I think those who thought the scene was bad (and that includes friends of mine) were like those who sniggered every time Doctor Manhattan's penis appeared on-screen.
I thought the sex scene was bad. But I didn't laugh at Little Dr Manhattan. So you're wrong in this regard.
Simultaneously they found the fetishistic overtones and the seemingly out of place song awkward enough to declare the scene bad, rather than do what any half-educated movie viewer should do: think about it.
Okay, so I've thought about it. And it still doesn't work.
I don't mean you, I mean the people who sniggered at the sex scene like they did at Dr Manhattan's penis. It's not to much of a leap to assume the same people who went "lol penis" went "lol boobs", and the people who went "wtf penis?!" went "wtf fetishistic superhero sex?!"
Snyder knows how to direct a sex scene - 300's was one of the most beautiful ever on screen. But Watchmen's sex scene had a different purpose, so Snyder went about it altogether differently. The "lol penis" crowd don't appreciate this fact, but film isn't random: it has an author (or authors) using its various components to create meaning. So while the famous Reservoir Dogs scene is easier to understand, it doesn't mean Snyder is any less a craftsman, and it doesn't justify the leap required to assume that the scene is bad.
Had you seen the Director's Cut you'd agree (I'm sure) that the Rorschach vs cop bit in the Comedian's apartment was baffling, but I don't think this was.
Starting with the basics it's what's going on in the GN's corresponding scene exaggerated. It's the, ahem, climax of the impotence subplot, one which is unusual for a superhero story to say the least. It's also the counterpoint to The Comedian's attempted rape of Laurie's mother - in both we see the blatantly sexual costumes, which implies certain things about the people wearing them and what the costumes represent. Already, this scene is weird
, and a lot of people weren't going to like it in whatever form it was shown. Credit to Zack, though, he runs with it. He brings to mind S&M, replacing the absent detail of Dan's other
The big sticking point is the song. It takes you by surprise, but I'd argue that fundamentally the song has to be unusual to match the nature of the scene. It couldn't possibly work with, say, a standard romantic score. As for the specific song, well, people think it's nice and perhaps associate it with Shrek. I think a lot of those critics who thought the scene was bad (e.g. Total Film called the song choice "baffling" which goes to show whether they understood it or not) didn't bother to listen to the lyrics - it being a dark, darkly sexual song. I'm satisfied knowing just that, but I'm confident Snyder intended further meaningful links.
Finally, there's one thing we haven't yet discussed, and that's the fact that this is where Laurie and Dan's tender romance culminates. As with 300, the slow motion works. Dan and Laurie are beautifully
lit, and the composition is superb. Take any frame and tell me it's not up there with Art Cinema. My friend commented that he found the scene too long, but if the scene were shorter... well, that might imply something about his sexual performance! Ahem.
Anywho, watching the scene again, it's beautiful. As far as I'm concerned, that's an end of
Dr. Brooklyn wrote:
it was tying it into the rape-revenge stories and making light of a verys erious sub-genre that kind of offended me.