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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dear Hollywood

Dear Hollywood,

I’m interrupting my Countdown to Oscar for this, so I’m just going to get right to the point. I realize that I don’t fit your idea of a female moviegoer age 18-25. I look forward to films by people like Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson and I would rather put a staple in my eye than see anything starring Katherine Heigl. I’ve come to terms with the fact that you don’t make movies with me in mind and I’m not holding that against you, which is why I’d like to enlighten you about a few myths that you apparently hold true, judging from the trailers for New In Town, He’s Just Not That Into You, The Ugly Truth and The Proposal, all four of which have been plaguing me for the past month.

Myth 1: A Cute Girl Falling Over Is Funnier Than Any Joke Possibly Could Be

Look, I get it. You’re lazy and can’t be bothered to come up with an actual joke. Just don’t think that we don’t know that and don’t think that when we see that we think to ourselves, “Oh, her clumsiness makes her plastic Hollywood prettiness seem more relatable.” It doesn’t; it just reminds us that you can’t be bothered to put in the effort for female characters. Trailers for comedies are notorious for spoiling the funniest bits, which means that if one of the big punchlines is a girl falling over, the film itself probably has little comedic value.

Myth 2: Every Woman Is Desperate For A Husband

Now, granted, some women are desperately searching for husbands but, you know what? I think you’re partially to blame for that because you continue to imply that our only value is as someone’s wife. Getting a husband is not the top priority of every woman and some women, myself included, have no intention of ever getting married. But, of course, that reality lends less easily to the crazy-man-trapping antics you think we want to see. Man, bitches is crazy, am I right?

Myth 3: Every Woman Has A Sassy Gay/Black/Whatever Friend

First of all, gay men are rarely the sidekicks of straight women; straight women are the sidekicks of gay men. Secondly, I have never once met a black woman who begins sentences with “Girl” and ends them with “Mmm-hmmm.” I don’t know where you got your information, but you have been misled. Thirdly, maybe if you started making films by and about the minorities you pander to by tossing them a small “best friend” role here and there, your general output might seem less stale. Just a thought.

Myth 4: Women Who Like Their Jobs Are Castrating Bitches

I'm sorry that you find competent women threatening. Maybe if you spent less time denigrating them and more time focusing on and improving your own professional output you'd feel less vulnerable. Why is it a bad thing for a woman to like her job? I mean, I get that that’s counter to your preference for traditional gender roles, but in my experience a person who likes their job is generally happy and not, you know, a raging monster who must be stopped for the good of those around them.

P.S.: if a woman has never met a guy that she likes more than her job, I think that’s less a reflection of her and more a reflection of the men within her orbit.

Myth 5: Jerks Have Hidden Depths

I’ve canvassed this with other women and this is our conclusion: a guy who acts like a jerk is a jerk and the only thing he can teach you about yourself is that you need to reconsider your screening process.

In a perfect world, all of these things would be apparent and there would be no need to point them out, but here we are. I realize that if these female driven "comedies" aren't hits, you'll shrug and say that either women don't go to movies or movies with female leads don't sell tickets, rather than considering that female moviegoers simply don't want to settle for the idiocy on offer, which is a shame because I think it would be good for all of us if we could break this ridiculous cycle.


The Flick Chick


Wendymoon said...

If this were a petition, I would sign it.

Norma Desmond said...

If only it were that simple.

Anh Khoi Do said...

Whether it's Hollywood or other countries, there always will be some incompetent movie makers. Moreover, as you've pointed it out I agree that women and ethnic minorities are too often the targets of "stereotypezation", so to speak. In fact, although we've come a long way, I'm really sick of seeing most either movies or TV series that depict people of Asian heritage as nerds.

So, to get back to your post, we could also add this:

Myth 6: Every women seek to dress themselves with expansive clothes any given time.

I have never met a girl (even one from an upper-class family) who only has expansive clothes (i.e. up to $300) bought straight from New York's downtown, besides her pyjamas. Man, sometimes it wouldn't hurt to make realistic movies about people from the middle and lower class!