The Shitty Miracle of “The Women.”

I recently read a fun article at The A.V. Club called “Shitty Miracles,” which refers to projects so stunningly bad one wonders how they were ever greenlighted. The staff of A.V. Club seemed to have so much fun recalling their “favorite” shitty miracles, I thought I’d give it a go myself.

Since “The Room” was mentioned in the Q&A I decided not to discuss it here. Besides, “The Room” is not shitty. It is unbelievably wonderful, a transcendent movie-going experience.  If you looked up the phrase “so bad it’s good” in the dictionary, there’d be a picture of Tommy Wiseau winking impishly.

How I felt when I watched the remake of "The Women"

How I felt when I watched the remake of “The Women”

So I’m stuck picking another, erm, winner. And that has to be the 2008 remake of the 1939 classic, “The Women.” Now, the original “Women” is one of my favorite, if not my straight-up favorite film of all time. It is a fast-paced, fast-talking, funny, snarky, silly, feminist (in its own twisted, antiquated way) film about an extremely privileged woman who’s dealing with her beloved husband’s infidelity and her circle of friends’ reaction to her turmoil.

If the original “Women” was sparkly, chilled champagne, the remake is a bottle of Peach Riunite that was left in the sun. It has no bubble, no verve and might make you throw up.

Low Points:

  • The casting. It was terrible all-around, but special mention must go to the casting director who’s answer to “Get me a smart, snarky, jaded, single writer” was “I know–Jada Pinkett-Smith!” Not Aisha Tyler. Not Janeane Garafolo. Not Margaret Cho. Jada fucking Pinkett. What’s worse, was that the character was inexplicably made into a lesbian apparently so she could stand around being lesbian and saying lesbianish things like “Hey, that woman who’s banging your husband sure is hot.” I do give the writers credit for not having her wax poetic about trips to the Home Depot, but this movie is such a huge mish-mash of moronic non-sequitors, they probably had to stop somewhere.
  • At one point the twiggy tween daughter  (who worries about being fat) talks about her father finding her mother’s “coming into her own” sexy. Daughters talking about their mother’s being sexy is dead creepy. Full stop.
  • At not one, but two, points in the film, the extraordinarily annoying Sylvia character has over-earnest, goofy, feminist primer sessions with the possibly-more-annoying tween. Feminism is awesome. Talking to young girls about feminism is also awesome. Doing it in a clunky, dated, “where the hell did that come from?” way is not awesome. Oh, and the 1990’s called and it wants its feminist issues back. PLUS, I’m a liberal, not a wingnut. I don’t need my films to be rife with smarmy, obvious propaganda that confirms my worldview.
  • The original film nods earnestly–albeit quickly–to the main character’s privilege. And somehow the the time period of the film makes the first world problems of these women seem less irritating. Not so for the remake. Somehow the idea of these thoroughly unappealing women pondering love and loss and how hard it it is for a tough-talking rich woman to get by in the magazine business kind of makes me want to vomit. I simply don’t care. Honestly, the movie would have been better if they–along with their first world problems– had all click-clacked their way in their Manolos–or Jimmy Choos or whatever the hell idiots wear these days– into the middle of the street and been run over by trucks. Also, “Sex and the City” wants its…everything… back. (Although, to be fair, SATC was occasionally funny and goodness knows the “Women” remake didn’t steal that from the show.)

I don’t know how the film managed take everything that was good about the original film–its crisp dialogue, its amazing cast, its catty humor– and turn it on its head. So instead of a soapy treat about women and their relationships, you get the treat of watching a horribly mis-cast, humorless pile of shit with leaden dialogue and feminist propaganda disguised as a meandering plot.

Feminism is great. I am proudly and rabidly feminist. The most feminist aspect of “The Women” is it that features no men. If you don’t understand the visual and psychological impact of that, you have no business remaking the film.

P.S. : WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SHITTY MIRACLE?

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Supersize My Abortion

Kevin Williamson, Internet-famous for writing a couple of screeds about about women being money-hungry, status-seeking hoors and little else, temporarily removed Mitt Romney’s penis from his mouth and stopped fapping to his Romney/Ryan slashfic so he could appear on “Up.” There he used a phrase I would like to douse in gasoline and burn atop the ash heap of history. The phrase is “abortion on demand,” and its inanity is nothing less than breathtaking.

It’s a favorite of the wingnut world, and if you hear a person use it, recognize it for the red flag that it is. It’s meant to imply that abortion is crudely common and that the women who have abortion are crude and common. They want you to picture some mangy-looking broad in hotpants and a tube top sauntering up to a counter and saying “Gimme the fish fillet sandwich, a large Coke and an abortion. Oh, and super-size it.” A lot women have abortions. A lot of women have them for convenience. But none of them have them for fun. But because making women who have abortions into caricatures is the only way to win the debate over reproductive rights, wingnuts will double down on this stereotype: women who have abortions are just lazy, irresponsible sluts who have no regard for human life.

The phrase is also comically inept because it implies that abortions could happen in a manner that does not involve “demand” in some form. I mean, I’m sure forced abortion is a thing (and the idea of it disgusts me), but I’m guessing it’s stunningly rare (especially in this country). Unless the morons who use this phrase are simply put out that some women have not asked politely for their abortions. None of this ON DEMAND stuff. I’m suddenly picturing thousands of women plunking some money on a counter and screaming “GIVE ME MY LAVENDER-SCENTED RELAXATION ABORTION  NOW, BITCHES! AND SUPER-SIZE IT!”

For the record, I’ve searched and searched for Abortion on my cable’s On Demand menu, and I have never found it.

I mean, at some point, women will have to communicate the wish to have to an abortion (if they desire one), and this communication will be either verbal, signed or written. Because how else will women demand their “Bella and Edward Vampire-Human Hybrid No Workee So Good Commemorative Abortion’?* Then again, a decent woman might send her request via carrier pigeon. It’s more proper.

*available only at participating Happy Good Funtime Abortions and Tanning

Presents for me, Smut? I'll give you present.

Today in dumb gender essentialism. It’s not the article that offends me (though it makes me grit my teeth a bit, and not just because I have a great arm). It’s comments that make me weep for society.

Default to Chub

Some lazy bloggers rely on videos for entry fodder. Oh gosh, anyone can do that. So I will default to The Chubster. Glory in his chubby goofiness.

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Or I could harsh your mellow with this. “Girlfriend” setting? I’m going to shove a game console up somebody’s butt. Feminism is kicking my ass. I’m not even in the gamer/geek geek-gamer scene, but I keep reading shit like this and watching my blood pressure go ever higher. When will I learn that privileged white dudes ruin every goddamn thing on the planet?