Monday, September 26, 2016

Blog 2: Stuck In Love

Michael Fontaine
Intro Comp
Stuck In Love
            After going through and answering all the questions to the RepTest, Stuck in Love scored a six, which is referred to as a C on their grading scale.  Was I surprised by the result?  Nope, not really… not at all actually.  I expected this movie to score much lower than a C after reading the questions on the RepTest.  It seemed to be very focused on LGBT people, people with disabilities, and women having a lead role, none of which the movie has.  Now, I firmly believe that this movie is all the better for not having those specific things shoved in there to give it more “diversity”, because I believe this movie is great the way it is.  The first box I checked was next to the question, “Does the film represent women as more than objects for the male gaze?”  I thought back to the movie and while there are some scenes that depict women as “objects” for males, I think there is more of an argument to be made for the other side.  The protagonist’s sister, one of the main characters in the movie, is a young successful writer who has just had her book published.  She worked hard to improve her career for herself, not for any man, and it ended up paying off.  The film also passed the Bechdel Test because there is a scene in which the protagonist’s mother and sister finally talk to each other after many years of the sister holding a grudge over her mother.  This scene of them talking portrayed the emotion they felt after finally seeing and talking to each other after many years, nothing to do with a man.  The next box I checked asked the question, “Does the film avoid perpetrating an extreme and unhealthy body ideal for men?”  If you have not seen the movie please do not read what I’m about to write, spoiler alert ahead.  The two main male characters in the movie, one being the protagonist, and one being his father, are both slim and regular guys.  They are not overtly-muscular, and they are never shown working out or going to a gym.  The movie actually pokes fun at one of the side characters, who is extremely muscular, and the slim regular dad ends up “taking back” his ex-wife who started the movie with muscular guy.  Spoiler over.  One of the final boxes I checked was one that had the question, “Does the film include men in non-stereotypical roles? (i.e. caregiver, competent involved parent, etc.)”  The protagonist’s father has a great relationship with his son and is literally a competent and involved parent during most of the movie.  He pushes his son to be social and learn life through experiences while also pushing him to pursue his passion in writing.  To conclude the test, the film does not celebrate any offensive racial, ethnic, or cultural stereotypes in my opinion.  I think someone could probably argue for the other side, but they would have to pluck out small specific details from the movie which might be otherwise unnoticeable so I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal.  I think this grading system is a bit unfair because a movie doesn’t need people of a specific culture, or ethnic group to be great.  To be great, a movie needs to inspire, it needs to evoke emotions and leave you saying, “Wow”, or better yet, nothing at all.  I don’t think this rating system reveals anything at all about the actual movie.  I think you could possibly get a feel for some of the main characters from the test, but not much else.  Overall, I think that while some movies would benefit from the RepTest, Stuck in Love is a great film the way it is.

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