With David’s graveside talks to his late mother a convention that’s established at the top of the show, this could be a vehicle for some more reflective moments – particularly at the top of Act Two, where a cheap and easy Act One curtain is paid off with the flimsiest of explanations.“Love doesn’t just happen,” an angry Sol tells David during the second act.
If you’ve been on a date, you know that you think in that context about marketing, advertising, and packaging. Generally speaking, you mate with someone who has about as much social capital as you do.
For example, if you are not that good looking, don’t look for a mate in a bar; if you are extremely funny, you might get a better deal at a cocktail party than at church.
David’s unhappiness informs his wisecracks, fueling many of the play’s many laughs, but there’s room for him to display a greater self-awareness earlier on.
The play opens in the cemetery where his mother has just been buried, and he has time for a short, moving monologue before his father enters and the fireworks begin.
But David’s journey is made unnecessarily difficult by what I assume is the playwright’s decision to maintain the character’s prickly unpleasantness to almost the very end.
His transformation is almost Scrooge-like (and thus echoes a story with its own race-hatred problem).
Obviously, different people value different sources of social capital differently, so you can’t just plug your numbers into a formula and look for someone with roughly the same overall score.
For example, a Mormon might find Mormonism to be extremely valuable in a mate, so it would take a tremendous amount of other assets to make up for its absence.
Where David is always attired tastefully, Sol sports screeching plaids. “Dignity is your thing, not mine.”Edie joins them, but the planned lunch trip – “Ground Round,” says Sol.
“I have coupons.” – is scuttled by a quarrel between her and Sol.
If you’re stunning, you should pick someone really good-looking if that matters to you, but if it doesn’t, you might get more for your looks by mating with someone plain.
And you ought to bring your wares to a marketplace that enhances them.
A man might genuinely not value looks all that highly, but when his male buddies get their first glimpse of his new paramour, he can find himself looking at his potential mate through their (imagined) eyes.