Monday, September 13, 2010

Time for Some Movies: Part I

Having a hard time finding movies that pass the Bechdel test? (And not just barely pass?) Here are some of my favorites:

Clueless (1995)- So I hope you're not thinking, "Ugh, what a whole lot of stereotypes!" Clueless was, in fact, the first time that Hollywood realized that teenage girls were a market of their own. Previously, it was thought (and still generally is thought) that girls will go see boy-helmed movies, but boys will not go see girl-helmed movies. Maybe so, but girls will go see girl-movies, and a LOT of them will go. Clueless (a 90's update of Jane Austen's Emma) was the beginning of The Chick Flick (love it or hate it... it began an empire). Here are girls, smart girls, NOT settling, being friends with each other, and satirizing 90s teen life. I love this movie, and hopefully y'all do too, because it's the greatest.

A League of Their Own (1992) - During WWII, all the men folk went off to war, and ladies were recruited to fill up the work force. Ladies were also recruited to play BASEBALL. This one is a classic ("There's no crying in baseball!") and is based on real lady baseball players. Oh, it's got a kickass cast too.

North Country (2005)- Based on the first successful class-action lawsuit against sexual harassment, this movie follows the Josey Aimes' experiences working as a miner (a job that had only been recently opened up to women) and filing for sexual harassment. This one always tends to make me cry... but it's really good.

Mean Girls (2004)- Written by the prolific Tina Fey, this movie hilariously satirizes the problems with girl-culture.

Bend it Like Beckham (2002)- All Jess wants to do is play soccer, but all her mother wants is to turn her into a proper Indian bride. This movie hilariously portrays uprooted cultures, strong female friendships, and kicking butt on the soccer field. Oh, also, it's British. Hooray accents!

Shut Up and Sing (2006)- Okay, so this is a documentary, but it's about the Dixie Chicks (who kick ass) and their struggle with the American media after lead singer Natalie Maines made comments critical of the Bush administration. This movie shows them standing up to the critics who told them to just "shut up and sing" and coming out stronger, more vocal, and with a shit-ton of Grammys.

Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)- Based on the book of the same name, FGT is the story of female empowerment, and one woman's look back on her lesbian romance. The movie is full of strong female characters, but did get flack from fans of the book for taking out the specificity of the lesbian relationship. However, it's still a good movie.

Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)- Warning: this movie may cause you to have an obsession with Loretta Lynn. (Did you know that LL was the first person to write a song about birth control?) Out of unlikely circumstances, Loretta Lynn rose to be the biggest name in country music at a time that it was almost completely male-dominated (this is basically still true.) She wrote songs about her experiences being a strong, independent woman, and was successful because of it. Oh, also, she was BFFs with Patsy Cline. And props to Sissy Spacek--who sings everything in the movie perfectly.

First Wives Club (1996)- A movie about three best friends who reunite out of tragedy and discover how to improve their lives and self-esteem. This movie satirizes the trend among rich men to "upgrade" wives after they've reached success.

The Joy Luck Club (1993) Based on the book of the same name (which is amazing, by the way), the Joy Luck Club is about 4 mother-daughter relationships, the complexities of being a second-generation immigrant, and learning about family members to be a better person.

More to come soon!

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