You know how you are just now watching/reading/hearing that thing that everyone was talking about 1/2/10/15/20 years ago? Or maybe you're revisiting something you LOVED and want desperately to talk about it to someone who cares? Well, this is my forum to discuss that thing. Join in, make suggestions, read my genius thoughts about that old school thing. [Not to be confused with Old School, the movie, or being old school. Although either of those may come up in the future.]
So obviously my answer to my not so rhetorical titular question is yes, there could be more anti-feminism in a romantic comedy, but I submit that even a movie from 1940* is more woman positive than The Proposal, which was released in 2009. WARNING! MANY MANY SPOILERS AHEAD.
Now, I love Sandra Bullock. I've even watched Hope Floats more than once.
Repeated viewings may or may not having anything to do with Harry Connick, Jr. Also, didn't you LOVE him on Will & Grace?
I think she is fun, and pretty and isn't afraid to laugh at herself.
And I know, GOD I KNOW, that there are very few roles for women that aren't dumb as rocks, and even fewer for women who are OLD [you know, like 45, and stuff], but it doesn't stop me from getting frustrated with the whole anti-feminist message thing. I'm finding it harder and harder to enjoy what passes for comedy / relationship movies. I have NO INTEREST in Judd Apatow and his ilk, and I'm struggling to think of a movie I've seen recently where the woman is accepted for who she is and doesn't have to be FIXED before she gets to be married.
While watching this movie, I was somehow reminded of Overboard with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn - you know, that movie where Goldie Hawn suffers amnesia and ultimately learns a lesson about how she was unfulfilled in her fabulous life of wealth and privilege and instead found happiness in being treated like a slave to Kurt Russell and his four shithead "unruly" boys.
See how happy she is? It's because she's realized that her manipulative "husband" was right all along! All she needed to find purpose in her life was to completely give up her self - to negate herself utterly and completely!
God, I hadn't realized how much this movie bugged me. I also love how pretty much every synopsis of Overboard is "Rich bitch gets taken down and realizes she's much happier married to a manipulative carpenter who decided she needed payback for not paying her bills." AWESOME!
There's that whole class issue thing in both these movies, where women who are in superior positions are mocked or derided for being in that position. SB and RR go to Alaska, and SB wears a suit and heels for the trip. For which she is mocked. Hahahaha how dumb is she to look nice for travel! HAHAHA! Look at her in her high heels! HAHAHA city people are dumb. What kills me is the people who do this ARE THE OTHER WOMEN. So that's great.
Speaking of the supporting cast, I'm not sure how I feel about Mary Steenburgen. She seems nice enough, but not someone who'd have much to say at a party. Plus, it's hard for me to take Coach seriously since I found out about his vitrolic right wing craziness.
And, I know I am going out on a limb here, but was this the nascence of the Betty White resurgence? Because I don't see it. She was hella funnier as Rose Nylund.
Finally, I was also dismayed by the disparity between the two proposals. When SB asks RR to marry her, he makes her get own on her knees in the street, and makes her ask nicely and blah de blah.
This makes me so ANGRY.
In contrast, RR proposed to SB while standing in the office and didn't really get a complete yes from her. My favorite part is when SB and RR were kissing and someone in the office yelled, "You show her who's boss!" and they both kind of smiled at each other. Yeah. Hahaha. Who's the boss?
Whoops! Wrong show.
Anyway, there's the usual Bitch Boss thing where everyone emails everyone else with location updates on the EVIL SB, and her assistant has to get her coffee, and she fires someone, and there's the whole all she does is work, she has no life thing. It's all kind of trite and banal, but this is not to say that it was completely wretched. I like SB and RR together.
"Oh, my God! What is that?"
They are funny and quirky. I also would probably watch this again if it was on and I was sick and couldn't reach the remote. But there are smarter romantic comedies out there and I think we'd all be better served if we watched those instead.
* Here are TWO movies made in 1940 that I think are more woman positive than The Proposal. And this despite the fact that in BOTH movies, all the women ostensibly want is to get married and be wives. STILL, they are rock solid women and do what is best for them. And their men LOVE THEM FOR THIS.
His Girl Friday
See? See the look she's giving him. She knows what's up. And he loves her for it! Because he wants her to be the newspaper man that she is!
The Philadelphia Story
That's right, bitches. TWO guys want her. And they aren't even the one she is getting married to the next day!