I had no desire to read Eat, Pray, Love when it was a book, and I have even less desire to see it now that it has been made into a film. I was content to argue that my lack of interest was because, for whatever reason, the film just didn’t appeal to me, but after hearing comedian Jim Norton’s sexist review of the movie, I’m beginning to worry that it has something to do with the stigma attached to “lady films.” Especially “lady films” in which the lady in question is trying to find herself – not just to get a man.
My favorite movie of all time is Stand By Me. And while I vehemently argue that it’s because the film so perfectly encapsulates that moment of childhood right before gender really started to matter, I also admit that I hate its explicitly female counterpart Now and Then with a passion. We already know that female comedians are absent from the big screen, but what about dramatic actresses? Is it that female protagonists are less interesting, or just that less interesting films are typically made about them? I know that this is hardly a groundbreaking argument, but Norton’s comments infuriated me, if for no other reason than because he seems to suggest that a woman’s spiritual journey of self-discovery is frivolous, irresponsible and – worst of all – boring.
First, there Norton’s completely unoriginal misogyny about the unimportance of a woman’s self-discovery:
“I was the first one to start clapping, because I didn’t know if she would overcome. It was heartbreaking, these yoga scenes, and I’m sipping my chamomile tea and I’m lactating and I’m thinking about my vagina and motherhood… And then she finally realized what she was supposed to realize, and I don’t want to spoil it for everybody, but it was inspirational.”
Yawn. We get it — women’s films are boring and they’re all about emotions and junk. Where were the guns? Where were the nameless hot chicks?
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