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9.06.2015

Usual Suspects vs. Mistress America


Just saw the Usual Suspects again this weekend for a special 20th anniversary showing at a local theater.  The first time I saw this movie I was totally floored, and even had nightmares it so toyed with my imagination.

The second time around, however.......



Stephen Baldwin really grated on me.  I saw Alec's face every time the camera focused on his face, and he's become so annoying and narcissistic these days.  Had a hard time seeing beyond Alec's bullshit and just focusing on the movie character.

Yeah, dunno, the Keyser Soze thing just didn't grip me so much this time, it all seemed a little cheesy in fact, the ultra-hyped Turkish hit man.

This movie doesn't even come close to passing Bechtol test.  The only significant female character is the wife of one of the criminals and she's really just there to develop his character as the cleaned-up bad guy.  It just seemed like bullshit that so many people, including women, are going to watch a movie that's exclusively about men.  How often is the coin flipped, and would men turn out to watch a movie about women?

(Speaking of Bechtol test, Alison Bechdel is interviewed on Fresh Air this week.)  


Well, I received an answer to this question almost immediately.  Since a few days later I watched the movie "Mistress America", just released, in a full theater, including some men (not entirely sure how the ratio broke down between men and women).  This is another movie written and directed by Noah Baumbach and starring Greta Gerwig.  From the preview, I thought I might be in for a second viewing of "Frances Ha", and it kind of was.  The main character, anyway, was pretty much the same freee-spirited twenty something woman living in New York City.  The storyline in Mistress America was a little more interesting than Frances Ha.  About 90% of the conversations take place between a Barnard freshman and this free spirited twenty something hoping to open a restaurant in Williamsburg.  

Um, just one issue that I had about "Mistress America"......all the women were all fairly well groomed, some you might even describe as 'hot' (one looked uncannily like Katy Perry); however their male counterparts (the love interests of the women) looked and dressed like homeless men (without the hygiene issues, I'm assuming); shabby hair, overweight, non-descript outfits.  What's up with that?  Is this movie communicating that women need to be hot, but that men can looks like bums and still be desirable?

Alright, so maybe I'm being overly opinionated.  Whatever.    

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