Author: has written 250 posts for this blog.

Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

44 Responses

  1. matlun
    matlun September 21, 2011 at 1:12 am |

    Romantic comedies are definitely chock-full of stereotypes, but isn’t this much the same regardless of gender? Many, many of these movies are just populated with stock characters.

    Still: I actually like quite a few romantic comedies.

    (Btw: Twilight as a romantic comedy?)

  2. Josselyn Berry
    Josselyn Berry September 21, 2011 at 1:41 am |

    I agree with the view that Hollywood’s continues to miss the mark. I can never relate to the women I see portrayed in most mainstream romantic films. (I.E. Sweet Home Alabama, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, The Break Up…) Instead of acting like adult women they act like children; they refuse to communicate, bicker and pout when things go wrong. I can’t speak for every woman, but I know my female friends do their best to handle their relationships maturely with clear communication. I especially hate it when a woman has a great career in a film, but the need for a relationship always arises. Yes, having a partner in life is wonderful and supportive, but not a necessity. I have several single, female friends who are ecstatic at where their life is.

  3. Eneya
    Eneya September 21, 2011 at 3:36 am |

    That’s kind of mean… Twilight is written by only one woman.
    why equating her to the ever-horrible horde of unpleasant characters who create rom coms in Hollywood? :) I mean, yes, I don’t like Twilight but she isn’t a professional writer unlike some gem-pieces out there.

  4. Jackie
    Jackie September 21, 2011 at 5:49 am |

    I find it irritating that people will say horror films are mysogynist, yet romantic films are okay. Romantic films assume that the female main character will eventually, fit into the stereotypical female role by the end of the film. The storyline typically is the woman has some sort of undesirable, as in non-stereotypical to women, trait about them that is fixed by them finding a relationship. If that isn’t the case, then the film is about a woman-child, giggling their way through the film, doing silly things like “Oops I forgot to wear a belt, and now my pants fell off my butt!” kind of things. That airheadness I guess is supposed to be endearing? Really, it’s cute when a woman can’t even manage the basics of dressing herself. Let alone that it suggests women are silly airheads, who don’t know what the heck they’re doing.

    Now, with horror films there are women who face horrible situations, and manage to kick butt and show incredible bravery despite their circumstance. Sure, okay people will say “Don’t horror films inspire violence towards women?”, there’s a reason they’re called horror films. People are supposed to be horrified at the actions of the bad guys. I could see more of an issue with romantic films, suggesting that no means yes, because tee hee, the silly daft girl doesn’t know what she wants. Rather then a horror film, where when a woman says no she means no, and if you don’t get that she will kick your butt.

    So yeah I’m much more of a fan of horror films, films that show strong women dealing with terrifying situations, and managing to handle things without a big strong man to help them. It’s much better than a romantic film where, what’s the woman’s biggest accomplishment? Getting laid?

  5. Gomi
    Gomi September 21, 2011 at 7:44 am |

    Regarding #9, that trope goes back to Austen, and further I’m sure. Not just with women, but with men too. It’s one of the cop-out positions for a romance story. More than Hollywood’s image of women, I think that one’s lazy story telling in general.

  6. Vail
    Vail September 21, 2011 at 8:32 am |

    The Catwoman movie is a prime example of Hollywood missing the mark on “what women want.” I wanted to see a lot more explosions, cool action stunts, and Catwoman kicking ass. Oh and a villain who’s super power is better then having “good skin.”* Oh and a costume that covered her body would have gotten bonus points.

    *Yes I know she had more then that, but come on, I wanna see a Joker level bad ass not a CEO of a cosmetics company.

  7. Rachel
    Rachel September 21, 2011 at 9:07 am |

    Agreed! Yes, I do enjoy rom-coms. But only to a certain extent. And as long as they don’t insult my intelligence. I find that “Kate and Leopold” is a pretty good one.

    Also, I like how Twilight is just a category on it’s own. Definitely no explanation needed.

  8. Ulgaa
    Ulgaa September 21, 2011 at 9:20 am |

    Number 10 says it all.

  9. Eli
    Eli September 21, 2011 at 10:49 am |

    Also if your career is very important to you – apparently you are controlling evil bitch and breunette.At least according to the film “Arthur”.There were so many stereotypes in this movie – the naive/dumb good-hearted blonde with the noble dream of becoming author of children books, the controlling evil career-driven bitch.At the beginning the film was funny-a young rich heir is forced to marry an evil woman he doesn’t love,falls in love with a kind-hearted funny woman which comes from poor family.The film becomes ugly when I realised that the evil woman was actually no-nonsence career-orientated person which has clear goals ahead of her and quite difficult path in the construction business.She wants to marry him because as a wife of the heir of the firm in which she works,she can finally become something like CEO(nowhere in the film it is said or implied that she is not qualified for the position,on the contrary – her methods show that she would be a good leader).And apparently she couldn’t be promoted at such position otherwise I doubt that she would like to marry the spoiled drunk and dumb clown/playboy.The worst scene in the film is when Arthur waited till the last possible moment – at the altar of course ,to ditch his fiancee for the woman he “loves”(apparently not enough considering that he waits so long to stop the wedding) and then everyone is so shocked when his fiancee attacks him-come on,he shattered all her plans and dreams,now she is jobless(I seriously doubt that she would continue working in the same firm),probably she will have build her career from the bottom,also she was humilated in front of all her friends and family.And she is the evil character of the movie?!? WTF.

  10. LC
    LC September 21, 2011 at 10:53 am |

    Women love it when you bring it all out in public. If you’ve screwed up with a woman and she won’t talk to you, the way to her heart is to corner her in a public place and pour your heart out in front of Jesus and all Manhattan.

    Oh dear GODS, does this one piss me off. Drives me nuts every time I see it, with the slight exception of it having been set up properly storywise.

    The one we’re meant to be with? That perfect match? Our soulmate? Has been right there all along, and we didn’t even see.

    Yeah, hello NiceGuy(tm). However, one of my favourite versions of this was in Four Weddings and a Funeral, where it is the woman who has been waiting around like this for the Hugh Grant character. And she finally admits it, and he’s sad, but kind, because this doesn’t mean they should be happily together now. So it is awkward, and bittersweet, but they’re friends and they work through it and it is implied in the end that she finds someone else awesome and they all stay friends.

    I appreciated that because it made me notice that I almost NEVER see that story done that way. (Admittedly, it was a side story of the main one, so that’s probably why they got away with it.)

    Incidentally, while it is pretty bad in many ways, Not Another Teen Movie does a nice takedown of the romantic teen comedy types, including the two rivals for the lead’s affections explaining to each other why they will win. One is the Guy Who Was There Under Her Nose All Along, the other is the Bad Boy Who Has Been Redeemed By Her Love. And yes, those are the arguments they use.

  11. Esti
    Esti September 21, 2011 at 11:40 am |

    So I agree with all of these criticisms, but I think the problem is not so much with romantic comedies (which, after all, is not even a category that Twilight falls into, as it is only unintentionally funny). The problem is with *bad* romantic comedies, and bad movies generally. I mean, I hate the bad romantic comedies (particularly of the Hudson/Heigl variety) as much as anyone, but it’s not like the bad action movies or bad dramas are any better. Crank 2 (which yes, I saw) is not really providing a less stereotypical or more relatable female character than Bride Wars, as hard as that might be to believe if you’ve seen the latter.

    If you think of the good romantic comedies — When Harry Met Sally or Love, Actually or You’ve Got Mail (which I will defend to the death against anyone who claims it’s not a good movie!) or Waitress — you see real people with real jobs and real flaws, and they manage to be funny and sweet without being wildly patronizing or insulting. And when they’re good, they involve women in starring roles playing characters who matter to the story and who are fully realized. Whereas even the great movies in other genres often feature a single female character who is never developed beyond the broadest strokes and who exists solely to be desired and/or to be refrigeratered. (I’m looking at you, Chris Nolan, but you’re certainly not alone in having that problem.)

    That being said, I get where you’re coming from in that I often get more annoyed by something like Bride Wars than by a shitty action movie because it’s ostensibly aimed at female viewers and it still buys into that crap. At least with terrible action movies you can tell yourself it’s because the studio is ignoring people like you.

  12. Kaz
    Kaz September 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm |

    But if you run it backwards, Kate ditches the distracting boyfriend, her apartment gets clean, her sister comes to pick up her kid, and she’s able to focus on the work she loves.

    Oh man, I’m going to have to do this with so many movies now. I can think of a few that would be improved this way.

    #7 may be my least favourite of all these, as someone who is pretty career-driven, but above all romantic comedies get my goat because they’re so ridiculously heteronormative. I’m pretty sure the whole “oh, she says she doesn’t like him now but we all know she’ll be in love with him by the end of the film” thing annoys everyone whatwith the woman not allowed to actually, genuinely not be attracted to the guy in question thing, but there may be a special brand of frustration here when you’re queer. Part of me always hopes for the main character to smack the guy down with “no, seriously, I’m not attracted to you, I’m not attracted to men now leave before I call the police on you for stalking” and then either go on being awesome and single or possibly get together with her female best friend. >>

  13. matlun
    matlun September 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm |

    Vail: The Catwoman movie is a prime example of Hollywood missing the mark on “what women want.

    I do not think women were the primary target audience for that movie.

  14. Ladeeda
    Ladeeda September 21, 2011 at 12:12 pm |

    I blame Hollywood for my thinking in high school that grand public gestures of romance would be received well by the young women in whom I was romantically interested.

    And so I was shocked — and even a bit frustrated and bitter — when each and every one of those demonstrations failed. Here I was pouring my heart out for God and all the world to see, so why doesn’t she like me back, dammit?? And I admit that it inspired a bit of Nice Guy syndrome that it took me years of maturing and privilege-examining to get over.

    Hollywood sucks.

  15. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig September 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm |

    God, do I hate romantic comedies. I think the last one I saw was the Proposal, but, yeah, the stereotypes irritate me. If that’s love, I’ll take a pass, thanks. Although I do like rom-coms from other countries- French rom-coms are the best.
    And Twilight, hah! No redeeming value there. I’m trying to organize a Halloween movie marathon, and I told my friends that any copies of Twilight they brought (movies or books) would be burned.

  16. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos September 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm |

    (Btw: Twilight as a romantic comedy?)

    Well, it IS hilariously awful.

  17. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. September 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm |

    I like rom-coms. *shame* They’re mindless drivel sure, but as background noise for working they are awesome. But, I don’t think of them as about “people”. There are no real people involved in rom-coms. Its like watching tom and jerry. They’re cartoons. Which doesn’t lessen the sexism.

    I would add to the list that they portray friendships between women as if we never progressed past slumber parties and malls. There’s always pjs, yogurt, shopping and hair products involved. I rarely see two women relating to each other the way I relate to my friends, you know…like people with shared interests.

  18. Meredith L.
    Meredith L. September 21, 2011 at 12:39 pm |

    I know it’s anti-feminist of me to say so, but I kind of like romantic comedies.

    I know. I KNOW! I know, for all the reasons above plus the 6 listed on Cracked.

    But!

    Life is rough. We don’t get a lot of breaks. Sometimes we have to take our little pleasures where we can get them, and after a while of feeling beaten up by life and spending all day fighting the good fight while fighting with my 3-year old and taking arms against a sea of troubles, all I want is to watch Sandy get her man.

  19. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin September 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm |

    I have to say that I have largely given up on romantic comedies because they do use these same stock cliches. And these have always existed to some form or another.

    A good art film can be relied on to be more realistic, but then there’s always the risk that the woman in the film is the screenwriter/director’s fantasy or used to make some heavyhanded point.

  20. Charlotte
    Charlotte September 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm |

    http://eatthattoast.com/2011/09/nice-guys/

    I know it’s been done before, but I love this comic strip. And I think someone, somewhere, told me/wrote an article claiming that almost all romantic comedies are written, directed, produced, and cast by men, because Hollywood is kind of a male zone. Lifetime original movies may also suck, but it’s interesting that women don’t tend to randomly fall for their platonic BFFs in them.

  21. karak
    karak September 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

    11. We love men that exhibit abusive or stalker behavior. There’s nothing sexier than a man than continually shows up, threatens to humiliate us, often startling or frightening us while doing so.

    27 Dresses has one of my favorite montages scenes of all time, where she tries on all the dresses. The rest of the film is like the beginning of a Lifetime Original move that’s going to end very, very badly. Her “boyfriend” scares the crap out of me in that film–he steals her planner and writes himself in, then shows up everywhere she’s going because HE KNOWS HER SCHEDULE. I would have maced him.

  22. Emmie
    Emmie September 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm |

    Eli: Also if your career is very important to you – apparently you are controlling evil bitch and breunette.At least according to the film “Arthur”.There were so many stereotypes in this movie – the naive/dumb good-hearted blonde with the noble dream of becoming author of children books, the controlling evil career-driven bitch.At the beginning the film was funny-a young rich heir is forced to marry an evil woman he doesn’t love,falls in love with a kind-hearted funny woman which comes from poor family.The film becomes ugly when I realised that the evil woman was actually no-nonsence career-orientated person which has clear goals ahead of her and quite difficult path in the construction business.She wants to marry him because as a wife of the heir of the firm in which she works,she can finally become something like CEO(nowhere in the film it is said or implied that she is not qualified for the position,on the contrary – her methods show that she would be a good leader).And apparently she couldn’t be promoted at such position otherwise I doubt that she would like to marry the spoiled drunk and dumb clown/playboy.The worst scene in the film is when Arthur waited till the last possible moment – at the altar of course ,to ditch his fiancee for the woman he “loves”(apparently not enough considering that he waits so long to stop the wedding) and then everyone is so shocked when his fiancee attacks him-come on,he shattered all her plans and dreams,now she is jobless(I seriously doubt that she would continue working in the same firm),probably she will have build her career from the bottom,also she was humilated in front of all her friends and family.And she is the evil character of the movie?!? WTF.

    Hey Eli, I’m glad you brought up the hair color stereotypes because they are so ridiculous! I absolutely DESPISE the blonde hair stereotype, because I’m a naturally blonde myself. And I hate how in a lot of comedy movies, the blonde hair women are always portrayed as either dumb, or the shallow villians. It pisses me off so much! The stereotype is not true and never was!

  23. Heather
    Heather September 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm |

    Kristen J.:
    I would add to the list that they portray friendships between women as if we never progressed past slumber parties and malls.There’s always pjs, yogurt, shopping and hair products involved.I rarely see two women relating to each other the way I relate to my friends, you know…like people with shared interests.

    All I do with my friends is paint each other’s nails then call boys and hang up. Then we eat cookie dough because we ate yogurt yesterday and it totally cancels out *nervous giggle*.

    (One part of this story is true. It’s the part where we eat cookie dough. The yogurt part is a lie.)

  24. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve September 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm |

    It’s weird that some of my favorite romantic comedies (Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, The Lady Eve, to name but a few…) all seem far less sexist yet were made around 70 years or so ago.

  25. Fine
    Fine September 21, 2011 at 7:08 pm |

    I agree with the OP in terms of contemporary rom coms. But, if we turn back the years to the screwball comedies of the ’30s and ’40s I think we find a very different story. Rom coms had actresses like Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Jean Arthur, Greta Garbo and Claudette Colbert, amongst others. Who were allowed to be smart, witty, vivid characters. Sometimes they were driven ‘career women’. Check out Rosalind Russell in ‘His Girl Friday’ in which she wants to ditch her career as the best journalist in town for marriage to a dull man and life in the suburbs. The whole comedy centres around her ex, played by Cary Grant, deviously manipulating situations to ensure this doesn’t happen. She ends up with a great career and Cary, with no issues about her being able to have both.

    Sometimes the women were scatter-brained socialites, sometimes hard-working shop assistants. But whoever they were, the films never humiliate them for their choices.

  26. Jane
    Jane September 21, 2011 at 8:49 pm |

    Oh man. My problem with romantic comedies is that I think I SHOULD like them, because I like Disney movies, and they’re like grown-up Disney movies, right? A lot of times I want to watch something that I KNOW will end happily (well, for a certain value of happy), and (somewhat frequently) romcoms will feature nice scenery (Paris, Venice, what have you), of which I am a fan.

    That being said, I have been metaphorically punched in the face by awfulness too frequently when watching romantic comedies to not proceed very, very suspiciously. At this point I would almost rather watch a horrifically sad movie than one where I suspected the writers, producers, etc. were just trying to see how much shit they could pull over on the audience.

  27. Fine
    Fine September 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm |

    Fat Steve:
    It’s weird that some of my favorite romantic comedies (Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, The Lady Eve, to name but a few…) all seem far less sexist yet were made around 70 years or so ago.

    Fat Steve, I recently spent a few days on the couch with bronchitis and re-watched the films on your list, plus ‘Ninotchka’, ‘Midnight’ and ‘To Be or Not To Be’. What a feast of fantastic, funny women. I also recommend ‘Stagedoor’ which is like ‘Sex and City’ set in the ’30s. Except it’s so much better. Plus the cast; Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball and Eve Arden. It’s marvellous.

  28. Hanna
    Hanna September 21, 2011 at 11:07 pm |

    I loved some Rom-Coms of the 90′s. The Truth About Cats and Dogs and A Life Less Ordinary come to mind. So I find myself going to newer Rom-Coms hoping for that kind of thing. But the sexism is out of control now, and i swear much worse. After seeing 27 Dresses, the Proposal, Bride Wars, and the Ugly Truth, each more horrifying than the last, I swore off them. I will not pay money to be insulted like that.

  29. DouglasG
    DouglasG September 21, 2011 at 11:12 pm |

    To the poster who invoked Miss Austen, she worked that angle from both sides, and more completely the other way around. Mr Knightley, after all, isn’t in love with Emma at the beginning, whereas Fanny Price is eternally devoted to Edmund Bertram from about two days after she comes to stay at his home (as is Frederica Vernon to Reginald de Courcy). One of my greatest points of taking issue with adaptations is in their insistence on ruining Marianne Dashwood by making her fall in love with Colonel Brandon before she marries him instead of afterwards.

    The “fat sister” illustration gave me an idea. It might actually be possible to write a piece (length to be determined) titled Everything I Say About Women in Film I Derived from Toni Collette – however, although she’s been in more of the films about which I could go on at great length than anyone else, I’d need to see a larger sampling of her work before being able to do the title justice.

    Closing on a sad note (and a film in which Ms Collette appeared), I am not sure that I’ve actually seen a film since *The Hours,* (not a comedy, alas) almost entirely because I have not yet recovered from when the three leads appeared on Oprah and Ms Winfrey gushed with sympathy for Nicole Kidman about how horrible it must have been to make herself SO much less attractive in order to portray Virginia Woolf. It seems unlikely that anyone whose opinion I respect shares that particular subjective opinion, but far more importantly, the thought of living in a world in which the greatest of talents wouldn’t be straining at the leash to jump through hoops far more tribulational than a prosthetic nose in order to represent such greatness of genius makes me long to be Martian.

  30. scrumby
    scrumby September 22, 2011 at 5:06 am |

    If you think of the good romantic comedies — When Harry Met Sally or Love, Actually or You’ve Got Mail (which I will defend to the death against anyone who claims it’s not a good movie!) or Waitress — you see real people with real jobs and real flaws, and they manage to be funny and sweet without being wildly patronizing or insulting.

    You’ve Got Mail is the ultimate neo-conservative rom com bashing alternative lifestyles, disparaging sex in favor of romance, and ultimately establishing that woman’s place and happiness can only be found in subservience to a man.

  31. laxsoppa
    laxsoppa September 22, 2011 at 7:59 am |

    Eneya: e

    Since the post dealt with movies, I think that the author was referring to the Twilight movies (written by a team of Hollywood writers), not books (written by that one woman).

    Also, being critical is hardly the same as being mean.

  32. Andie
    Andie September 22, 2011 at 8:18 am |

    I’d add 11. It’s totally cool to be a geek, as long as you’re a geek that lives up to conventional beauty standards.

    Meaning: I fucking hate pygmalion type stories, where male protagonist falls in love with female protagonist only after he realizes that all her geeky/uncultured/whathaveyou qualities are awesome because guess what? under the glasses or whatever she’s actually really HOT.

    Every time I see She’s All That I want to gouge my eyes out and I become very glad that neither Rachel Leigh Cook or Freddie Prinze Junior have much of a career anymore.

    I do kind of miss Matthew Lillard though.

  33. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve September 22, 2011 at 11:16 am |

    scrumby: You’ve Got Mail is the ultimate neo-conservative rom com bashing alternative lifestyles, disparaging sex in favor of romance, and ultimately establishing that woman’s place and happiness can only be found in subservience to a man.

    I’m not familiar with You’ve Got Mail enough to defend it, but not all romantic comedies are like that. The Wedding Banquet springs to mind as an immediate example.

  34. Sanoe
    Sanoe September 22, 2011 at 11:49 am |

    “You’d think we’d be self-aware enough to see what’s right there in front of our faces, but no. Here’s a person we’ve always seen as a friend, waiting patiently–sometimes even giving us romantic advice–while we pursue one failed relationship after another, and we’ve never looked at him/her with anything but the most platonic eye.”

    Him/her? Are there actual lesbian romantic comedies with this premise?

  35. Esti
    Esti September 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm |

    scrumby: You’ve Got Mail is the ultimate neo-conservative rom com bashing alternative lifestyles, disparaging sex in favor of romance, and ultimately establishing that woman’s place and happiness can only be found in subservience to a man.

    …what? I’m trying to figure out what in that movie could possibly lead you to think it bashes alternative lifestyles, disparages sex, or says women need to be subservient to a man, and I am honestly coming up blank.

  36. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve September 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm |

    Andie: I’d add 11. It’s totally cool to be a geek, as long as you’re a geek that lives up to conventional beauty standards.

    Meaning: I fucking hate pygmalion type stories, where male protagonist falls in love with female protagonist only after he realizes that all her geeky/uncultured/whathaveyou qualities are awesome because guess what? under the glasses or whatever she’s actually really HOT.

    Yes, kind of like The Crying Game.

  37. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler September 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm |

    Eli: then everyone is so shocked when his fiancee attacks him-come on,he shattered all her plans and dreams,now she is jobless(I seriously doubt that she would continue working in the same firm),probably she will have build her career from the bottom,also she was humilated in front of all her friends and family.And she is the evil character of the movie?!? WTF.

    That might make sense if the characters know they’re in a romcom. Of course they expect the fiancee to be ok with it, she always is in these sorts of movies.

    karak: 11. We love men that exhibit abusive or stalker behavior. There’s nothing sexier than a man than continually shows up, threatens to humiliate us, often startling or frightening us while doing so.

    That’s not covered under #10?

  38. scrumby
    scrumby September 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm |

    Esti: …what?I’m trying to figure out what in that movie could possibly lead you to think it bashes alternative lifestyles, disparages sex, or says women need to be subservient to a man, and I am honestly coming up blank.

    I have a twelve page essay on the subject! It’s all a bunch of textual critique stuff like Hank’s store big, shining, multi-story = phallic, Ryan’s store small, dark, underground (well, below street level) = vaginal. His store drives hers out so male dominance over fem spaces blah, blah, blah. Patriarchal norms, disparagement or erasure of alternative lifestyles, and lack of sex/passion are pretty much the hallmarks of the neo-conservative romcom in the late 80′s and 90′s. You’ve Got Mail is just the one that seemed written entirely from that formula and it really shows. Maybe I’m being too harsh. For all there conservatism, Ms. Ryan was never lacking a man because she was too obsessed with her job/her friend, too casual about sex, or too ugly.

  39. Jackie
    Jackie September 24, 2011 at 3:56 am |

    Andie:
    I’d add 11. It’s totally cool to be a geek, as long as you’re a geek that lives up to conventional beauty standards.

    Meaning: I fucking hate pygmalion type stories, where male protagonist falls in love with female protagonist only after he realizes that all her geeky/uncultured/whathaveyou qualities are awesome because guess what? under the glasses or whatever she’s actually really HOT.

    Every time I see She’s All That I want to gouge my eyes out and I become very glad that neither Rachel Leigh Cook or Freddie Prinze Junior have much of a career anymore.

    I do kind of miss Matthew Lillard though.

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Reminds me of seeing a story about a group of female gamers, where one of them said “Oh by the way, just because we’re gamers that doesn’t mean we’re fat.” Like, okay first one of the girls in the group was what most contemporary people would consider fat, I guess she just doesn’t exsist in her eyes though, unless they need her in the game or something. Also, when did body size have anything to do with gaming skill? Maybe miss so proud because she’s thin, should consider that it’s highly unlikely they’d have a group of gamer girls in the media who weren’t eye candy. That while I’m sure she’s skilled, there are many more skilled female gamers out there. However, part of why she was a part of that group and visible, was because she just happened to have been an acceptable weight. Meanwhile those of us authentic fat geeks, well guess nobody cares particularly if you’re female. They made it clear it wasn’t a competition about skill, it was about coming up with cute and pretty girl gamers they could put in halter tops, to plug the game company/ group association. Yeah maybe thin women do face some discrimination, but it’s ignorant to not recognize there is significant priveliage that comes with being a thin and good looking woman.

    That when it comes to geeks, nobody will ever represent them authentically, because that would mean having to spend time looking at a less than perfect person. :O Oh horrors! We just can’t have that, quick lets get a thin good looking person to pretend she’s a geek, so we can do a happy ending transformation, that she’s actually attractive. Since, it’s just such a shame if a woman has to live not looking like a freaking model. If you are thin, you don’t have any idea of what it’s like being fat in a fat phobic society. Just as being a White person, I do not know what it’s like to live as a Black person. I just want this nonsense that geeks are only acceptable, if they know how to behave well socially, and just wears glasses. Yeah guess what, that is not a geek. That’s a popular girl pretending to be one!

    On this note, what did you think of Katy Perry’s video for Last Friday Night? While it did have a pygmalion storyline, I thought that Kathy Beth Terry was really cute. Well, actually it wasn’t a pygmalion storyline, because while she looked good at the party, by the end of the video she looks just like she did when it began. How about the whole knight vs jock nerd love triangle, that was just so adorable!

  40. llama
    llama September 25, 2011 at 1:28 am |

    karak: he steals her planner and writes himself in, then shows up everywhere she’s going because HE KNOWS HER SCHEDULE. I would have maced him.

    I haven’t seen that particular movie, but it is a common theme that the guy just keeps on turning up like a bent penny. I am with you mace the fucking idiot. It would make a much better movie and send a real life message about acceptable behavior.

  41. Esti
    Esti September 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm |

    scrumby: I have a twelve page essay on the subject! It’s all a bunch of textual critique stuff like Hank’s store big, shining, multi-story = phallic, Ryan’s store small, dark, underground (well, below street level) = vaginal. His store drives hers out so male dominance over fem spaces blah, blah, blah. Patriarchal norms, disparagement or erasure of alternative lifestyles, and lack of sex/passion are pretty much the hallmarks of the neo-conservative romcom in the late 80′s and 90′s. You’ve Got Mail is just the one that seemed written entirely from that formula and it really shows. Maybe I’m being too harsh. For all there conservatism, Ms. Ryan was never lacking a man because she was too obsessed with her job/her friend, too casual about sex, or too ugly.

    I’m coming back to this a little late, but I totally disagree. It’s extremely clear that you’re not meant to think that the big shiny chain store is a *good* thing. If anything, the movie is a critique of big faceless chain stores coming into neighborhoods and killing small, owner-run businesses that are actually much better at what they do but that just can’t afford to have the low prices that a big store’s volume permits it. Meg Ryan’s store (which is on the first floor, not underground) is gorgeously quaint in the way that only movie stores can be, and clearly not meant to look less attractive than his store — much the reverse. And even though her store ends up out of business, Meg Ryan wanders over to the other store and makes an employee look ridiculous when she knows tons more than he does about children’s books, and she then goes off to have write children’s books, which it’s assumed she will be great at.

    I mean, this is a movie in which a female lead is a) really good at her job, and respected/loved for it, not in spite of it; b) has healthy, constructive friendships with other women, which involve discussions about topics other than men; c) does not spend the whole movie wishing she had a man (and, in fact, breaks up with a boyfriend because she just isn’t really into him, even though she had not yet found a better guy); d) dresses like an actual person; and e) is likeable. It also shows an older woman who talks about the various sexual affairs she’s had, and has two female characters who run off together. And I really, really don’t think it’s lacking sex/passion just because we don’t see the two leads having sex.

  42. Dunja
    Dunja September 26, 2011 at 1:14 am |

    Is there a second page to this? I can only see up to “10. Twilight” and continuously scrolling up and down and around the page is making me feel like a dizzy noob.

  43. outrageandsprinkles
    outrageandsprinkles September 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm |

    Esti: I’m coming back to this a little late, but I totally disagree.It’s extremely clear that you’re not meant to think that the big shiny chain store is a *good* thing.If anything, the movie is a critique of big faceless chain stores coming into neighborhoods and killing small, owner-run businesses that are actually much better at what they do but that just can’t afford to have the low prices that a big store’s volume permits it.Meg Ryan’s store (which is on the first floor, not underground) is gorgeously quaint in the way that only movie stores can be, and clearly not meant to look less attractive than his store — much the reverse.And even though her store ends up out of business, Meg Ryan wanders over to the other store and makes an employee look ridiculous when she knows tons more than he does about children’s books, and she then goes off to have write children’s books, which it’s assumed she will be great at.

    I mean, this is a movie in which a female lead is a) really good at her job, and respected/loved for it, not in spite of it; b) has healthy, constructive friendships with other women, which involve discussions about topics other than men; c) does not spend the whole movie wishing she had a man (and, in fact, breaks up with a boyfriend because she just isn’t really into him, even though she had not yet found a better guy); d) dresses like an actual person; and e) is likeable.It also shows an older woman who talks about the various sexual affairs she’s had, and has two female characters who run off together.And I really, really don’t think it’s lacking sex/passion just because we don’t see the two leads having sex.

    I’m watching this movie RIGHT NOW and I just wanted to cosign this fabulous comment.

  44. shelly
    shelly October 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm |

    Dunja:
    Is there a second page to this?

    No.

    In regards to You’ve Got Mail, yeah, it’s very feminist for all the reasons Esti notes. However, let’s also remember that in the end, Meg’s character gets together with Tom Hanks’ character, despite the fact: 1) he practically ran her out of business, 2) he lied to her, and 3) acted like, pretty much, a total jerk to her when he wasn’t emailing advice/encouragement to her.

    But the irony of all of that is, now that I think of it, after the scene where he’s stuck in an elevator, he dumps his girlfriend as well, largely because he realized she was a self-absorbed, self-centred, superficial bitch (at least that’s how I’ve always understood that scene).

Comments are closed.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.