You know how usually whenever a feminist complains about something in pop culture people are like, "Oh, you're just looking for things to be offended about!"? Actually, I find whenever something pisses me off it's not because I went in expecting to hate it. It's because I expected to love it and its sexism slapped me in the face. Usually when I'm prepared for sexism I end up going, "Hey, that wasn't bad at all!" This may be why I ended up loving Iron Man and Superbad -- which I went into wearing my critical feminist goggles -- but came out of The Dark Knight and Slumdog Millionaire -- which were advertised as practically perfect in every way -- fuming over the poor treatment of their female characters.

Okay, to my credit the reason why I like the first two movies and not the other two may have more to do with characters being specifically coded as jackasses and over-reliance on cliches but ANYWAY. My point is if I'm looking for your work to do badly I may end up viewing it more charitably in the end. I kind of went into The Good Mother by Sue Miller with bad expectations, as Susan Faludi called its movie version a piece of "backlash moviemaking." Still, I thought the premise, or at least the premise as I understood it, of what to do when the man you love does something bad to your kid was interesting. But, sigh, Faludi ended up being right. Very, very right.

Spoilers Abound for both The Good Mother and The Awakening )


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