Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New In Town, You Say? Watch Out For The Chap Loitering Behind You Then, He May Be A Local Reprobate

There then, the promotional poster for the film New In Town - well, I couldn't actually find the UK version online for some reason, but this is pretty much it (just imagine a portrait format version of the right-hand side, with a different release date, and that's about it).

This poster (and side-of-bus versions of it) is currently very visible all over London, and I presume other locations; it rather caught my eye because it seems to be a perfect example of a film poster telling you what the film's going to be about. At first, this made me roll my eyes, but on reflection, I'm vaguely impressed by it. I shall explain why.

I knew nothing about the film when I first saw the poster, but from the details on it, I was able to reach a number of conclusions about the general nature of the film - and this isn't some kind of brag about my deductive skills, I think pretty much anyone could reach the same conclusions from the image.

So, the title lets us know she's new in town, and from the looks of the snow and her clothes she's not used to that kind of weather, whilst the lurking man in more suitable attire suggests a local resident, and probable love interest. The general look of the poster - the colours and their expressions - suggests a rom-com, so I guessed that we're looking at a fish out of water story of a woman who finds herself in a small town for whatever reason and eventually finds love there and so on (and m'wife pointed out the posh luggage, which suggests she may be used to the finer things in life but have to get used to a snowbound location or whatever).

Those were our guesses, then, and they're pretty much right, apart from my thought that she might have been stranded there because of transport trouble (as in Just Friends) - it turns out she's posted there by her employers. So the poster had done a good job of conveying the overall theme - and I'm kind of impressed by that, as a lot of poster ads seem not to make much sense unless you've seen the accompanying TV or film spots as well.

However, having concluded this, I rather rolled my eyes, as this sounds like a film which we've seen many times before, and which I can certainly do without seeing again. I was reminded of Jonathan Ross on Room 101, when he said he didn't want to see any more underdog films, as he'd seen that story so many times before.

True, we live at a stage in human history where we probably have access to a greater amount of culture and information than ever before, and that means that if I want to watch a film from 1951 featuring some plucky underdog, I can probably find it on TV or DVD, and go ahead and watch it, without the studios really needing to continue to make such films. I've seen a fair few of these films at the cinema, and like Ross I've probably seen enough of them to be going on with (and I'm not a paid film reviewer), but there's clearly still an audience for those films, as much as I've probably had enough of them. There are, no doubt, people watching underdog films at the cinema now who weren't even born when, say, Rocky was released.

And so, in much the same way, there seems to be an audience for films like New In Town - people less jaded and aged than I who want to see something light and amusing; it looks like a pretty archetypal 'date movie', and there are always people going out on dates, after all. So, having thought 'oh no, not another film like that' at first, I now find myself thinking 'actually, there's an audience for that, and the poster probably does a pretty good job of making it clear what it's about, to that audience'.

Who would have thought that an advertising poster would have made me think so much? Not I (then again, I'm always surprised when anything makes me think at all).

Mind you, I'm not going to be plonking down the hard-earned to actually see the film, so in its main aim, I guess the advert has totally failed.

2 comments:

Stuart Peel said...

Perhaps you're thinking about it too much. And anyway, you aren't the target demographic, you don't have bosoms (except for in that jar that we don't mention).

John Soanes said...

I'm just analysing the way the poster actually works - in a way so many don't; we seem to suffer a surfeit of film posters with floating heads on and the like, which don't really give any clue as to what the film's about (an example of which, I suspect, I will post on Saturday... oh yes, I'm not just making this stuff up without a plan, you know).

J