Surrender,' a movie that's
strong on talent but weak in Its morals.

don't seem to be any religious slurs
or political jokes, so either the
writers forgot about them or just
didn't have time to hit upon
everyone.

My only guess is that the box-
office draw of the actors was
ultimately more important than the
script. They are the only redeeming
features of this film, particularly the

ILO N1) 14
11

JS
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supporting roles of Guttenberg,
Peter Boyle, and Jackie Cooper. But
aside from the acting, Surrender
should just give up.
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