This is a reply I posted to a member at a forum who didn't like the movie. Whe I noticed I had written something worthwhile I copied it onto our site.
The review the member quoted and to which I replied contained all of the lines I put in ""
Quote:"No matter how inflated with esteem Lynch becomes, his art isn't so great that it transcends vicious, regressive, conservative meaning. His white working-class identification masquerades as chic nostalgia for fifties-era inhibition and repression. As Lula and Sailor wheel across the Southwest encountering gimpy prostitutes, odious mobsters and porn stars, they're haunted by images out of The Wizard of Oz. Lula and Sailor are trying to get back to the way things used to be; they envision a sentimental, Boy Scout, pop-music America. Lynch retreats into the isolation of fantasy and erotic immaturity where adults are unclean, lecherous monsters."
Looked like this to me the first time, but nah Lynch is doing what he is always doing.
There is no "vicious, regressive, conservative meaning" in the film. What the film states is that it's hard to live in America if you are an ordinary person.
"As Lula and Sailor wheel across the Southwest encountering gimpy prostitutes, odious mobsters and porn stars, they're haunted by images out of The Wizard of Oz. Lula and Sailor are trying to get back to the way things used to be; they envision a sentimental, Boy Scout, pop-music America."
Yes, both are very damaged personalities haunted by the past, who try to flee into a fantasy world. And their idea of the American dream is probably shared by a lot of "ordinary" (adolescent) americans (a sentimental, Boy Scout, pop-music America).
But: "Lynch retreats into the isolation of fantasy and erotic immaturity where adults are unclean, lecherous monsters."
Nope, Lynch doesn't "retreat" into this. The film is a fairy-tale (Wizard of Oz anyone), where the characters retreat into such a world (which is VERY similar to the one envisioned in Blue Velvet btw). Only under the "disguise" of a fairy-tale can Lynch add the Happy Ending to the film. But if you watch closely, the "real" part (and one could also say the movie) ends when Sailor walks away at the end (before he changes his mind).
What I really love about the ending is that Lynch suceeds in adding to a depressive reality a renewed love ON FILM which is granted to the couple only ON FILM (and which perfectly expresses his view of the world). Thinking about our world, the relationship would end when Sailor walks (and it was doomed from the very beginning).
Lynch always likes his characters (even when they don't get away like the schizophrenic in Lost Highway) and keeps them in their own world. He doesn't impose himself on the characters, but on the film. This is what the best directors do.
See Kubrick as a prime example of this. In his films the acting is always top-notch (people who complain for example about the actors in "2001" didn't get the film). But he always leaves them as their own entities who are never a representation of himself in any way.