There’s a lot of talk these days about the evil -isms. I don’t mean just the traditional fascism, or the always indendiary terrorism, or even the very topical homophob- well, there is no –ism for that one, but racism is also back on the table (not that it ever disappeared), much ado about the Supreme Court and such. So, why the hell aren’t people raising a total shitstorm over the invisible –ism? If you are unsure which one I am talking about hat would be SEXISM. (Not that I condone -isms…)
Though, the other day the GOP launched a new campaign, Women are Right, get it? They are right and on the right! Clever! #goodluckwiththat
But even that just offered a glimpse into what remains a huge problem in our society punctuated with discrepancies in opportunities and wildly divergent average wages, but sustained by cultural norms across the board. And not that this situation is all that great anywhere, but in America, especially California, we are supposed to be so progressive. Or something.
But what got me back up in your faces about this was a movie I just saw. For real.
You might remember a couple of weeks ago I watched Desperately Seeking Susan for the first time in years. It was so fun I even wrote about it. And there was an article I cited talking about how there are not longer movies driven by females made for the mainstream commercial audience. And while I suspect this has more to do with the mainstream audience than anything else… it still says a lot. There are hardly any movies that are driven by cool female leads (do not get me going on whatsherface from Twiglight… she is categorically uninteresting.) And any movie that is female driven is automatically labeled a chick flick. Why aren’t all the ridionculous summer “blockbusters” genderfied thusly? Yeah, okay, there were a few movies that got labeled Bromances, (The Hangover 1-3, I guess.) But the minute there is an attempt to drive a movie with female lead, or a female cast (gasp), “blockbuster” is out of reach. Take a look at the predicted blockbusters in this slide show. It could be that the ladies in Hollywood don’t want to do drivel like White House Down (side note: can you imagine the uproar if multiple movies were made about destroying the White House when Bush/Cheney were sitting around in there? It would have been treasonous) or Fast and Furious 28, but I think it says a lot more about the market for movies, which in turn, of course says much about our cultural take on women. These days even a lot of the “chick flicks” are guy driven… Magic Mike or Rock of Ages anyone? If women are the ones spending money on these movies (even though they earn less) it seems like making reasonable female driven films might be worthwhile… but I don’t write for Hollywood, so more uptight, neurotic, jealous, psycho, desperate housewives, or wannabe housewives are in my future I suppose…
In order to avoid the “chick flick” label female heavy movies now seem to require a lot of vomit or shit (literally); see Bridesmaids, or The Bachelorette – wow, what an amazing variety of subject matter… but even He’s Just Not That Into You – a movie that hit fairly close to home, but still maintained the age-old story line of girl-desperate-for-man. [Not to mention the obvious fact that if you find the fact that girls are crass, offensive, or simply gross at times, you just have not hung around many girls in your life. Or at least not the ones I know. It is just not that shocking.]
With all this is mind, I selected another “chick flick” to watch. The Cowboy was a good sport about it, but was not optimistic. The selection this time? Pitch Perfect. The plot revolves around collegiate a capella, which I realize could sound overly niche, but having had a small glimpse into the cult-like fanaticism surrounding collegiate a capella, and of course the success of Glee, they knew the market was clearly there.
So saying all that, I will just cut to the chase: the movie is hilarious (and there is the requisite barf scene [x2] to make it less “chick-y” and more “bro-y” or something) and the actors in it can really sing apparently. Bear in mind, I like movies lots of people don’t (and that is only one of a million reasons I will never review films for anyone who cares, or pays me) but I do think that my opinion counts for something; I could at least point you in the direction of a good time. And also, recall I am not a big fan of the whole “body positive” movement, but I am most definitely on Team Rebel Wilson.
This movie has a (clearly purposefully) diverse group of girls in it, but they are all pretty funny and they get the job done – most especially Ms. Wilson who plays Fat Amy (‘You call yourself Fat Amy?’ ‘Yeah, so twig bitches like you don’t do it behind my back.’)
“I can sing, but I’m also good at modern dance, olden dance, and mermaid dancing which is a little different. You usually start on the ground. It’s a lot of floor work.”
I love her attitude and she is seriously hilarious (as she was in the other movies I saw her in.) Case in point, if you check the quotes on IMDB.com, they are pretty much all her. Another fun part of the movie are the roles of the aca-announcers Gail, played by Elizabeth Banks who also produced the film, and her ridiculous partner John.
The movie is fast and funny and has some good music in it, [as well as some that is fairly suspect, but I far prefer this version of Miley Cyrus and Jessie J.] And **spoiler alert** the girls win this one, which is really fun. It does end with the (apparently) requisite run of the girl back to the boy, but I am willing to over look that for this scene.
So, take a break and watch this movie if you have a minute this summer, unless you would rather write a movie that fills ths sad cultural void. We need more movies like this that don’t take themselves so seriously, and in attempting levity don’t have to be completely lame. Or all about killing yourself for some guy.
Gail: I think we have just seen some a cappella history being made, John.
John: And from an all-female group, Gail. I could never have called this one.
Gail: Never. Well, you are a misogynist at heart, so there’s no way you would have bet on these girls to win.