Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Olde Time Movie Review

Last night, I rewatched the Steve Martin comedy "The Man with Two Brains". Seeing as the last time I watched it was certainly when I was ten and did not yet have a fully developed sense of self, this time I was able to enjoy it with feminisim in mind. Don't get me wrong, I love this movie, but I was able to see how offensive it could be considered.

****Spoiler alert****

"The Man with Two Brains" is the moral equivalent of the oldies song "If you wanna be happy", which describes the ideal woman as ugly because no attractive woman could be a reasonable spouse and less attractive women are subserviant, which is an ideal trait in a woman.
An ugly woman cooks your meals on time
And she'll always give you peace of mind
Steve Martin is the lecherous Dr. Hfuhruhurr search of a hot, younger woman to be his 'little woman'. He finds an evil gold digger instead, who is played by Kathleen Turner. He puts up with her abuse for months in anticipation of the 'honeymoon' night which is always promised for next Thursday. By accident he falls in love with a brain, who is kind and funny. He goes searching for a hot young body to put her into entertaining the idea of murder instead of using a less attractive already dead woman. He later states that he had to meet her disembodied mind to fall in love with her because he was always distracted by physical beauty. When Dr. Hfuhruhurr finally meets his newly embodied love, he is still happy despite the fact she forgot to mention that she's a "compulsive overeater" and fatted up the hot body that was obtained for her.

Is this movie sweet or sexist?

1 comment:

Habladora said...

It sounds like you're actually going easy on this because you love it. It is tricky when you realize something you like for a lot of good reasons is also sexist at times. But, I think most of us harbor affections for things that don't live-up to all of our ideals... acknowledging the fact that it falls short is important, though, it keeps us from internalizing the icky bits in the things we like.

I haven't seen this film, but ... there are tons of films and shows I like despite of some sexist attitudes presented as normal in certain scenes. In Flight of the Concords, for example, I hate the portrayal of the 'ugly' over-the-top fan - she's cute!