Monday, September 26, 2016

Blog 2 - Ariana Delgado

Dakota Johnson, Rebe Wilson, Leslie Mann and Alison Brie are all main characters in the movie “How To Be Single”. Dakota Johnson plays Alice Kepley, a character who temporarily breaks up with her long-term boyfriend to learn more about herself as a single woman. Robin, played by Rebe Wilson, is Alice’s wild co-worker who attempts to teach Alice how to be single. Leslie Mann plays Meg, Alice’s sister, who is a doctor and does not believe in having  a baby or any relationships at all. Lastly, Alison Brie plays Lucy who's looks desperately for a man through online dating websites. This film does a good job portraying women as something more than “an object for male gaze.” I believe that Christian Ditter, the director of the film, uses Alice’s sister Meg to portray that women are indeed much more than an object for the male gaze. Meg is characterized as a hard working woman who does not view a man as something that she needs in her life. For example, when she decides that she would like to get pregnant, her first thought is not to find a man, but instead to have a baby on her own. She feels independent and does not think a man is the end game. Although when she does find a man she does not tell him right away and even tries to convince him that being with her would be a mistake for him and she can handle everything on her own. How To Be Single also incorporates women with diverse body images. Robin, Rebe Wilson’s character in the movie, is Alice’s wild co-worker. Compared to the other women main characters Robin is larger in her body type but is not portrayed negatively because of her appearance. Actually, Robin is shown as the character who never needs a lasting relationship with a man. In the scene in which Alice confronts Robin for inviting all of her past men at her birthday party, she exclaims that, “when she does find a real relationship he will love me for who I really am because I know who I really am.” Dittler uses this scene to show that Robin does not need a man to figure out who she is, she can realize that on her own. Also there are multiple times throughout a variety of scenes that this film passes the Bechdel test. One particular instance that stuck out to me displays Alice, Meg and Robin all sitting on Meg’s bed waiting to see the results of Megs pregnancy test. During this scene the three characters are counting down the seconds for the pregnancy test to be ready and there is confusion with the different tests Robin and Meg are taking. Robin ended up taking a drug test and Meg a pregnancy test and both ended up being positive. All the characters cheered when Meg finally got the good news of becoming pregnant and the subject of men was not present. This praise and acceptance of Megs single motherhood supports the idea that a woman does not need a man to raise a child. For men, this movie does an exceptional job avoiding glorifying violent men, it does perpetuate an extreme and unhealthy body ideal for men. There were multiple times that Anders Holm who plays Tom in the movie is seen without a shirt, proving to the viewer that an intimidating body type is not necessary or trying to hold men to an unrealistic standard.This film includes Damon Wayans Jr., who plays David, the developer that Alice meets at an alumni party. He is a man of color who is portrayed as extremely successful and wealthy. When Alice first meets him he is very put together and happens to “own” the building next door to where she works. He is not limited or looked down upon based on his race. He is also portrayed in a non-stereotypical male role since he plays a single father. The scene when Alice begins singing with David’s daughter proves how protective and shows how serious he takes his role of being a father is to him. David is taken aback by the signing, as he realized that the song they were singing together was the exact same song that David’s wife, who passed away, sang to their daughter. Lastly, I believe that the representation test is a fair method of grading movies. The questions that are asked should be obvious requirements for movies, which is why I was so surprised that so many of them were left unchecked. I believe that what the test is asking is not unrealistic or very difficult to accomplish during an hour and a half movie. One thing I would add to the representation test is a description of what the grade means. How To Be Single got a score of 10 points which resulted in a B. I believe that this grade will mean more to people if they can see a description on what the grade means.  

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