Okay, I suspect this review may have the worst fucking timing ever considering what I just unleashed upon the Watchmen fandom but ... you know what, I'm going to go with it.

Tonight was the first time I ever saw this or indeed, any Judd Apatow movie. Why did I wait so long? Well, when the first stream of movies came out I was in a real anti-movie funk, and that sort of continued over a long period of time. I feel kind of like I'm the last person in the universe to see Knocked Up. When these movies first came out I had the sense I may like them, but as the reports about the movies' sexism came in, my enthusiasm kind of dampened. One of the big buzzkillers were the members of the feminist blogosphere that called Superbad pro-rape because of a subplot where one of the guys tries to get a girl drunk to have sex with her. (See examples here and here.)

Normally this would put me off straight out, and while I do believe those who actually take the "Don't like it, don't read it" option should have their wishes respected when they say "I don't think I'll like this because of X" and not be snottily told they can't have an opinion until they see it, part of me really did want to form my own opinion on this one. Especially since reasons to see it started cropping up again: Seth Rogan's performance in Zack and Miri Make a Porno, the really funny Pineapple Express skit and my brother. Okay, mostly it's all my brother, who has started talking about how he and I and my father are all going to watch Pineapple Express together like it would be the holy grail of family-bonding experiences.

So the other day, Mark found Superbad on TV and TiVo'd it, saying we would watch it together. When I told him about the "pro-rape" argument, he was initially irate, and said that was ridiculous, the movie refutes it. I felt a little assured. Then a little while Mark came back and said, "Actually, I could see where it would bother people" and I felt less assured. But I soldiered on.

And I liked it. I really, really, really liked it. I was cackling through most of the movie. I liked the 70s sensibility despite it being set in the modern era. I liked that the characters didn't look perfect -- even the girls didn't strike me as Hollywood attractive. And, well, despite the fact that a part of me was always going "Be critical. Analyze. What message does this movie send?" I came away with a good impression in the end overall.

Now that being said I do see where you can come away from the movie with the "pro-rape" message. It is true that a lot of the things the characters do are wrong and stupid and inappropriate when it comes to the girls they're trying to catch. But I never got the impression that the movie approved of the things Seth says and does anymore than it approves of the actions of the inept and criminally negligent cops. It does surprise me that critics believe the movie agrees with Seth -- from what I remember nobody backs him up (I'm pretty sure Fogel/McLovin doesn't, anyway) and really, he was coded as a "jerk" to me in the movie so hard he might as well have had a glowing "I AM A GIANT DOUCHE" sign above his head. And while Evan seems to come over to his side when he decides to get drunk to have sex with Becca, both of their plans fail horribly.

That said, I can agree with some feminist criticisms. I'm 99 percent certain this movie doesn't pass Bechdel's Law (the girls might have talked about beer or makeup at one point). The menstruation scene didn't feel like something any woman would ever do (although when the character said stuff like, "I just called the cops, hide the gun baby" my personal "This character is intentionally ridiculous, turn off logic" light came on in my head). It's also pretty much a sex comedy that's totally from the white guy's point of view and ... yeah, we could definitely get more diversity in the long run up in this shit we call Hollywood.

But overall, no, I don't think this movie's pro-rape. I don't think this movie's misogynist. This movie doesn't characterize its women well, but they come off better than the women in a lot of sex comedies. (I only watched 15 minutes of Tomcats and it made me want to hurl. I remember the female characters in Wedding Crashers also bothering me for some reason, although I can't remember why.) So, yeah, this one's on the "I'm cool with it" list.
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.


quietprofanity: (Default)

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags