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Knight & Day 2


On love & the impediments to happiness

This is obviously a Bond fantasy: Running through beautiful cities doing espionage & seducing beauties. But it is also obviously a comedy. This suggests subtle criticism. Bond is seen through men’s eyes. This comedy through a woman’s eyes. Hence Tom Cruise: His manliness not only leaves room for a woman – he is not aloof – but its purpose is to protect the woman.

What does he do? He destroys her life; he shows her unknown dangers & pleasures. She must choose between the civil peace & the man. A comedy about men cannot blush at war, but it must not be brutal, lest it destroy the protagonists’ charm & make an erotic resolution impossible. It pretends to be everything a Bond movie promises, but cannot offer. A woman’s eyes, apparently, would rather look to happiness than propriety. He is the knight, she is the day. But day already is both night & day…

How does comedy fit with the violence? The woman is drugged into comic honesty. The comedic conceit has her gets herself in trouble to give him a chance to get her out of it. The other part of the action is his righteous wringing of stiff necks, or what is to say the same again, his returning evil to the evil. It is difficult to love a man who loves war… The woman can match, but need not imitate, the man’s powers – he is naturally inclined to action, she to contemplate him. But she comes to admire & fear the man. She stands for lust, he for anger.

Cameron Diaz adds humor to beauty. Men find it easier therefore to withstand her presence – she gives the lie to the opinion that she is a goddess of love. This makes her seem manly, but is a sort of modesty. A woman adored may show or conceal pride – but proud women, the confident beloved, cannot lead a comedy. Their lovers’ or loving audience’s would blush. We see beauty without presumption.

When she stops trusting people, she begins to know herself. Perhaps when the man, busy killing people, steps into the gunfire because he forgot to kiss her we see him changing his mind. Then the bulls come running. We see why men court danger & love motorbikes.

It is not hard to put together the day in the title with the sun, because the ostensible crime committed in the movie is stealing an energy source rivaling the sun. But Tom Cruise treats the scientist like a child; & the poet love those who love the woman, not those who love the battery or bomb or whatever it is. The difficult part is putting the night together with the day.