Archive | January, 2014

Movie Review: Bachelorette

20 Jan

I’m not gonna lie; I’ve been very unproductive with my time lately. School has started but the workload hasn’t kicked off yet, and with my new-found obsession with Adam Scott, I thought, ‘you know what I’m going to do? I’m gonna watch every movie Adam Scott’s been in that’s available on Netflix’. So far I’ve gotten through two, and in order to give me the slightest, false sense of productivity, I’ve decided to write a completely random compilation of my thoughts. Note that I’m in no way an experienced reviewer or have the slightest idea of what I’m talking about.

Via wikipedia.org

The first movie I watched is called Bachelorette, and it has quite an all-star cast backing it up. That doesn’t mean, however, that a film will instantly be fantastic. To give it a straight up, numerical rating, I would say the film is 3/5 stars (and that could even be a bit generous). The movie is set up as a fast-paced adventure; a crazy stupid thing leads to a million other crazy things to keep the plot going quickly, and ideally there’d be enough characterization pieced in that by the end everything has been fleshed out and amazingly delivered.

A brief synopsis is that Becky (Rebel Wilson) is getting married, and her three high school friends are a bit jealous that their ‘fat friend’ is getting married before them. After a small attempt at a Bachelorette party in a hotel room goes awry, the three friends Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Katie (Isla Fisher), and Gena (Lizzy Caplan) get high and accidentally rip the bride’s wedding dress. They then spend their night trying to repair it while occasionally interacting with the men at the groom’s Bachelor’s Party. The movie ends with a relatively saved wedding and new-found, or rekindled, romances for each of the girls.

The plot certainly does keep it going, and a lot of crazy things happen one after another, but that isn’t enough to make the movie fantastic. In the beginning we see the three women not reacting very warmly to Becky getting married soon, and it paints the picture that she in the odd one out in the group of ‘popular girls’, as they were all friends in high school. By the end, there is no development on this; we only ever see a friendship between Regan, the perceived head-b* in charge, and Becky. Becky barely even interacts with her other two so-called friends.

The romances that develop are sweet, but again there isn’t enough characterization to make me feel like they were anything other than rushed. The only one that felt a bit more developed was with Katie, the ‘ditz’ of the group, who doesn’t know how to pursue men in non-sexual ways. The guy who has a crush on her refuses to sleep with her while she was high/drunk, because he wants it to mean something. By the end, she agrees to try a relationship in a genuine manner, and they really do seem sweet together.

The romance between Gena and her ex-high school sweetheart (Adam Scott) is a tad messier. Gena got an abortion when she was younger (he was the father), and they ceased contact because he didn’t go with her to the clinic when she needed him. The big dramatic turning point was just that he admitted he was ‘too sad’ to go with her, and then in a fit of passion they have sex. Then at the wedding he admits that he loves her and wants to be with her, and that is their ‘big happy ending’. I’m sure they had much to discuss off screen about real issues and lingering hurt, but the problem with focusing on too many storylines is that you can’t properly focus on all of them. I’m not saying you have to hand things to your viewers, but that’s also not an excuse to under-develop your character’s stories.

The last romance, with Regan, is the most implied and subtle of the three. She has one relatively deep conversation with a guy who is a complete douchebag for the entire movie, and at the end there is a slight possibility that they will date. The guy (James Marsden’s character) is too much of a jerk for one deep thought to redeem his character, and there was definitely not enough time spent on their relationship for me to really care if they eventually get together.

The girls themselves are reasonably fleshed out, but more as archetypes than three-dimensional people. You’ve got a strong leader, a sarcastic rebel, a ditzy party girl, and a bullied, nice ‘fat girl’. They do each come out of their boxes a little, but again, it wasn’t enough for me. I realize I’ve been focusing more on the characters then the overall story, but I think the characters can make or break a movie.

Don’t get me wrong; Bachelorette is funny at times, but also offensive at times, and slightly over-the-top at times. I do think that the actors and actresses do a great job, but the way the story is framed and written is what detracts from that. Overall, I’d say it’s enjoyable if you don’t want to look too hard into it, as long as you promise to not try and take any life-lessons from it. Or if you want to stare at Adam Scott’s face for the, I’d say, 20 minutes he’s on screen. That’s always a good enough reason.

 

Also I realize that this movie is several years old, but as I said this review is kind of selfish in that it’s just a way for me to process my thoughts rather than attract views. But speaking of views, I hit 30,000 views several months ago and kept forgetting to mention it! I can’t thank my followers and even random passerby’s enough, it really is incredible that people have been reading these random thoughts I’ve been peddling out for nearly three, crazy years now. All my love; thank you thank you thank you.

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Why is Slut-Shaming a Bad Thing?

2 Jan

“Oh my god, what is she wearing?”

A classmate of mine once muttered something along those lines in the middle of my math classroom. A student had just walked in to talk to our teacher and she was wearing very short shorts (for lack of a better term) that showed off quite a majority of her legs.

People in the midst of social activism often jump to immediately calling out behavior like that as slut-shaming, and it’s painted as such a negative concept from the very get-go that I feel we’ve forgotten to take the time to explain the core problem with slut-shaming. It’s easy for people against activism to ask, what’s wrong with old-fashioned modesty, and why is it so horrible to tell young women to cover up? They argue that girls should be taught to show less skin, because there are more important things than looking like a slut. Instead of just labeling those people as ‘horrible human beings’, yelling a lot of things at them and moving on, I want to take the time to deconstruct the concept bit by bit. This is because we’re still caught right in the middle of both ideas; one end is completely against slut-shaming, and the other end is half-bigoted, and half just plain confused about the concept. I want to distinguish people who are confused from people who are just exceptionally rude and small-minded; ignorance does not mean deserving of hate and anger.

I’m going to focus on the clothing aspect of slut-shaming, rather than the negative labeling of women who have a lot of sex. I may make another post later, because of how horrendous a lot of the comments here were, but that’ll be a later date. The concept of slut-shaming someone for what they are wearing ties closely into ideas of someone being conceited, vain, or too obsessed with their appearance. In my opinion, the reason judging someone for their clothing is bad is because it is a slippery slope filled with too many personal constructs, clashing ideas of what is morally okay, and a very thin line between ‘right’ and ‘not right’ that can never be universally defined.

Take my classmate, for example. She was judging someone for wearing shorts that were ‘too revealing’. But if you asked others, they might have considered her shirt to be too revealing; in fact, a lot of the shirts she wore showed a lot of cleavage. So some may ask, why is she allowed to show cleavage and for it to be okay, but for that other girl to be ‘skanky’ to be wearing shorts like that?

Here’s a hypothetical example: a boy scoffing at a girl for wearing ‘too much make-up’. He mentally labels her as vain, absorbed in her appearance, and attention seeking. But let’s take a look at the boy. He happens to be wearing dark, skin-fitted jeans. His hair is artfully styled up, and you know that those shoes weren’t cheap. He obviously put some effort into his appearance, and how he wanted to portray himself to the world. Is he vain or shallow? And what point do we say being concerned with your appearance is being too concerned?

The problem with judging people for their appearance is there is no clear line to define someone, or label them as something. My standard is different from your standard. Everyone will always have different standards. So then how can we run around saying some standards are better than others? How is anyone to judge?

When people blow-up their own opinions and make them approved by a large group of people, especially through media, it’s saying that their standard is correct and all others are wrong. How can we live in a world where every single person has different standards for what it’s okay to look like, but some people just yell louder than others?

You may think my skirt is too short. I could think that you put way too much time into putting tattoos on your body. So maybe we should all shut up and stop imposing personal beliefs as universally accepted moral standards.