I’ve been preparing an entry on my Five Favourite Examples of Opera/Classical Music Used in the Context of Television or Movies. I’m hoping to post the list soonish, but I’m somewhat preoccupied at the moment: I’ve got an exam, then I’ve got another exam, and then I’m also moving in with The Boyfriend, so there’s a lot to look into.
In the meantime, however, I thought I’d present you with one case of classical music being downright abused by the motion picture media: The use of Chopin in Co-Ed Call Girl.
For some strange reason I have actually seen this movie in its entirety once, about seven years ago. It was so ridiculously bad that it was almost entertaining. The director, obviously disagreeing with me that Tori Spelling is completely devoid of acting talent and should not have been let on 90210 to begin with, has cast Tori as the main character Joanna in this made-for-TV movie from 1996 about a young college girl who’s lured into the call girl business and ends up being in way over her head. An all-American, wholesome college guy, played by Barry Watson from that god-forsaken show 7th Heaven, helps her see the error of her ways, and the movie ends with our co-ed Traviata getting her life back on track, IIRC.
Every single scene of the movie is cheesy and lame and predictable, but the most gruelling scene, and the one that has truly stuck with me, is without doubt the scene in which a paying customer, who happens to be a classical musician of some kind (possibly a conductor), gets Joanna to strip for him while he’s playing Chopin’s Prelude in A Major on the piano.
Now, Tori Spelling stripping is never good news to me. And it seriously does not help things that what we have here may very well be Tori Spelling’s worst look to date: The bizarre platinum hair-dye and extreme make-up only serve to highlight Spelling’s, erm, unique looks, and holy Moses what is going on with that hairstyle? It looks as if all her hair has scampered to the top of her head in an attempt to avoid the Second Flood, and it does nothing for her longish face.
But what really bothers me about this scene is of course the fact that she strips to a Chopin piece. I’ve had that wonderfully sensuous prelude on CD (the excellent recording by Christina Bjørkøe) since my teens and always loved it, but ever since I saw that movie, the piece has been marred by the image of a near-naked Tori Spelling trying to convincingly convey the emotions “Shame” and “Insecurity”.
And now I’m passing it on to all of you, because I’m evil like that.