I love this frame, and I love Michael Bay for it. It is the perfect visual representation of a phenomenon I will refer to as Hollywood’s Blue Balls…pardon my indecorum. Near the film’s opening, Director Bay gets us all excited following the young woman’s caboose up the stairs, in her boyfriend shirt, to Sam’s (Shia LeBouf) room. All this in Bay’s patented Victoria’s Secret mise-en-scene, mind you. After some exposition between the two, which could never justify her affinity for little Louis Stevens, they get a bit frisky on the bathroom sink. As you can see, just as he goes in for a taste, they get interrupted by a little Transformer thing…which shares quite a similarity to those small Men In Black aliens.
What is so spectacular about this particular episode of blue balls for Hollywood, is Michael Bay’s infamous use of the POV shot (might I also remind you of his tasteful POV shot of the missile in Pearl Harbor). It’s as if the couple is about to advance to second base when all of the sudden, they notice there’s an entire audience watching them! This is rather spectacular when you consider the alternative: a medium shot wherein the Transformer comes into view and the couple stop their canoodling abruptly. The latter is Hollywood being coy, making an excuse; saying, “let the alien cock-block them!” But Michael Bay, quite artistically, makes no qualms about unashamedly inserting himself as well as us in the position. It’s a power move that I absolutely adore.
I’m not sure when or who fully developed this device (if anyone), but the Blue Balls scenario usually comes in the beginning of the film, as it does here. That only makes sense; our excitement level ascends, and then consciously or subconsciously we wait the rest of the film for some sort of consummation. More often than not, the film wraps with the hero, after fulfilling his duties to mankind, grabbing his girl as the director or screenwriter inserts a metaphorical sexual innuendo as the iris closes. For instance, my good friend often likes to reference the clever closing scene of Hitchcock’s North By Northwest, which finds Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint free from peril and making out in a train car. Hitchcock subsequently moves outside the train to a final shot of the train entering a tunnel…
BUT HERE, Bay puzzlingly ends with a happenstance marriage proposal out of left field between the couple who haven’t even seemed to legitimately care about each other before now. I’m sure this is ripe for further analysis that would have me in a major digression, but to not lose focus let me finally assert that Bay’s denouement is not only bizarre but a frustrating aberration from the typical case of the Hollywood Blue Balls.