— Vincenzo Guzzo (@Guzzo_Vincenzo) October 18, 2014
Last week, I went to see Xavier Dolan’s new film Mommy at one of the Cinémas Guzzo megaplexes. I go there because it’s not far from home, and because it’s inexpensive (at least on Tuesdays), but also to send a bit of a message to Guzzo’s owner that some people do actually want to see arty homegrown films.
Executive VP and public face Vincenzo Guzzo has been repeatedly on record as calling for Quebec films to be more mainstream, more feel-good, more accessible to the general public. He feels that, more than anything else, is what is keeping homegrown cinema from becoming more popular.
And though he could present his ideas with more tact, he’s not wrong on that point.
I like Guzzo because he’s the little guy, a local entrepreneur trying new things in an industry dominated by the Cineplex Odeons and Famous Players of the world, even taking them to court to try to break the oligopoly. And he speaks his mind and is accountable to the public, unlike the heads of those other cinema chains whose names we don’t even know.
But being the little guy also means saying stuff that is foolish, poorly thought out or downright stupid.
Before the screening of Mommy, I saw an ad for a new promotion: Hockey widows, the women left alone while their husbands or boyfriends watch hockey games, could get discounts on tickets at Guzzo.
It seemed like a good idea, though perhaps a bit sexist in its message. Surely there are hockey widowers out there, or other reasons why people might want to go out during a hockey game.
On the website, Guzzo specifies that the deal doesn’t apply Tuesdays or during afternoons (when prices are already discounted). And it says “Ladies only!”
That seemed unnecessary to me. Why impose such a by-definition sexist requirement? What’s the purpose of applying this discount only to women?