Transcript at the link!
Some choice soundbites from Chloe Angyal of Feministing. On Crazy, Stupid, Love:
“Crazy, Sexy, Love” [sic] reminds you that you actually have to work to make relationships work, especially when you’ve been married for a long time, like Steve Carell and Julianne Moore’s character have been. But this whole grand gesture thing, this whole, you know, fighting-really-hard-for-the-people-you-love thing, again, it sounds really great when Steve Carell says it. But the way that it plays out in this movie is the 13-year-old attempts a romantic-comedy-style grand gesture, and he completely humiliates the girl that he loves.
You know, he embarrasses her in front of her peers, and she’s mortified and tells him in no uncertain terms, for probably the fourth time, to back off. So one of the things that rom-coms teach us is that this persistence, this grand gesture of fighting for the people that you love - it’s OK if you humiliate them. It’s OK if you, you know, in the real world we might term stalk them - as long as you love them because then it’s romantic. And I think that’s a harmful message. And that’s something that we need to be a little more - we need to sort of view a little more critically.
She also discusses the problematic representation of Ryan Gosling’s pickup artist character:
… The Ryan Gosling fever that’s going around at the moment is not without reason. But that storyline I found particularly disturbing because the point, I mean the point of that love story is basically that he’s finally found a woman who was too good to objectify and too good to manipulate. But all the other women who came before her are totally worthy of being manipulated and objectified. And suddenly this, you know, this one woman, Emma Stone, comes along who has qualities that sort of exempt her from that kind of sexist treatment and melts - and manages to melt his, you know, misogynistic heart of stone.
The Atlantic piece she’s promoting, “What I Learned from a Summer of Romantic Comedies,” is also an extremely worthwhile read. (On Page 2, there are some echoes of RGR’s piece, “You Are Better Than That (And By “That” I Mean “Sex”).
Listened to this on NPR yesterday, it was great! I love hearing rad feminist voices on the radio :)