Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chick Fight

Photobucket A couple of years back I found myself watching the unfortunate chick flick, Little Black Book. When released in theatres, this film held no appeal for me, but when one is stuck in front of a television set with not much available to watch, one can easily be drawn in by Holly Hunter, even if, like me, you prefer your Brittany Murphies to be dark haired and curvy.

I was admittedly slightly impressed by what the film was attempting to accomplish with its exploration of female competitiveness and of course, the ultimate lesson that a woman does not need a man in her life in order to feel complete. Unfortunately, it did not do this well. The film wrapped up with a neatly packaged and carefully explained moral-of-the-story that left the viewer feeling dumber for having sat through the film and simultaneously incensed that the writer and director would treat us like morons and feel a need to spell everything out. Basically, the film lacked subtlety and charm, which was made increasingly frustrating by the fact that it was obviously written by a woman. It felt like something I would write after having a sort of epiphany of the same sort.

The problem is, similar themes have been explored countless times, to be sure, but most notably in the superior, My Best Friend's Wedding. While this film was definitely no Oscar contender, Ronald Bass, a man who's written many a sensitive film, was able to infuse its female characters with a certain genuineness and believability that was completely missing in the women of Little Black Book. Not only that, but he let you figure the lessons out on your own.

Women, it's time to write ourselves, and it's time to write ourselves well.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Though it might not sound sane, my theory is that there would be more great female scriptwriters if they saw themselves as individuals. Obviously it would help if more women wrote and attempted to be screenwriters. It would also help if screen writing was viewed with more respect then it gets; women with talent and ambition, education and persistence would not 'resign' themselves to the lesser art of writing for a screen. You realize most men don't think of ourselves as men?