For all the people who have objected to Disney so much, why didn’t you ever disagree with other pathetic renditions of love and stereotypy? Like the Southeast Asian folklores or Shakespeare’s romance or even some of the movies that we watched in the 90’s and even today? I mean, what was Alicia Silverstone doing in Clueless that was so inspired by Jane Austen’s, Emma? She was making bad matches between people and finally gets her own self a nice boy out of her meticulous outfits and completely stereotyped blonde girl persona. She made me puke.
Or “Ten things I hate about you”! What in the name of stupidity is that movie? I mean, honestly, it’s heavily inspired by The Taming of the Shrew, a timeless patriarchal misogynistic classic by our chief love guru Shakespeare, but it’s a bad spin on even Shakespeare’s bad writing. First of all, the rather burly Julia Stiles is paired with a very handsome Heath Ledger, who tries to win her in a wager and ends up falling in love with her. She is portrayed as the quintessential “badass chick” who gives guys a run for their money. If you think Shakespeare stereotyped women, watch this movie. Shakespeare didn’t directly write it and it’s still just as obnoxious.
Really as much as today’s woman asks for independence, her readiness to sacrifice almost everything for that winning smile by a guy makes all these love stories so cheap. Why can’t a woman hold her own? Why can’t she say that she’s not that into him (unless of course she is)? Like Rachel in Friends has a real connection with Ross and gives up a great career in France for him. That is something I can root for.
Another movie with a less than stellar story line and way too much romance to leave room for any real story in the movie is Maid in Manhattan. The amount of onerous mundaneness that’s a hallmark of Jennifer Lopez’s movies is ten times in this movie. There is so much that luck and chance achieve that the writer isn’t delegated any creative responsibility. Everything just keeps happening of its own accord. Every star in the galaxy works to make the lovers fall. From someone who has tried to make people fall for her through cluelessness and cuteness combined, it doesn’t work like that.
So here’s the thing! Disney is actually moving on. Disney is actually introducing something diverse. And I know that diversity to Disney is an Indian princess or a gay Elsa but let’s give them some credit considering where they’re starting from. The question is why the American film industry and all the other movie industries not moving forward with new ideas? I mean, is our diversity limited to seeing two gay men having a secret affair in a conservative backdrop? Is Brokeback Mountain going to be our movie industry’s high point forever? Or showing a sexually ambiguous female character in Mean Girls who eventually falls for a nerd going to be our feeble hand at diversity when the film is dominated by four straight women, three of them white, one at least partly white, all famous, all part of Christmas pageants and all homecoming queens?