Film, TV & books, Rants & Raves

This was supposed to be about wedding dress shopping but it turned into a long rant about shitty romantic movies.

Another day came and went and I only took two photos: this one for Instagram, extolling the beauty that is cheap, American-bought alcohol and this one:

the vowOooh, so impressed. NOT.

It’s kind of timely actually as last night we were driving around and we stopped at a red light next to a poster of A Winter’s Tale. Go ahead: watch the trailer; I dare you. So I groaned when we pulled up to the poster and Ryan asked me the (very valid) question of, “Why do these movies keep getting made (if they’re so shitty)?”

The reason I took the above picture is because I watched The Vow, in theatres, no less, and I f*cking HATED it. It is a bad, bad film movie. So the thought, to me, of marketing a film by associating it with The Vow is laughable. WHY WOULD THEY THINK THAT WOULD MAKE ME WANT TO SEE IT?! Oh, right, because The Vow grossed 125 MILLION dollars.

There is it.

Both A Winter’s Tale and Endless Love are being released on Valentine’s Day: in a month that is already statistically proven to release awful movies and on a day where the entire marketing world pulls at impressionable women’s heartstrings. To be honest, I have no sympathy for women who get sucked into that crap (Eat some chocolate and get over it.) but it irritates me to no end that this is all we’re being offered.

No, I haven’t seen A Winter’s Tale or Endless Love and, yes, they’re two slightly different genres (fantasy-romance and thriller-romance, respectively). But they’re both made for and marketed to women on the assumption that we’ll watch anything with romance in it; and they’re right.

I LOVE romantic movies. I want to watch romantic movies. I want to watch historical ones, hilarious ones, ensemble ones. But the films that are coming out these days are almost uniformly sycophantic, offensive, and straight-up BAD.

Okay, confession time: I kind of liked the trailer to A Winter’s Tale. Ohmigawd, I know! I’m sorry. I’ve been ranting for minutes and it’s all a lie! I totally want to watch a bad romantic movie! But you know why I won’t watch it? The romantic leads are 13 years apart. And I just can’t do that anymore.

Because it’s not just this one film. It seems like 90% of films released, genre be damned, the female lead is SIGNIFICANTLY younger than the male lead. I mean, Jennifer Lawrence and Christian Bale? 16 years. Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara? 11 years. Leo Dicaprio and Margot Robbie? 16 years.

And, listen, I know I’m leaving out Amy Adams and Sandra Bullock, but those talented ladies are the exceptions, not the rule. It’s not all awful. There are tons of brilliant filmmakers making movies with women of all ages. It’s getting better, slowly. But until there’s equality in the gender of the leads of films, until women stop getting described by their looks and men by their personalities in scripts, and until the age discrepancy between leads is equal (unless necessary to the plot), I will keep ranting.

I will not see Endless Love because, frankly, it looks like a shitty movie. And I will not see A Winter’s Tale because of the age discrepancy. But I bet they’ll both recoup their budgets and AWT will make some significant profit. Oh, how I wish they wouldn’t.

So what are we going to do about it? Don’t pay to see a romantic movie just because it’s romantic; wait; read the reviews; make an educated choice. And if you’re a writer, write something better. Be aware of how you’re describing your characters. Ask yourself why you’re making the females in your script younger than their males counterparts. AND, SCREENWRITERS, WRITE US SOME GOD DAMN AWESOME ROMANTIC MOVIES!!! (I’m looking at you, little Sam.)

Be conscious about what you’re choosing to watch. And this stuff bothers you like it does me, say something about it. We’re living in a day and age where social media matters and right now, we’re the target market.

Because let’s face it, ladies (and gents), we deserve better!

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