Monday, December 21, 2009

Let's All Go to the Movies.

Another installment of sexism at the movies!

If Cameron Diaz were as bloated and overweight as Luke Wilson has become, she would never be cast in a (albeit vacuous) big budget, star-filled, rom-com movie like "Valentine's Day".

Watching the preview for "Remember Me" it appeared to be a wrong-side-of-the-tracks love story, where the father of The Girl and the father of The Boy also may duke it out. Which makes sense. Because so many people are raised by single fathers in the world today. Single fathers as primary caregivers - they're everywhere!! Single moms? Who? Portraying them would give women in Hollywood roles, AND illustrate a common life occurrence. So: pshaw. No way.

And a yay for Nancy Meyers! No matter what else we can say about her, I'm delighted that the preview for "It's Complicated" describes Alec Baldwin's character as the "ex" of the main character, a woman, and Steve Martin's as her "architect". She is truly the main character, even in the context of telling us who the others are, and THAT is a rarity in Hollywood indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Single mothers are not rare in movies. If you pick a movie at random from your local theater listing right now, you might not find a single mom in it, but using the same exercise, you'd be more likely to find a character who's an extraterrestrial or a robot than, say, a truck driver or a bank teller. Single moms show up all the time in movies like The Exorcist, About a Boy, The Sixth Sense, Forrest Gump, Sunshine Cleaning, Tootsie, or Thirteen. Roles where the single mother is a central character are rarer but not hard to find. As Good As It Gets, You Can Count On Me, Erin Brockovich, and the entire series of Weeds are good examples. These are just examples of movies where single motherhood is a key plot point. I think what you may be running into is the difference in portrayals. Movies featuring single fathers take pains to point out single fatherhood in marketing because it's a rarity. Even movies with good roles for single mothers don't always point out the single parent in marketing because it's not as rare. Single fatherhood is often used as a gimmick in a comedy or to make a sappy, sentimental character doubly sentimental like in Sleepless in Seattle. In my experience movies too often treat single fatherhood as a sentimental or comic device and often portray single mothers in broken homes or in poverty, while single fathers almost never appear that way, at least in the movies I've seen. But if you're claiming that Hollywood movies are rife with single fathers and devoid of single mothers, you're doing some serious cherry picking.