For the first “Let’s go to the movies” paper, I chose to watch the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”. While I have watched this movie dozens of times, as it is a favorite of mine, I have never critically watched it up until now. Everything about this movie oozes sex appeal between the opposite sexes and distinct gender roles. It is a movie that not only analyzes what the current perception of women is to society but also all of the general stereotypes women face every day.
The main character of this movie, Andi Anderson, managed to break out of the social norms that were pre-established for all women by empowering the other females around her and follow her dreams to do more in life than write “how to” columns in a typically girly women’s magazine. Meanwhile, the other main character Benjamin Barry portrays the big hot shot advertising guy who tends to have women simply melt at his feet. Both are deemed as successful in their esteemed careers, but under a certain set of circumstances are matched together with attempts to woo the other person. The most powerful and obvious focus of this movie was the revolving aspect of stereotyping women. The first one would be that women have to have a man in their life to be deemed as worthy and wanted. In order to be happy, the movie was insinuating that a woman had to be in some relationship. Whenever Andie’s friend would go through a breakup, she would hide out in her apartment, missing meetings at work, and constantly be crying over the fact that she was alone and therefore could not have any happiness. This narrative of always having to be with a guy suggests that happiness cannot come from a job promotion or success in another field, but on a successful relationship with a guy. In class, we have talked about the perception of women in society nearly every single day. To some guys, women can be seen as objects to be had and not real human beings.
At the beginning of the movie when the bet is made for Benjamin to win a woman’s heart only to dump her shortly after, it further played into that narrative. While his feelings changed towards the end, Ben had the thought process that he would be able to succeed no matter what and that no matter the circumstance he could play with a girl’s heart and get away with it in the end. More towards the positive side of things, female empowerment is shown a lot of different ways throughout the whole movie. While most of the time it seemed like the whole point of the movie was to make women seem inferior to men, there would sometimes be bits of female empowerment thrown in. Andie is not portrayed as a typical airhead but as an intelligent and interesting with a humorous personality which all extend beyond her exterior beauty. It is when Ben starts to see her true inner beauty shine through with a real passion for basketball that he begins to genuinely grow feelings towards her.
Another aspect of Andie that shines through is her self-worth, as she realizes towards the end that she is truly unhappy with her role at Composure Magazine and quits to pursue her true dream. While I love this movie, I did not like criticizing every single scene to find examples to write about.
Now that I have truly analyzed every aspect of this movie to connect ties between what has been talked about in class and what I was watching, I do not think I will ever be able to see it in the same way as before. It was difficult to watch how cheesy they made a “typical girl” appear.