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Women Sport and Film - Fall 2005 Forum

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Week 1 Bridget Jones Diary
Name: Amy
Date: 2005-10-26 22:23:16
Link to this Comment: 16640

Question Week 1 Bridget Jones Diary

What qualifies BJD as a 'chick-flick'? Do we get anything out of chick flicks besides entertainment? Did BJD address any of the big issues of race, class, gender or orientation? What issues did it use humor to portray?

Question 1
Name: Marissa P
Date: 2005-10-27 10:49:33
Link to this Comment: 16661

Bridget Jones' Diary is a chick flick because it centers on a woman and her search for love. On this search she finds the wrong man but thinks he is right, she loses the right man, and she cries. And eats....
I think that chick flicks can provide a look at what society views as "girl behavior." This is what women are "supposed" to act like if they are unmarried and 32 and are in a dead end job. If a woman is in that situation, of course she must be unhappy, according to the movie. It is important to remember that this is a broad generalization and that many people could have been satisfied with the life she has, focusing on the good friends, loving parents (though they are sometimes misguided), and and an apartment to live in.
While this movie did not really adress race or gender, it did speak of class in terms of the differences between the low income unstable job Bridget had as compared to the better paying postions of Mark and Daniel. It also gave a stereotypical "best gay guy friend" view of orientation. They made a character who was overly flirtatious and self-important without fleshing out any other characteristics. However, these same sterotypes were given for single heterosexual women as well, as both Bridget and her friend Jude stayed with men who (in Judes case) made them cry in bathrooms or who did other things they knew were "wrong" just because they didnt want to be alone.
The humor was used to soften these stereotypical portrayals. If her friend was always crying and sad because she was depressed, no one would want to watch the movie, however since shes crying in the bathroom because of the "bad bad man" it is funny, because many women have done the same thing. If Daniel and Mark ended up in the hospital, it would have made the movie a dramatic one, but instead it retained its humor, showing the formality of british men and perhaps commenting that they couldnt really hurt each other at all.

Week 1: BJD
Name: Kendra
Date: 2005-10-27 16:08:04
Link to this Comment: 16667

The movie "Bridget Jones's Diary" is most certainly categorized as a 'chick-flick', in that it portrays many of the typical characteristics of said genre of films. The main story is that of Bridget, a woman in her 30s, desperately attempting to settle down in her life by finding a stable relationship, job, family, etc. She does so with the help of her “friends”, and constantly interacts with the likes of hot men like Daniel and Mark, who have fatal flaws and amazing qualities to boot. Her family is also present in the story, portrayed by her parents and their stumbling relationship. The reason why BJD can be called a 'chick-flick' is because of all of these qualities: Bridget is essentially the underdog in her life-- he parents marriage, a stable rock in her life for so long, is now stumbling; no men find her perfect; she has body image issues; and friends who 'support' her by taking her drinking and encouraging her binges in food and alcohol. All of these obstacles combine to making Bridget a heroine that the viewers, most typically women in similar situations to Bridget, root for and want to be successful.

'Chick flicks' like BJD can give the viewers some sort of knowledge in terms of relationships and life, but in most cases, things do not pan out just as they do in these types of movies: two beautiful men don't just scurry up onto peoples doorsteps all the time waiting for a relationship and willing to make a commitment with that person. Other things the viewers can get out of 'chick-flicks' is essentially just some optimism about life: if Bridget, this “fat”, overindulging, almost over-the-hill woman can find the man of her dreams, so can anyone else. Even though we know that things do not usually work out this nicely, the movie can give us a little hope and some dreams.

This film, in my opinion, does a very fine job at ignoring/alienating some of the other issues so common in life, though. Bridget's token gay friend is simply unneeded, at least in the aspect in which he was used, and her other friends weren't much better, as they were not, at least in my opinion, all that supportive of Bridget and her never-ending quest for love. There were no other gay characters in the movie, and in general, were very few characters of anything other than a WASPy nascent, which could be easily explained by the fact that Bridget's life does not offer opportunities to meet diverse people, aside from the fact that she lives in LONDON, and works in a publishing firm where she could meet tons of people from different outlooks/races/creeds/genders/orientations.

This film used humour to portray issues so often seen as very serious in our everyday lives: infidelity, dating, love, workplace drama, etc. Essentially, to me it seems like this movie, as well as many other films of the same 'chick-flick' genre, use humour to alleviate some of the tension in these situations, as well as to remind us still in the real-world that we can live in a better world if we made some of these comparable situations funny in our own lives. The humour helps us escape into their “fairy-tale” world, and to immerse ourselves in the story of Bridget and Mark and Daniel: without the humour, it would just be a pitiful tale of a pitiful woman who can't find love-- and that would really make us cry.

Bridget Jones
Name: Talia Libe
Date: 2005-10-28 00:40:03
Link to this Comment: 16675

What is a chick flick? A film that is marketed towards a predominantly female audience. Usually it involves a combination of romance, humor, and drama. The plot is generally based on a relationship between a man and a woman. This relationship, whether dramatic, comedic, depressing, sappy, or feel-good, drives the plot. Bridget Jones is a chick flick because it centers around her relationship with Darcy, and how the Hugh Grant character factors in.
Do we get anything out of a chick flick besides entertainment? As a film buff, I kind of find this question to be offensive. What any viewer gets out of a movie is first of all pretty subjective. But also, there are thousands of movies that fall under the category of "chick flick." Therefore, there are many that are, in my opinion, great films, and many more that are pure garbage. Did I personally get anything out of the specific film of Bridget Jones' Diary, besides entertainment? Well, it certainly is one of the only films that I have seen in the past eight years that portrays a main female character who is desired by handsome men, and has a very healthy and normal body weight. In this respect, I got some satisfaction out of the film besides entertainment. But mostly, I think that a film like Bridget Jones is supposed to "merely" provide entertainment. But this is in no way a degrading thing to say about a film. To the contrary, if a film provides a satisfying amount of entertainment, it has achieved one of its major goals. (other goals being to make a hell of a lot of money, which it did...and providing the book fans with a good adaptation to film, which is another one of those subjective things...etc).
I think that as much as we may want to read into the film in order to pull out something profound about larger societal issues, we would just be reaching. It is a fun movie. It provides a healthy body image. It entertains (at least me). And I'm not sure it does much more. But that's just me.

Oh, and my boyfriend would like me to add that "chick flicks give women an accurate portrayal of relationships just as porn gives men an accurate portrayal of sex."

And with that, good night. See you in class Tuesday night.

Name: Marissa
Date: 2005-10-29 13:37:28
Link to this Comment: 16684

I found Kendra's thoughts about how "two beautiful men don't just scurry up to peoples doorsteps" looking for relationships all of the time. This is completely true, but I feel like it doesnt discourage women from saying "but look at Bridget Jones! She was "fat" and smoked and had a bad job and even SHE had two men fighting over her!" Even though it is completely unrational, I feel like many women, when they are feeling a bit down, hope that there is a man (or woman...I don't mean to be heterocentric, its just that most chick flicks are) out there who will love them "just the way they are," dispelling the constant barrage of media that says that in order to find love you must dress this way and use these facial products and excercise at this gym.
I also agree with Talia when she says that the movie is really supposed to just be entertaining. I feel that most movies just exist for people to go and enjoy, and the few with "deeper meanings" tend to be shown at indie art house movie theatres, though they often of a better quality than the "simply entertaining" movies at other theatres. They are catering to a different audience, however. Sometimes people just want to go see something that makes them feel good without having any deeper meaning at all.

Name: jackie
Date: 2005-10-29 15:09:03
Link to this Comment: 16686

Bridget Jone's Diary is an excellent example of a chick flick because it panders to what the female audience wants out of their own lives: fulfilling, romantic resolution to the challenges and conflicts in their life. These conflicts are almost always romantic ones in a chick flick. Is it just me or do real women living in the real world have more conflicts and challenges besides just romantic ones? Chick flicks usually dont delve too deep in the way of portraying characters of substance and complexity. In BJD, the characters are pretty one sided. Bridget thinks that Mark is arrogant and a immoral for sleeping with Daniel's fiancee. She thinks that Daniel is a sexy bad boy who will change his wild ways to be with her. The only change in the portrayal of these characters is to change them into different one sided characters. Another aspect of chick flicks that BJD embodies is that these movies generally end when the man and the woman get together. The plot hardly ever continues to show the man and the woman living in their relationship day to day. This means that audiences never see how much work it takes to make relationships work: the compromises, the communication, the challenges. I would guess that this is very damaging to all women from pre-teens to adults who adopt the conceoption of the simple, romantic sequence of relationships and are unprepared to actually be in one. It also leads women to feel unsatisfied with their life if it doesn't work out the way it does in chick flicks. As far as representing the spectrum of differences among people, the characters in the movie were white English adults who were all reasonably financially secure in life. This shows another way in which chick flicks do not seek to present an in-depth depiction of the world. But this is not meant to condemn the genre, it clearly has a large market of people who enjoy these movies to suit a particular mood.

Name: jackie
Date: 2005-10-31 16:24:35
Link to this Comment: 16739

To address Talia's approval in seeing a woman with a healthy body weight as the main character who still gets the cute guy: it is never actually clarified in the film's message to the audience that Bridget is not fat. The message seems more that she gets the guy in spite of being fat. Darcy says he likes her "just the way she is" which is the memorable line in the movie, as though it takes someone of considerable tolerance to like Bridget just the way she is. What I would find satisfactory in a movie is if the main female character of a mainstream chick flick had a healthy body weight, AND if this healthy weight was never made an issue of at all, but rather put forth for the audience to accept.

Secondly, I agreed with Marissa's observation of chick flicks as models of "girl behavior" and what a woman in Bridget's position is supposed to act like. Chick flicks do represent the behavior of women for other women to identify with. But couldn't women also identify with movies about women who have deeper conflicts and show more substance of character? I know its a little futile to get frustrated with a genre which, as we have established, just seeks to entertain, but I argue that a chick flick could entertain while simultaneously providing stronger female role models than a woman who just wants a boyfriend.

Name: Kendra
Date: 2005-10-31 16:58:44
Link to this Comment: 16740

Marissa's comments: I think that yes, you are correct in saying that the filmmakers would not have wanted a big dramatic hospital scene with either Darcy or Daniel in medical trouble, but they needed at least Mark to get hurt so Bridget would feel even worse when she rejected him for the wrong reasons. And yes, sometimes we all want to watch a movie that does not involve thinking. This seems to be moreso of a US trend, since I know that in French filmmaking, even romantic movies that could be compared to "chick-flicks", like A Very Long Engagement and Amelie, are thinking movies, too. But we are also the country that makes movies like Dodgeball and Zoolander ( I love them anyways!).

Jackie's comments: I completely agree with you, in that most chick-flicks don't show, or don't explore very deeply, issues and conflicts other than those relating to romance that affect the female lead. In Bridget Jones, there is some of that, though, with her parents' marital problems, but it was still not explored very much. I think these conflicts, as well as the facts that you bring up about realities in relationship, are not explored because people get enough of this stuff in real life, and yes, this movie is for entertainment purposes.

And Talia: You have a very smart boyfriend ;)

Week 2 A League Of Their Own
Name: Amy
Date: 2005-11-02 10:30:51
Link to this Comment: 16759

One qualifier we talked about for a women’s sports film was there had to be a ‘victory’ in the end. The female protagonist had to overcome the adversity, mature, successfully navigate a relationship and find some level of happiness. Does this happen in A League Of their Own? Did Dottie drop the ball on purpose and if you think she did, of did not—is “the victory” achieved either way? Why or why not?

Name: jackie
Date: 2005-11-02 16:01:29
Link to this Comment: 16766

In "A League of Their Own", there seem to be two central conflicts or struggles: the first is the larger struggle of the first women's baseball teams, a competetive struggle among the teams but also to be taken seriously be the larger public. The second struggle is the personal one between Dottie and Kit. This is the aspect of the film that makes it appealing to women in that it deals extensively with personal relationships. Based on these two struggles, we would expect to see resolutions to each. The resolution to the larger struggle of women's baseball teams is that they prove themselves, fill the stands, even manage to keep the league going for years to come. On a more specific level, this is shown by the biggest skeptic of women's baseball, the Peaches' coach Jimmy Dougan, in his acceptance of these women as "real ballplayers". The resolution to the second struggle, that competetive conflict that keeps Dottie and Kit constantly at odds, is resolved by that final moment in the world series game when Dottie drops the ball. When our class began discussing this pivotal moment after viewing the film, it was clear that there was much controversy. I beleive that Dottie dropped the ball neither with an intent to let Kit win, nor just by accident either. But she dropped the ball because of the two sisters' wills to win, Kit's was stronger. Now this isn't to say that Dottie didn't want to win. But she chose a different victory. She acknowledged that it would mean more to her sister to win, and this caused the dropping of the ball which I beleive was an unconscious decision, but a decision none the less. Dottie chose the victory of her relationship with her sister. It would be Dottie's victory to make that sacrifice to see someone who she loves so much enjoy the victory instead. And this is predicated upon the neccessity that Kit never know that Dottie subconsciously let her win. She knew that winning the game would drive her sister permanantly out of her life. Dottie has shown in the movie that her relationship with her sister was more important to her than baseball. Despite always acting like a ruthless, strategic player, she was prepared to have herself be traded to another team, and prepared to leave the league altogether if it would make Kit happy. Thus Kit wins the competetive victory and Dottie wins the personal one.

Date: 2005-11-02 18:26:13
Link to this Comment: 16769

In “A League of Their Own”, both Dottie and Kit matured through their experiences in the AAGPBL. They overcame adversity, since, not only were they women, but they lived and worked in Oregon, far from the action of the rest of the country at the time, and were given great opportunities to succeed. All of the women involved in the AAGPBL did these same things, as well as learning how to successfully navigate a relationship and find happiness, whether it be with spouses, new men in their lives, family, or their new fellow players. All of these smaller victories only ameliorate the victory of the Racine Belles in the end, and make the loss by the Rockville Peaches not as tough to overcome, since really everyone had learned and grown a lot through playing baseball.

Yes, in my opinion, Dottie dropped the ball on purpose. The victory is still achieved by Kit and her team, and is not cheapened in any way, since it could very well have been an actual error on the part of Dottie. No one can be perfect all the time, and it was about time that Kit got some glory for herself.

Name: Kendra
Date: 2005-11-02 18:26:41
Link to this Comment: 16770

That last post was mine.

Name: Marissa P
Date: 2005-11-03 12:21:56
Link to this Comment: 16799

I think this does happen in A league of their Own. Dottie suceeds through adversity as a female baseball player, ends up happy with her life, and teaches others to grow as women and as people. She might not learn how to navigate a romantic relationship per se, but she learns how to interact with her sister in a way that makes both of them happy.
Dottie did drop the ball on purpose, but her reasoning isnt just to give her sister a victory. She wanted to give her sister the chance to suceed in future years of the sport. Dottie knew that she wasnt going to come back next season but her sister most likely would, and she needed this victory to assure herself a spot the next year. This way of thinking is echoed at the very beginning of the movie when she tells the older brother to give the younger a chance to shoot, and then tells the younger to "kill" the older. She knew that if the younger was only given a chance, they could suceed just as well as the older.
Dottie knew that if the game was won because she held on to the ball, for the rest of history she would be the one person who won the first Women's world series. But she didnt want to be that person, she would much rather go back home with her husband. But throughout the movie Kit speaks of wanting to get off the farm and find a new exciting life. If Dottie gives her this one small chance, Kit can go far, and does. We learn later that Kit meets a husband and goes to travel the world, what she always wanted to do. Most likely, if Dottie had won the series, Kit would not have been able to continue under the shadow of her older sister and would have gone home, back to the farm. (Ok, so maybe I'm hypothesizing, but thats what I think.) She never would have gotten the chance to have the life she always wanted and that Dottie wanted for her.

Name: Marissa P
Date: 2005-11-05 15:13:52
Link to this Comment: 16823

So maybe this isn't exactly responding to the other comments from this week, but I was thinking about the movie and had an interesting idea. I was wondering about the differences between Dottie and Marla. Marla was unattractive and all that she had in her life was baseball. When she finally gets married in the middle of the movie, everyone is so happy for her, even when she says she isn't coming back until next season. Why, then, can we not be happy for Dottie when her husband comes back from the war to her? Is it because since she is beautiful we want something more than that for her? It seems to me that we want what we feel like they can't have. Marla is not likely to meet someone, and is very likely to stay with baseball, the one thing she is good at, so we root for her to find this other thing to make her life "whole," with a husband and a "job." Dottie, however, has her husband and her home life and doesn't want to have this other part of it, this more professional and less home-like aspect. And so in watching the movie, the viewer (along with the other people on her team in the movie) wants her to do what is unexpected and to stay with baseball. Why is there this disparity between what we want for these characters?

Name: Kendra
Date: 2005-11-07 19:00:56
Link to this Comment: 16865

Marissa, I think you are correct in stating that Kit probably would have had to go back on the farm if she had not succeeded in the baseball league. I think the only reason why she could go in the first place was really so that Dottie could take care of her for a little while, and get them both out of their parents hair. That being said, I'm glad Kit was the one who got the baseball victory she wanted in the end, since she needed it more.

To sort of play devil's advocate, though, one has to wonder whether or not Kit really didn't know that Dottie dropped the ball on purpose, or for some reason, subconscious or not, as noted in Jackie's post. I have got to believe that Kit would know, just as the audience does, that Dottie is a good ballplayer; good enough that she wouldn't have made an error like that unless her arm had fallen off. Kit should figure this out, but I don't really know whether or not she did. Either way, I don't think her victory is cheapened in any way: Dottie made the error, regardless of the motive, or lack thereof-- it's still a valid win.

Name: jackie
Date: 2005-11-08 12:40:27
Link to this Comment: 16876

Marissa, I found your observation really interesting. Why the discrepency between our hopes for Marla and those for Dottie? Is it simply because we want every character to have the "whole picture"? a loving husband plus a fulfilling career? This doesn't seem to be the whole answer, because we didn't really care if Madonna's character or Rosie O'Donalds character got a boyfriend. Is it a deliberate attempt on the part of the filmmaker to give us different hopes for each character, for example that Kit gets a victory and feels a sense of sovreignty and independence from her sister, while we are less concerned with her love life? I respect the choice on the part of the writer to give Marla a romantic relationship, which develops her character beyond being the ugly, athletically talented girl. Dottie, similarly, is developed as a multi-dimensional character by her feelings towards baseball. The movie shows an inner conflict between loving the sport, but also having a larger perspective, seeing baseball as just a game, and having things she valued more. I think this humanization of all the characters makes the movie transcend the categories of being just a sports film, to being a film about women.

Week 3 Pretty Woman
Name: Amy
Date: 2005-11-09 22:56:59
Link to this Comment: 16904

We have watched two very different 'chick flicks' and one women's sports movie. Why does Pretty Woman work - or not work as 'the ultimate chick flick? Does the power difference, class difference have an effect on why this movie works? Does the "fairy tale" come true aspect connect the movie to viewers? Is Vivian more of an ‘equal’ to Edward with or without her wig – ie ‘in character’? What does it say about the relationship and affecting the success of it being the ‘ultimate chick flick’?

Name: jackie
Date: 2005-11-10 21:47:25
Link to this Comment: 16922

Pretty Woman has all the elements guarenteed to win the hearts of the female audience: the handsome male lead, the romance, the close ups on the faces of the actors, romantic conflict, etc. But it has special appeal because of the quirky and vibrant personality of Julia Roberts, or Vivianne. We are delighted to learn that she loves to floss but is embarrassed of it, we giggle at the sight of her singing to prince in the bathtub, we delight in her ability to hold her own with the suave millionare who asks for directions, we enjoy the dynamic between the two. This dynamic is one in which the female lead brings more to relationship than the male one. Unlike Bridget Jones where Bridget seems to end up with Darcy despite all her bumbling and embarrassing ways, Vivianne is a character who has so much to offer. We can see Richard Gere falling in love with her as she reveals her strength of character paired with a hidden vulnerability. She is honest and real (as real as a prostitute depicted in a Hollywood movie can be), but I mean real in her character's interaction with Richard Gere. Having said this, the movie is very unrealistic and must be acknowledged for the generic fairytale love story that it is. As far as class in concerned, both the upper class that Richard Gere lives in and the lower class that Vivianne comes from are depicted as the extreme. Vivianne's lifestyle, background, friends and culture are portrayed as undesirable, dirty and dangerous, inferior to the societal norm. There is little exploration of the complexities of this life, of Vivianne's profession. The upper class of Richard Gere's world is illustrated through characters who are nothing but shallow, selfish, greedy and snobby. Both of these worlds reflect exaggeration and one-sidedness. What I like, however, is that neither one is represented as being better than the other as the story unfolds. Though Julia Roberts is initially "rescued" from her underclass world by Richard Gere throwing money at her, she rejects his lifestyle and shows him how to live on a more meaningful level. As a result, they both leave their class of origin. I like that things are kept equal this way. For these reasons I believe people find Pretty Woman entirely satisfying. Though its not realistic, what Hollywood films are?

Pretty Woman
Name: Kendra
Date: 2005-11-13 11:56:48
Link to this Comment: 16945

“Pretty Woman”, in my opinion, is not truly the 'ultimate chick flick', for many, many reasons. Sure, Vivian is not in the ideal position in life, but she is by no means helpless, or a damsel truly in distress, she isn't ugly (a lot of chick flicks are great makeovers from ugly to beautiful), and she would really be OK without ever having met Edward. But of course, she does meet Edward, and finds “true” love with a man I see to be incapable of a true relationship, is transformed into a 'pretty woman', and lives happily ever after. Despite the fact that this film has all of the typical characteristics of a chick-flick, I don't think of it as the penultimate one, since these characteristics are all a bit skewed in some way from how I usually think of them.

I think I'm so bitter about this movie since it isn't really a fairy tale to me. The chances of this happening, ever, are slim to none. In my opinion, at least in other chick flicks we have seen, like BJD, the stories are much more probable and likely to happen to a real woman, at least to some extent. I don't connect with this movie, since I don't really relate to Vivian in any way, other than a few miniscule details of her personality, like stubborness. This is probably one of the reasons why I don't think of this as the ultimate chick flick-- while Bridget was certainly not exactly like the everyday normal woman, she was much closer to the norm, and therefore much more believable than Vivian.

Pretty Woman
Name: Marissa
Date: 2005-11-13 19:55:12
Link to this Comment: 16958

It is very strange to me to watch Pretty Woman now. I love the characters, I love their chemistry, but there is something about the story that grated on me this time watching it. I dont know if it is the Bryn Mawr in me or something, but at the end of the movie I was strangely unhappy. I was worried for Vivian. She had these hopes, at the end, of going to school, of starting a new life. What is going to happen now? Her life will be just like it was during the week she was there--given money to go buy things, sitting in a hotel waiting for her husband to come home, never really quite fitting in with the "rich people," not knowing what to wear or how to act, and always having people who know the truth either look down on her or try to get something from her. So no, I do not think this is a fairy tale, or the ultimate chick flick. Maybe yeah, he loved her "just the way she was," but maybe that isnt good. He would have been perfectly happy with her going to the dinner with Mr Morse and not having the slightest clue what to do. She took it upon herself to go to Barney and try to learn how to eat, she had to go to Barney to get a dress to wear, she had to keep going to other people to live *his* life.
I understand, he changed too, she helped change him, shes going to "rescue him right back," but that won't change the fact that he hasn't the slightest clue how to deal with a woman who doesnt know how to behave in the social situations she will find herself in all of the time. It is doubtful they will be spending much time at the Blue Banana hanging out with her old pals. Yeah, maybe she'll learn, maybe he finds her awkwardness endearing, but when it comes down to it, I dont know if he will have been "saved" enough to know how foreign she is to his environment...... I am feeling very cynical.....Im sorry....I actually do like the movie....

I agree
Name: Marissa
Date: 2005-11-14 16:41:49
Link to this Comment: 16982

I agree with Kendra that the other chick flicks are (in a sense) much more likely to happen. I think that this is because we can identify with Bridget--we are all kind of awkward, we have physical traits and quirks that we aren'y particularly happy with, we go through periods where we aren't happy with our jobs, we even sometimes have relationships with people who we know are bad for us. Yet even with all of this, Briget is still able to find a man who loves her. Vivian does have these similar qualities, but the fact is that she is a prostitute. She has sex with men for money, and just happens to fall in love with one. It is very unlikely that many of the people watching this movie are in a similar situation, where a man pays for their company. Yes, I do see that she has some of the same traits, she is kind of awkward, she doesnt really fit into his world, she is not on the same level of sophistication as he is, but it is still much less likely, from a viewers perspective. At least for me, I like the more probable stories because it makes me desire the same thing for myself.

Name: Kendra
Date: 2005-11-14 17:18:40
Link to this Comment: 16983

I think Marissa is right in thinking that Vivian will never really fit into the world of Edward. While I do agree with Jackie in that both Vivian and Edward have changed their economic/social class to some extent throughout the course of the film, I don't think this change helps to bring Viv into Edward's world anymore, or viseversa. Sure, Vivian is going to go get an education and get a real job, but she won't really learn anything from this experience of rising above her status since Edward is going to completely provide for her. Even with the money, clothes, and even a few culture lessons, Vivian just won't fit in. Edward will keep working, out of necessity, with the same people, the same type of person he used to be, and even if he never goes back to being so materialistic, it will still surround him, and as a result, Vivian. I don't really see either one of them "being rescued", as the put it, since it will jsut make the situation more strenuous on their relationship than before.

Pretty Woman
Date: 2005-11-15 23:15:11
Link to this Comment: 17012

Well, I definitely think that Pretty Woman is a chick flick. And I think that it has a pretty good formula to it. First of all, for a chick flick to work, the audience needs to not only like the male character, but to find him worthy of the protagonist, and to want them together. Edward is a pretty likable character - plus, Richard Gere is pretty gorgeous. He transforms over the course of the film, just as Vivian does. And we see that they are good together - they have fun, they can talk to each other, and they fall in love. Their love may seem to be an impossible one, or at least one that has no chance of lasting. But the fact that they put that aside and regardless want to be together is another quality that we find endearing about Edward.
Class is certainly a presense in this film, but I'm really not sure that it matters so much in terms of why the movie works as a chick flick. Sure, it makes it more Cinderella-esque. But I do think that the movie could have worked without it (see about a thousand other chick flicks). I do think that power is really important, too. But both Edward and Vivian each weild a lot of power. But they also have a lot of weaknesses.
What does the wig say? That she's putting on a show, that she's not being herself. And he likes her better without it, so we see that he likes the real her better.

Name: Talia
Date: 2005-11-15 23:15:36
Link to this Comment: 17013

that last one was my comment.

Week 4 Bend It Like Beckham
Name: Amy Campbe
Date: 2005-11-17 14:35:56
Link to this Comment: 17051

Compare and contrast how Bend It Like Beckham is like (or not) Bridget Jones Diary and League Of Their Own.

Name: Marissa
Date: 2005-11-18 14:51:20
Link to this Comment: 17069

I think that Bend It Like Beckham shares few things in common with both a league of their own and bridget jones diary. While they do deal with a woman overcoming some sort of...stereotypical misconception, I suppose, hers is the only one where she must combat a familial and cultural constraint. In BJD it is her own behavior and feelings that get in the way of what she desires, and similarly in ALOTO, Dottie has to deal with sisterly love, I suppose, but it is not the same kind of pressure that Jess deals with in BILB.
Also, Jess isn't really an underdog. She is consistantly a good player throughout the movie. The same goes on with the team itself. Perhaps it is simply that the movie focuses so much on her and Jules, and not on the team as a whole. We as movie watchers do not care if the team wins the championship at the end (and in fact I think they do win, though I am not certain), we rather want to see them get offered scholarships to come play in America and even more than that, we want to have their families accept them for their decisions and support them in their sports.

Name: jackie
Date: 2005-11-19 22:50:36
Link to this Comment: 17081

Bend it Like Beckham is both similar and dissimilar to ALOTO and BJD on different themes. Romance and Sports seem to be the two most relevent ones. In the theme of romance, ALOTO doesn't really qualify as even including this as a central theme, and with BJD the theme of romance is played out very differently from BILB. In BJD, romantic fullfillment is a primary goal of the movie, making it very much a chick flick with few other themes as strong as this one. Bridget's ultimate satisfaction is reached when she gets the man. Jes, our protagonist of BILB, has many other goals and challenges besides winning a boyfriend or potential husband. Jess is focused on pleasing her family while following her dreams of playing football. Beyond her determination simply to play at all is the even more ambitious goal of being the best, being good enough for the American scout to offer her a chance at ultimately playing on a professional women's league. As far as relationships, Jess's relationship with Jules is given just as much, if not more screen time than her relationship with Joe. Similarly her relationship with family takes a central place in the film. On the theme of the female in sports, BILB shares similar aspects as ALOTO. In both of these movies, women's sports teams are not given equal consideration with male sports teams. Thus, the main characters being female athletes is an important part of the movie, not just a casual fact. Through both these movies, the female antagonists show how tough, committed and passionate they are when it comes to their sport, allowing the character to develop beyond the relationships in their life, but offering insight into what motivates them.

Name: Talia
Date: 2005-11-21 00:02:06
Link to this Comment: 17107

Okay, so, I really like Bend it Like Beckham as women in sports movie. But I hate it as a romance movie. I really hate every aspect of the romance in this movie. It makes me mad that the writers think that a few glances at each other and some scars are a formula for a romance of any significance. It makes me mad that Jules and Jess, who weren't talking to each other over this guy, don't ever address it again and it just seems to magically disappear. It makes me mad that Jules would get upset over it in the first place. And it makes me mad that the movie shows them together in the end - as if the religious and cultural concerns are no big deal at all. But, I guess that's not really what the question is about. So - the question - I don't like the romance aspect of Bend it Like Beckham, and, really, romance mixed with comedy and self-doubt is what Bridget Jones is about. So, I don't see them being very similar at all. And A League of Their Own wasn't about romance, like the other two movies had. It was more about team playing, women in sports, and sisters. In that way, Bend it Like Beckham showed the relationship that she had with her family, and A League of Their Own showed the relationship between Kit and Dottie. And they were also both about women playing sports. A League of Their Own is a classic. Bridget Jones' Diary was a comedy. Bend it Like Beckham was a cultural film. But they are each about the main character, a female, struggling with something - whether it be herself and her sister (A League of Their Own), herself and love (Bridget Jones' Diary), or herself and her family (Bend it Like Beckham).

Name: Kendra
Date: 2005-11-21 19:03:26
Link to this Comment: 17123

Bend it Like Beckham is probably my most favorite sports movie, women's or men's, I've ever seen. I think maybe it is because it is a bit more accessible to someone of my age, moreso than ALOTO, since they were all a bit older, and playing for a different reason. In BILB, all of these girls want to play soccer for a living, and I can understand this kind of passion-- and also their attempts to triumph over those who try to stop them.

With regards to BILB and BJD, the two are somewhat similar in their 'chick-flick' natures with the chase of the leading men by the leading women, but BILB seems much more realistic to me, at least with regards to the idea that the girls have crushes on normal people, and thier relationships seem much more normal than those in BJD. It could also have to do with the age differences in the main characters, and how they are all in such different parts of their lives, but I think that BILB portrays romantic, friendly, and familial relationships much more realistically than any of the 'chick-flicks' we've seen thus far.

Name: jackie
Date: 2005-11-22 12:44:35
Link to this Comment: 17139

I think its interesting how Talia perceives the romance in BILB completely differently from the way that Kendra perceives it. Talia expresses how unrealistic and undeveloped the romance is in BILB, how we are supposed to make a leap of faith in beleiving that Jess and Joe have fallen for each other when we dont see the process. She also cites the fact that the movie seems to ignore the cultural and religious differences between the two by the end of the movie. Kendra, however, likes the romance of BILB because she finds it to be easy to relate to. To address Talia's aggrivation with the romance, I would argue that while the romance does not get as much screen time to develop as the sports, friendship or family aspect, i think that is deliberate. this movie is a sports film because jess is primarily focused on playing football and that is why she cant spend the time developing the romance with Joe. But through certain scenes we are led to understand that they have chemistry and attraction to each other. I think this is pretty realistic, that two people dont need to spend a lot of time together in a romantic way for them to have feelings for each other. The movie does address the huge cultural and religious concerns between them, that is a big part of the movie. And even at the end of the movie when Jess and Joe kiss, its not establishing a committed relationship, its more of a "we'll see" basis. And to try to bridge the cultural and religious gap, we see Joe playing cricket with Jess's dad and friends, trying to integrate himself into her family and culture to make the relationship easier. I like the role of romance in this movie because it usually takes a back seat to the other issues in Jess's life, which I find more healthy and realistic than BJD, where Bridget's whole life is about finding a boyfriend.

BILB Response
Name: Kendra
Date: 2005-11-22 14:40:49
Link to this Comment: 17140

I think the main theme of many of the others' comments circle around the fact that all of these films have a different kind of "victory" in the end. I think that perhaps the reason why some of us may not like some of these films is the fact that we are looking for a different kind of victory than what is being presented: a romantic triumph rather than winning the game; friendship and family over the tournament win, etc. Even in the so-called 'chick flicks', there are victories. I think that we as movie viewers should learn to discern what kind of victory is most important to the lead characters, and accept their happiness (or sadness) in attaining (or not) their own personal victories.

Question Week 6 on <3&Bball
Name: Andrea Cut
Date: 2005-11-30 12:37:27
Link to this Comment: 17228

How is the nature of the relationship between Monica and her mother representative of the cultural dichotomy that exists for female athletes who struggle to identify themselves as feminine and athletic? Is this same dichotomy present at Bryn Mawr? Is this exemplified by the title given to Bryn Mawr athletes: scholar athlete? What about the title woman athlete? Is the gendered adjective necessary? Why do you think society still needs to identify female athletes by their gender rather than just their commitment to a sport?

Name: Marissa
Date: 2005-11-30 17:47:36
Link to this Comment: 17236

I feel like it is very hard for parents of Monica's mothers generation to understand that a girl can play sports and still be very feminine. This same feeling was shown in BILB when Jules' mother was convinced that women who played sports (i.e. her daughter) were all lesbians and would never have a happy life. She is finally placated when she learns about one of the pro soccer players who has a husband and a child, and can see for herself that these things can happen. I feel like it is because that is probably the way things were when they were growing up--the girls who played sports were the lesbians, and that is what they grew up expecting. However today, especially at a school like this, it is easy to be someone who does sports and still is a strong female. I feel that bryn mawr emphasizes scholar athlete to differentiate the athletes at our school comapared to those at some larger state schools who go to college simply to participate in a sport--a real "athletic athlete." I do not think the gender is needed, it is simply enough to say "I am an athlete" without the "female" before it. However, that does not have any effect on what other people might think looking at you and seeing that you are a female, and in essence putting that adjective there in their mind.

Other questions for <3and Basketball
Name: Kate C
Date: 2005-11-30 20:47:43
Link to this Comment: 17242

Love and Basketball examines the question of priorities. Which is more important, the sport and the pursuit of victory, or the relationship? How is the comparison handled differently in Love and Basketball than the other movies (ALOTO and BILB)? Which is right? Who is right about Monica's priorities, Monica or Q? Does it cheapen her sports(wo)manship that she no longer wants to play once Q isn't around? How does one reconcile the difference in priorities and find a happy medium? Did Monica do a good job?

Name: Kendra
Date: 2005-12-01 17:02:39
Link to this Comment: 17267

I think all of these priorities depend on the person. I am a very focused person, and I know that if I were as talented at a sport as Monica and Q both are, I would focus on being fit and playing well, since athleticism, in most cases, has an expiration date, whereas relationships don't-- as seen clearly by this movie. I don't think choosing to give up playing after Q is out of her life does anything to cheapen Monica's sportsmanship-- it strengthens it. Monica is not being selfish by understanding that she's lost the desire to play a sport she has always shared with the love of her life: conversely, she is being selfless, since she is giving up her spot on the team to someone who actually still has that desire to play and win. Monica does do a good job at reconciling these two very different priorities, since she plays when she wants to and has the passion to play well and work with a team, and other times she is with Q, and at even other times, she does both well together.

Name: Talia Libe
Date: 2005-12-01 19:32:09
Link to this Comment: 17268

I agree that priorities depend on the person, and I don't think that it is fair to judge someone one way or the other when looking at which they put first - relationship with a man (non-husband), and dream of being a pro basketball player, for example. I don't think that it cheapens her dreams, or her athleticism, or her indendence as a woman to be in love with someone and to feel that part of what she loves about the game is missing because he isn't there. She is still an athlete and a strong female figure. She is just also in love.
With regards to the first question - I think that there are many women who still feel that women should only behave in very "feminine" ways. Does this exist at Bryn Mawr? Do you mean are the mothers of the women at Bryn Mawr people who think this? I mean, some are, some aren't. I don't think that Bryn Mawr is unique to the fact that it happens. But I also think that Bryn Mawr is very much a self-selective school. So, to begin with, the women who attend are generally more independent and free-thinking (whatever it is that they choose - whether motherhood, careers, or both - it is on their terms, not someone else's).

Name: jackie
Date: 2005-12-02 13:20:08
Link to this Comment: 17272

In regards to the "female athlete" question of the gender specification, I actually would venture to say that I think the female is important, at least it would be to me. I think that it means something different to be a female athlete, in that this individual is an athlete in all the same ways as a man, but it means something more as well. A female athlete has more reason to be proud, since she is defying a long history of suppression of female athleticism. In addition to this history of imposed female domesticity, there are current pressures to be feminine that a female athlete continually faces, as these sports film reflect. Whether pressure, dissaproval, dissapointment, or marginalization, female athletes often must be more committed to the sport since often family or friends are not supportive, and in addition they often must work harder to prove themselves true athletes worthy of equal attention and respect. While it is viewed as natural for men to be involved in sports, society often views women as having stronger connections to relationships, family, expressing themselves in more traditionally "feminine" ways than sports, which means that women are in a difficult position if they want to have both: the sports and the family. As Dottie, Jess and Monica all see, it can be difficult to navigate personal relationships with sports, it seems as though they are often expected to make a sacrifice of sports to have the relationships. Men wouldn't be expected to sacrifice sports since it is something they were always supported in doing. Do we dissaprove of Dottie giving up baseball to start a family? Are we happy to see Quincy sitting in a courtside seat with a his daughter watching Monica play professional basketball? I agree with what was previously said in this discussion that women should be able to have whatever priorities they want, however, judgments are still made that make present challenges to the female athlete. Thus,in my opinion, she carries more meaning in being a female athlete than a man does.

Name: Kendra
Date: 2005-12-06 15:42:04
Link to this Comment: 17324

I agree with Talia in that female athletes should have the additional nomer of being "female", since yes, they are female, and women in sports is a lot different than men playing sports. As a woman, I don't find "female" to be derogotary or insulting at all as an adjective added to athlete: it by no means indicates that these women are inferior to any man playing the same sport or any other sport. I do think, however, that sometimes it is meant as an insult, but not as often as one would think, and is starting to change mroe towards being a positively connotated word given the success of some recent women athletes, especially those in the fields of men's sports (Michelle Wie, Annika Sorenstam, etc.)

Name: marissa
Date: 2005-12-06 17:43:25
Link to this Comment: 17325

I find it very interesting that Jackie brought up Quincy being courtside with his daughter. I was very confused by that, because he was the one that really loved basketball and Monica had said at one point that she didnt like playing it as much because he wasnt playing too. I know they dont say so explicitly, but I got the feeling that he completely gave it up. Perhaps it was because of his ACL or something, but why all of a sudden since he got married and had a kid would he be willing to give up the game that he loves? It just seems unlikely to me. Compare this to Dottie, however, who always said that that she wanted kids and a family, and so when she ends up with that in the end we are happy for her. But that is not what quincy wanted at all, he wanted to play basketball. It does make me dissapointed that he ends up (possibly) watching his wife play while he takes care of the kid.

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