What I Hate About Her

The movie, of course! I can’t resist a good pun.

A few nights ago I watched the movie Her with the hubs. I actually like the premise of this movie. I appreciate that the writers took us through the normal cycles of a modern relationship with the simple twist that one of the people involved isn’t really a person at all, but an OS. It brings up good questions and possibilities. It shows the interesting nuances of human behavior and emotion and how we interact with machines built to help us manage our lives. Also, I appreciate it is a futuristic, sci-fi movie that does not show a dreary, doomed, post-apocalyptic future but rather a believable, relatable, even desirable one. So many sci-fi movies can be summed up in 3 words: “DOOM DOOM DOOM!”

However, despite being a sci-fi movie about a future relationship, “Her” falls flat in many disappointing ways.

I feel the same way, Joaquin.

I feel the same way, Joaquin.

Firstly, Her miserably fails the Bechdel test. In order to pass the Bechdel Test, a film must have 1. at least 2 women in it who 2. talk to each other 3. about something other than a man or men. You’d be amazed at how many modern movies fail this should be, super easy-to-pass test. I mean, imagine if this test was the opposite: a movie should have at least 2 men who talk to each other about something other than women. A no brainer, right? Why is this so hard? Ugh.

Secondly, there is a woman without a speaking part who is naked for the fetish-like pleasure of the main, male character. OK, I get it, he’s a horny dude, but still. She’s an object in the film, not a person. Though I do admit I was happy she was pregnant. Pregnant women are indeed beautiful. 🙂

I’m skipping the dead cat phone sex scene. Just…No. No no no no no.

There is a woman who is stripped of her clothes in an almost-sex scene, while the main character, a male, gets to keep all his clothes on during said scene. That’s not biased or one-sided at all. (sarcasm)

Annd…I swear this movie shows gorgeous women falling head over heels for the main character. I mean, I can suspend my disbelief about the futuristic OS relationship, but I cannot suspend my disbelief that this average looking guy, with thick glasses and a mustache, is easily scoring hot chicks so obviously out of his league. Um, no.

Annnd…why do the women who want  to hook up with the main character, but then are ultimately rejected, act so crazy about it? One locks herself in the bathroom! The other basically has a meltdown. Geez! Obviously written by a male who was like, “Yeah, these women are totally defeated when he won’t take them to bed, because obviously that is all women want to validate themselves.”

Annnnd…why does the OS have a super sexy, flirty, breathy, voice? I mean, c’mon. Is that really a realistic way to imagine an OS voice system in a movie trying to portray a realistic future? A voice chosen on 3 basic questions the system asked the main character when he bought the OS? I guess I get it, they are trying to make the relationship more believeable and probably want the audience to say, “yeah, I understand his attraction, it is Scarlett Johanssen after all” but it is overkill in my opinion. Half the time she is talking I feel like she is coming on to me. At least the OS, Samantha, is interested in physics. You go girl, er, OS girl.

From now on I challenge you to watch movies with the Bechdel test in mind. Are women portrayed as real characters with depth and emotion like their male counterparts? Or, are they like the women of The Social Network, described as mere “prizes” by the film’s writer, Aaron Sorkin, when asked about the lack of 3-D female characters in his film? Classy.

Now I’m curious…What favorite movie of yours does NOT pass the Bechdel Test? For me, The Princess Bride comes to mind…


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