Friday, August 14, 2009

Why Don't You Just Quit Trying To Be A Person, Get Down On Your Knees, And Call It A Day

Karina Longworth's review of Katherine Heigl's new movie, The Ugly Truth, came (ha ha) after I read a pretty damning article about marriage in the Atlantic, and after watching my niece start high school. I applaud Heigl for her producer status in her latest film, written by three women, which we all know is a rarity in the male-dominated film industry. Also, I applaud Heigl's comments concerning the other women-damning film she stared in, the worst joke obviously being a crowning cervix. (The closest form of entertainment I can compare this to is black face, but in this case, instead of men dressing up as women to make fun of them, women do it themselves.)

Although a team of well-intentioned women are involved in Heigl's latest, I wonder why it is the movie manages to fail as a fresh point and succumbs to the banal, mainstream view of sex, women, and partnerships. One of Longworth's points about The Ugly Truth is that in the end, it doesn't matter if a woman fakes it or not and the film implies she probably should. If women fake it do they actually think they're doing their partners a favor? So Hollywood sex is that you one-up the dude because the dude can't tell? One trade of humiliation for another? I don't know what men are being used as the basis for films lately, but I would like to add to the conversation that I have friends who know when a woman is or isn't having an orgasm. Without asking. And they care. Most men do.

What's furthermore humiliating and debased is that we, the culturally inclined, have to take this crappy movie seriously for what it says about how little women are taken seriously and how little they take themselves seriously. Twilight, for example, highlights this point. The male vampire is conflicted (most female vampire roles are either butch or male vampire servants) and interesting (climbs trees fast, plays piano, is Studio 54 glittery), but his love interest falls in love at the cost of herself (the one-and-only obsession, there go the friends, education, etc.) My niece recently started high school (all things happen too early in the South) and I saw at least four different adults embarrass her by talking about cute boys in school and not about her studies. And the lesson is?

1 comment:

Elisa Gabbert said...

Right on, re black face. I hated Knocked Up.