Massawyrm’s review of Post-Grad is priceless:

The really mind-numbing thing about this is the romantic thrust of the film. You see, Bledel has herself a gay best friend. He doesn’t know he’s gay. He thinks he’s in love with Bledel who only giggles and gives him the brush off every time he caresses her and tells her that he is madly in love with her. And you totally get why she does. He’s handsome, charming, a pre-law grad accepted into Columbia University and, if that don’t beat all, he’s also the lead singer of a band. I know, I know. Total pussy repellant. Honestly, who the fuck wants to date a good looking, funny, lead singer with a law degree to fall back on?

Let me ask you something guys? Have YOU ever known a lead singer that HASN’T fucked every chick in a five block radius of any point at which he is standing? Have you ever known a good looking law student that hasn’t TRIED to fuck every chick within a five block radius of wherever he is standing? I sure as fuck haven’t, and I’ve known plenty of both. But apparently when you put these two stereotypical serial rapists in the body of one down home guy, all he wants to do is stay comfy in the friend zone of some frigid, whiney college grad who hasn’t yet discovered her own vagina. Can I believe in a world where a guy like that can really exist? I sure can. It also has magic swords and robots that shoot fucking lasers out of their eyes.

The movie happened to be playing on one of my flights several months ago. I watched up at it periodically but never plugged the sound in. Sound wasn’t really necessary to follow the plot, as it turned out. My last flight included another movie in that was even less appealing. They generally run “family movies” on flights, but by “family” they mean “16-19 year old girls”.

Phi also commented on Post-Grad:

The {movie} wasn’t exceptional either way, but I was struck by what I can’t help but regard as the irresponsible behavior of the female protagonist. In the middle of a weak hiring market, she walks away with no notice from her dream job and flies off to the opposite coast to pursue a boy she wasn’t interested in when he lived next door. This seems to happen a lot in the movies; I remember how Winona Ryder’s character in Reality Bites did something similar in the last recession. Are girls really that irresponsible? I’ve clung to the same company for my entire adult life and felt damn lucky for it.

One of the great scenes in Men of a Certain Age that was almost sufficient to keep me watching the series, one of the main characters has a heart attack. He’s in the hospital, telling his wife that he just can’t stand one more day of his job and that he wants to find something else to do. Instead of the heartwarming scene wherein she tells him that of course they will get by while he figures out what he wants to do with his life, she essentially points out that they are adults with responsibilities and bills to pay and adults with responsibilities and bills to pay don’t do that sort of thing. They go to work.

I was thinking about making a comment about how it seems that women in particular make these particularly irresponsible decisions (sacrificing one’s future solvency for a boy or to “follow her dreams”) on TV shows and movies. I generally think it’s true and am a little curious as to (a) whether women notice this and (b) whether they view it as women following their dreams and a good thing or women unserious about their careers and a bad thing? My suspicions that it’s something that women do more often could be off-base, however. I’ve seen subplots for men, too.

Category: Theater

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15 Responses to Comments About A Movie I Didn’t Hear

  1. CL says:

    Do in movies or in real life? Because in real life, I’ve found men to be much more impulsive in this “follow your dreams” way. Women seem much less likely to do this unless they have a safety net in the form of parents who can support them (in which case I don’t know if it’s so much irresponsible as the privilege of the well off) as they are more security minded – as a result they crash & burn less than men, but are also less likely to reap the benefits that sometimes comes with swinging for the fences.

  2. trumwill says:

    CL, I was referring to TV and movies. I’m out of pocket at the moment and will respond to you excellent observation later. To give a sneak preview, I want to make a distinction (unmade in my post) between following one’s dreams artistically or self-actually and following your ambition for the chance of greater wealth.

  3. Nanani says:

    Hard to say since I haven’t willingly watched such a movie since at least junior high. Just from the description my reaction is “ugh”, but perhaps to the viewers who actually like that sort of film and choose to watch it, being able to drop the job and all that is just as much part of the fantasy as finding the perfect boy is.

  4. ? says:

    I recently discovered “Men of a Certain Age” and think it a lot better balanced than most Hollywood treacle. I plan to write a post on it, but I infer from your remarks that you didn’t/don’t like it. Why?

  5. trumwill says:

    The more I think about it, the less sure I am about whether it is indeed mostly women that do these sorts of things in TV and movies. The sheer inequality among male and female protagonists on TV shows and movies would suggest that it’s more common with men. But I most often attribute it to female characters (enough so that I am kind of peeved on behalf of women that they are portrayed in such a way). I think it ties into a peeve of mine with female characterization in general and that may be why I notice it more.

    Or maybe it’s that when they do it, they are more likely to do it for what I consider to be more frivolous reasons, such as the girl in Post-Grad and Felicity who both did it for a boy. This ties into what I was going to say to CL earlier. It’s a common portrayal in movies and TV for men to leave their humdrum professional existence to start their own business or change industries. But when they do this, it’s often fully in-keeping with the entrepreneurial spirit that makes this country great. Sometimes it may be for artistic integrity (as with Wynona Ryder in Reality Bites, except male). Sometimes it’s kinda silly but nonetheless the guy is switching to a career he plans to excel at professionally (Matthew Perry in Friends).

    Dharma and Greg actually explored this a couple of times as the uptight Greg would freak out and try his hand at something he was ill-suited for and unlikely to achieve material success, though by the end of the episode he was usually back to practicing law.

  6. trumwill says:

    Phi, it seems like quality programming. I think I’m just out of its demographic. It’s kind of a moody program and lacks a bit of levity. That wouldn’t be a problem if I could relate to the nature of their discontent, but for the most part I can’t. I have the same issue with chick dramas and dysfunctional family dramas. I’m not a chick, my family is not dysfunctional, and I’m not a middle aged dude yet.

    I really wanted to like the show, though. It’s almost exactly the sort of programming that I complain doesn’t exist. I’ve never specifically complained about the lack of male dramas, but it strikes me as the sort of thing I would have complained about if I had thought of it.

    I think with dramas in general, I like them to be tied to something of particular interest. Grey’s Anatomy is a melodrama, but it’s also a medical show. Boston Legal was a drama, but also a legal show. West Wing politics. And so on.

  7. Kirk says:

    My mother recently allowed herself to get talked into seeing “Eat, Pray, Love” with a friend. I guess it’s sort of the same thing, with the protagonist leaving her husband because he (gasp) decided to get a teaching degree.

    Watching people spending money just doesn’t appeal to me.

  8. PeterW says:

    I suspect that women are more attracted to the romantic ideal of following your dreams, and tend to identify more with the female characters. In that case, having female characters be more impulsive in a grand, romantic, not-living-in-a-condition-of-scarcity way can be simply a way of satisfying the audience, regardless of the real-world behavior of both sexes.

  9. Mike Hunt says:

    I am surprised that this was an airplane movie, since it tanked.

    Also, Alexis Bledel isn’t good looking enough for this part. Amanda Bynes, the original choice, would have been MUCH better. Bledel was 19 when Gilmore Girls premiered, and was completely outshined by Lauren Graham.

    FWIW, Ebert gave it three stars.

    Nit Pick: there is no hyphen in the title of the movie.

    Sheila, what are your thoughts on this post?

  10. trumwill says:

    By and large I think that airlines prefer movies that didn’t do very good. They can probably get them for a song. I’ve never seen a first-tier movie on a plane, come to think of it.

    I like what one airline did with several TV channels. Caught a couple episodes of Crossing Jordan while the kid next to me watched some cartoon with pirates and He-Man-esque animation.

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. Bledel is hot.

    You have to be the most detail-oriented commenter I have ever had. As someone that has never had a knack for trees due to a fascination with forests, I have to admit I am sometimes a bit envious of people like you and Clancy.

  11. trumwill says:

    In that case, having female characters be more impulsive in a grand, romantic, not-living-in-a-condition-of-scarcity way can be simply a way of satisfying the audience, regardless of the real-world behavior of both sexes.

    Perhaps, but it comes across to me not-entirely unlike doofus dads and the like. Men are a receptive audience, but it’s kind of agitating all the same.

  12. john says:

    I think what’s you’re describing here is a peculiarly modern permutation of the Prince Charming fantasy. Despite all the attempts to mold girls into strong independent self-actualized women, the urge to find a dominant man and submit seems to persist.

  13. Escapist says:

    Perhaps its that women are not supposed to be hardheaded Evil Career Bitches (if they are, they’re villians) and that the good female role is considered being about relationships being priority 1? Arguably, its more of the same-old from the media

  14. Mike Hunt says:

    Generally speaking, “detail-oriented” is a synonym of annoying. Also, I have made my share of embarrassing errors on here, but, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

    Don’t you have to be detail oriented in order to program computers? Computer don’t know what you mean; they only know what you enter.

    I didn’t know that flights were more likely to show flops than hits, but your rationale makes sense. Another way to justify it is that someone is less likely to have seen a flop than a hit.

    I am stumped by your attraction to Bledel, but different strokes and such. You can use her forehead as a billboard.

  15. trumwill says:

    Thanks, Mike. Now when I see Bledel all I’m going to notice is her forehead. The first time I saw her was in that GI Joe video, which is almost tailor-made to make me think of her fondly and to mentally accentuate the positive.

    I wish I were more detail-oriented than I am. It is probably the second biggest the obstacle I have faced over my career, after constant relocation.

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