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Not Down the Rabbit Hole

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I watch crap for attractive actors
Pear (default)
So I watched What's Your Number? because I just really like Chris Evans' adorable little face, okay?

Protip: Don't make my mistake.

I mean. I am biased against mainstream romance because yes, the story of the straight, white, middle class attractive people with no disabilities or major issues to speak of finally fucking each other is totally original and interesting and has loads of depth, but I am generally bored of them rather than offended by them.

But in this case? THE SLUT-SHAMING. OH MY GOD THE SLUT-SHAMING. Basically the premise of this movie rests on the main character deciding she's a dirty slut and can't ever sleep with another man because she's slept with A WHOLE 20 (and, I mean, picture this if it was about a guy) and she'll never find a husband if she goes over because a magazine article told her so.


On the one hand, the endgame love interest? Genuinely good character and good person. Also, surprise!Martin Freeman in the middle of the film? Awesome.

On the other hand: utterly unsympathetic main character and DID I MENTION THE SLUT-SHAMING? Because it's throughout the *whole* movie and the only person shown to be an arsehole for doing it is the final not-the-right-guy guy. When her 'friends' do it? Totally acceptable. Treated as a joke. And then they laugh at her for trying not to have sex with anyone else, so yay for subtle Madonna/whore reinforcement.

I mean, I feel like at some point someone might have said 'let's make an intelligent critique of slut-shaming culture'! And then everyone else went 'lol, no'. Because they even reinforce the idea in the final scene after she fucks her new love interest and then there's a phone call to say that she didn't actually sleep with one of the people she thought she slept with! Yay, he was only the 20th one and she's totally still okay to marry (and the fact that the love interest manages never to say this doesn't actually make it okay. He clearly thinks she's being an idiot about it but he's literally the only one and your boyfriend is not the only person in your life obliged to be a decent human being).


The point here is that basically this is the story of a woman with literally no critical thinking abilities who has to be told by men what she wants (in the end it's even her father who tells her it's okay to be herself, and *then* he decides that she really does want to fuck her neighbour after all. And then proceeds to forget that either of them own a mobile phone).

Just... blargh.

One thing I will say in its favour: it actually handles a withdrawal-of-consent moment really, really well and out of context, that is a great scene (also, hot).

I will just shut up now.

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Ugh. I wonder if they could have kept the storyline and shifted it to, IDK, 1952, to make it work in context or something.

I've never understood why all the existential angst in the movies is about sex and romance. Why can't they make a movie about someone growing up in a conservative Christian family suddenly realizing they're an atheist or something? Is that not angsty enough? < /rant>

See, I much prefer movies where the angst and drama comes from the aliens/magic people trying to destroy the world, because that is actually worthy of getting a little upset over. I just cannot connect to the people in mainstream romance because not only are they not like *me*, they're not like anyone I'd want to know, either. I can connect to the guy who wants to save the world because, y'know, saving the world. Or at very least I can enjoy the villain.

I think the trick would have been to not have the storyline. In fact, I think the trick would have been to simply not make the movie :/

I can connect to the guy who wants to save the world because, y'know, saving the world.

I think I'm more likely to connect with the guy who is doing his level best to save the world, only to have the hero swoop in at the last minute and steal all the glory. ;)

I like villains better than the save-the-world guy too, which may explain why Loki was the only part of The Avengers that interested me, lol.

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