A very lionish Meg Ryan discovers her husband is having an affair with a very hot Eva Mendes. She kicks him out and embarks on an inward journey of self discovery. One where she literally creates a dream board with the words "WHO ARE YOU?" emblazoned on it. Written by, produced by and starring only women, this movie should have been a two-hour Tampax commercial filled with empowered, complex ladies horseback riding and shit.
And How Does This Hate Women?
Name five cliches Hollywood gives its female characters. Got them? Now look at the picture below:
They're all there, aren't they? We've got your sassy black girlfriend; ditzy but lovable earth mother; childless career lady; hot ethnic stereotype. And in the middle of it all is the muddle-headed former America's sweetheart who should've known better than to put her trust in a script that caricatured women so bluntly. And don't think for one second that the cliches were subtle.
In spite of an all female cast, the women in this movie are essentially playthings in the hands of their invisible male controllers. Suit Lady is at the mercy of her male boss who thinks all her crappy ideas are crap; Baby Lady is pregnant with her fifth child in the hopes that this time she'll get that boy she's always hoped for; and Lion Lady is not only employed by her dad but dependent on her successful, millionaire husband for her maid and au pair allowance. The jaded black sassy friend escapes this alternate reality of Lady Puppets, but that's because she's a lesbian.
The one character who seems to be in control of her world is the gold-digging, lower-class mistress who works behind the perfume counter at Saks, and is also called "The SPRITZER Girl" by Le Lioness and her sneering rich friends.
Meg Ryan's character seems more offended that her husband is sleeping with someone from a different caste than by the fact that he's screwing around at all. Moral of The Women: Don't trust the help. Stay classy, Hollywood.
Trapped in romantic comedy purgatory for crimes against humanity, Kate Hudson creates a Cosmo-ish article project with the sole purpose of destroying a man's faith in romantic relationships. COINCIDENTALLY, Matthew McConaughey, in a role that requires Holocaust-denying levels of suspension of disbelief, is an advertising executive who bets he can get any woman to fall in love with him. His co-workers select Kate Hudson.
Horrific tragedies Hilarity ensues when Irate Hudson tries to drive the poor, dedicated bastard away in 10 god-awfully long days. So this time Hollywood presents a smart, confident, single woman who is so control of her own love life that she thinks she can best Matthew "alright alright alright" McConaughey. Good luck with that, babydoll.
You can't best this.
And How Does This Hate Women?
By presenting us with a heroine who has the emotional empathy of Josef Mengele, that's how. This is a character who tortures her fake lover with the subtlety of a sadistic Freddy Krueger/Leatherface/Edward Cullen hybrid; only instead of finger-knifing him in his dreams, chainsawing his face off or psychologically torturing him with her dazzlety, this playa full-on acts like a girl for ten whole days. And in this movie, here's how a girl acts: she talks during a movie, leaves tampons in his apartment, sings Carly Simon songs, spontaneously becomes a vegetarian, makes her man miss the big game and publicly accuses him of being the source of her eating disorder. Hudson has to learn and fake all of this normal female behavior, since she's much more special and deeper than the average woman. And we know this because she cares about politics and basketball, not like most women who only care about boys and shoes.
Hollywood's average woman.
This is also a character who is too stupid to understand why her Cosmo-ish magazine won't let her write about Tajikistan, which would be like a Cracked columnist getting pissed over not being able to write about... well, Tajikistan.
This is also a character who must estimate that the intellect of her audience is somewhere in the mid-to-upper-retard range if she thinks they'd actually be enlightened by her punk behavior. We'd love to get that Pulitzer for "Top Six Ways to Be a Raging Jackwad (That You Already Knew About)," but we're not betting the farm on it.
Julia Roberts is Vivian, the harlot with a cardiac muscle of bullion who is picked up by Richard Gere's Edward, the millionaire businessman with a heart of regular heart. Charmed by her big-ass grin and goofy persona, he asks her to stay with him at his HO-tel for a week. Which is just enough time for Vivian to get some new clothes, pass as his non-hooker girlfriend, get not-quite-raped by his business rival and metaphorically steal the heart of reformed gigolo Richard Gere.
Roberts shines as a beacon of kooky but lovable sunshine next to a dead-inside-and-out Edward, and everyone from Roger Ebert to the Oscar Monkeys screamed orgasmically when she got her fairy tale happy ending. Be you whore or non-whore, ladies, it's never too late to stop believing in yourself. NEVER!
And How Does This Hate Women?
By tying 100 percent of a woman's self-worth to her clothes. Not the love of a man, not a renewed sense of dignity, not even the ability to pass as a member of the upper class. Expensive, designer clothes are all it takes to pull a hooker out of the gutter and into the opera house.
During a 45 minute makeover scene Vivian walks into a Rodeo Drive boutique all pouty-mouthed and gangly--a big-lipped, shamefaced fallen woman who knows she doesn't belong in the same room as regular folk. Give her some expensive clothes, some flattery and overt groveling from the service caste, and she walks out of there like the honest-to-God Queen of Sheba. Her posture is straightened, her gait is elegant... just look at the joy on her face:
Thanks to her millionaire john's line of credit, Vivian can enjoy the respect and admiration that she's always deserved, since she was a good person and all, but didn't have access to, since she dressed like a cracked-out tranny. She wasn't the first to think a new wardrobe was all it would take to fool the masses. And she wouldn't be the last.
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For strike two in the female representation arena, check out Hollywood's 5 Saddest Attempts at Feminism. Or find out about some how Hollywood can't even get computers right, in 5 Things Hollywood Thinks Computers Can Do.
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