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Thursday, August 20, 2009

All About Obsession

What the hell is with this movie?! This trailer for All About Steve has always rubbed me the wrong way.

Sandra Bullock plays a woman named Mary who is set up on a blind date with Steve (Bradley Cooper). Steve is soooo not into it, but Mary sooo is. She's so into that she somehow thinks that he loves her too so decides to follow him to where he is working -- filming a hurricane (?). She's obsessed and pretty much becomes a stalker.

What kind of message is this sending about women? The trailer tries to claim that the movie is all about being yourself and not changing for anyone. Ok, I can see that. Mary doesn't change her obsessive/stalker tendancies. This movie just portrays women as desperate and obsessive when it comes to relationships.

Romanitc comedies (and other genres too) have the tendancy to portray women as not whole unless they have found that "one" guy. Women cannot have a successful career, great friends, and by happy with that. She will never be happy (even though she thinks she might be) until she finds a perfect guy...and that guy will probably make her realize that she is too committed to her career (see my review of The Proposal).

All About Steve seems to take this to the extreme. Mary herself feels like she will not be complete unless she can land her perfect guy, the point of obsession.

Portraying women as obsessive and stalker-like when it comes to relationships just reinforces the stereotype that women are desperate relationship-seekers, even if it masks itself as promoting self-esteem and self-expression.
I just hope that at some point we can get past portraying women as incomplete without a man in mainstream movies.


Anonymous said...

"What kind of message is this sending about women?"

Maybe there is no message? Perhaps they want to merely entertain?

Does it bother you when the 3 Stooges act in a stereotypical manner? Are you aware men generally don't poke each others eyes out during arguments? Does this unreality cause you similar consternation?

Some people want a cheap laugh.

(You must really love horror movies I'm guessing.)

Laura said...

First of all, everything sends some kind of message whether it is intended or not.

Mindless entertainment if often at the expense of someone else or a group of people. If I had watched more than 10 second clips of the 3 Stooges, I might have more of an opinion about it. There's also a difference in time period between the two cases, which also plays into what message it sends.

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