Though Katherine Heigl entered a firestorm for suggesting her character in ‘Knocked Up’ might be sexist, she was onto something. With a nagging wife and a killjoy girlfriend, it would be an understatement to suggest the women in the film were not well-represented. After all, what girl wouldn’t like her soon to be baby-daddy smoking weed all day? Only a shrew, of course. Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow did not take kindly to the criticism of their film, but it appears they got the memo, because in Rogen’s film, ‘Neighbors,’ his on-screen wife was portrayed in a far better, cooler light. In truth, Rogen admits to his real-life wife’s influence, saying, “My wife read the script. She’s a writer. She’s one of the people who was like, ‘This isn’t how it would be. We get along, I want to have fun too…’ And then as we started talking about it, that actually became the most exciting idea of the movie to us. That we could portray a couple where the wife is just as fun-loving and irresponsible as the guy, and they get along really well. In a comedy, that’s almost non-existent. An actual healthy couple that really likes each other.”
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
One might think a kick-ass woman like Black Widow was invincible, but everyone needs an achilles heel, right? In a bid to live a more normal life, Black Widow makes a play for Bruce Banner during ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ but he’s The Hulk, and there’s no future. Black Widow then gives a speech about her devastating infertility, which was a sad requirement of the job. It didn’t take long for the audience to erupt, objecting to the idea that all a woman really wants is to get married and have babies, even if she can save the world instead.
Do women need to be rescued? ‘Pretty Woman’ is timeless, which may or may not be concerning. It’s a classic Cinderella story, and it’s about time the roles were reversed, especially in an economy where women are increasingly more successful. Plus, what’s so wrong with prostitution? It’s the oldest profession there is (that’s a joke . . . . sort of).
Though the movie itself might not be sexist, the Sony hacks revealed sexism behind-the-scenes when the public learned that the leading women in ‘American Hustle’ were paid less than their male counterparts. When Jennifer Lawrence addressed her sub-par salary in comparison to Bradley Cooper, she started a national conversation and other actresses spoke up on her behalf with similar stories.
‘Jumper’ might be responsible for the enduring, off-screen romance between Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson, but the under-performing action film fell short for its female lead, who was completely helpless throughout most of the movie. If only the writers could have jumped to the future to see Rebecca Ferguson kick some serious ass in ‘Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation.’
SEX AND THE CITY
‘Sex and the City’ became famous for it’s anti-establishment view of single women, proving that there’s more to a woman’s goals than finding a man and having babies. But when Carrie finally landed the man of her dreams in the end, the show bowed to convention for the sake of its Mr. Big storyline.
Who says a woman can’t outrun a dinosaur in heels? ‘Jurassic World’ received serious criticism for his portrayal of Bryce Dallas Howard’s character, whose incompetence was only surpassed by a strange desire to run around in heels throughout the film. Dallas Howard defended the decision, saying, “This character needed to seem ill-equipped to be in the jungle. She was somebody who looks like she belongs in a corporate environment for a reason because she was someone who was disconnected from the animals and disconnected from that reality and disconnected from herself. She doesn’t at all expect that she’s going to be tromping through the jungle.” As for the director, he insists that we don’t need to “to surrender a woman’s femininity in order for her to be a badass action hero.” I need not reiterate the Rebecca Ferguson point previously mentioned, as she was both feminine AND a badass.
While many might tout ‘Trainwreck’ as a movie about an empowered woman taking ownership of her sexuality, Amy Schumer’s character was no Samantha Jones. Schumer didn’t help matters much on her press tour when she said the lead was acting out sexually because she was “in pain.” Does a woman really need a reason to get laid, and does an excessive amount of partners mean she’s “broken?” The ending felt like a standard romcom rescue rather than a woman’s struggle to give up her fun life for monogamy.