erik lundegaard

What Liberal Hollywood? Anna Faris and the Laws of Date Night

A few weeks ago, in the April 11 edition of The New Yorker, there was a good article by Tad Friend on the comedic actress, and Washington state native, Anna Faris, which didn't seem to get much attention in the blogosphere—other than a curt dismissal on Hollywood Elsewhere—because it was only available in the digital and print editions. It wasn't online. It wasn't free.

Anna Faris in The New Yorker, April 2011But the best part of the article wasn't the stuff on Faris so much as the stuff on women, comedy and movies in general. The writer lists off the almighty Laws of Date Night that keep women and comedy separate and unequal:

  • Men rule. (I.e., they pick the movie.)
  • Men are simple. Don't confuse them. (Unnamed producer: “Men just don't understand the nuances of female dynamics.”)
  • If a woman is the star, it better be a romantic comedy. (Tad Friend: “Unless she is Angelina Jolie.”)
  • Women don't have to be funny. (Preston Sturges: “A pretty girl is better than an ugly one.”)
  • Also, women aren't funny. (David Zucker: “Maybe women have a built-in dignity...”)
  • Really, they're not. (Kennan Ivory Wayans: “If Will Ferrell was a girl, and she's got a belly and a hairy back, she's not running down the street naked.”)

I gained newfound (firstfound?) respect for Seth Rogen, Feris' co-star in “Observe and Report,” who observed (and reported), “If 'Pineapple Express' had been about two girls, they wouldn't have made it. And if I were a woman I wouldn't have a career.”

Friend contrasts female comedians in movies with female comedians on TV, where they're doing just fine, thank you, but the discussion reminded me, yet again, how unliberal Hollywood is in practice. Liberalism means feminism, or includes feminism, and yet what's feminist about 99 percent of the product coming out of Hollywood? Nothing. The opposite. Hollywood isn't even conservative on the matter. It's Confucian.

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Posted at 07:42 AM on Sat. Apr 23, 2011 in category What Liberal Hollywood?  


Reed wrote:

I hardly ever go in for the Romantic Comedies because they're always so offensively stupid that they seem to show a complete contempt for their audience. But when on a plane trip, I sometimes indulge, because what else are you going to watch on a tiny (often blurry) screen with crappy sound?

And not too long ago, there was one such movie that I felt crossed not just the stupidity line, but the misogyny one, too. 27 Dresses. This is a film ostensibly tailored to young professionals, yet the only such women who could possibly accept a film where the heroine such a masochist in her personal life would be fools too stupid to hold down a job in the first place. And of course like most of the purported RoCo's it was neither romantic nor comedic. Since then, I've steered clear on flights and stuck with the mediocre superhero films (last night I fell asleep during the Green Hornet somewhere north of Brazil...).

Comment posted on Sun. Apr 24, 2011 at 01:46 PM
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