Movies: Megan Fox Starting to Gain Some Traction in Hollywood.

 

I was glad to hear that whilst filming the upcoming Judd Apatow sequel to Knocked Up, This is Forty, Chris O’Dowd (Kristen Wiig’s cop love interest in Bridesmaids) had this to say about Megan Fox:

“She was a sweetheart on set. I don’t get the whole Michael Bay thing. I hate his fucking films. They are bad. I don’t think she got enough respect.”

No do I, Chris, nor do I.

Related: Megan Fox May Be Trying to Step Away from Marilyn Monroe, But They Might Be More Similar Than She Knows.

Is Robert Pattinson the Male Version of Megan Fox?

Megan Fox Transforms from “Android Ice Queen” to Relatable Person.

Megan Fox Too “Spicy” for Transformers?

“She Just Wants Attention.”

The Beautiful, Bigmouthed Backlash Against Katherine Heigl & Megan Fox.

Image via FilmOFilia.

Movies: The Change-Up Does Nothing to Change Stereotypes.

 

Remember when Katherine Heigl bit the hand that fed her and criticised Knocked-Up for being sexist and perpetuating women/wives-as-shrews stereotypes? Where was Leslie Mann, who played Heigl’s sister in the movie, and is director Judd Apatow’s wife, during all this?

Certainly she didn’t take Heigl’s valid-but-ill-received criticisms of the 2007 runaway hit to heart, as she is basically playing the exact same character in The Change-Up: shrewish, run-off-her-feet with three children and a seemingly successful job (she discusses something in the vein of building planning, so perhaps she’s an architect? What does it matter, right?), and stuck in an unhappy marriage in which her husband doesn’t find her attractive.

And what about Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds’ characters? Reynolds, playing man-child Mitch Planko, is a loser stoner who only peels himself off the couch to score 9-months-pregnant women, a job in a soft-core porno, and weed.

Bateman’s Dave Lockwood, on the other hand, is a successful lawyer who’s been with the same woman for 18 years and no matter how much he accumulates, he’s never happy.

The only other woman in the film with more than a few lines and a tit-shot is Sabrina, played by Olivia Wilde. If Mann’s Jamie is the overworked and undersexed Madonna, Sabrina is the work-hard, play-hard whore. She espouses clichés like “I prefer to be sexually harassed in my private life,” or something to that effect. Way to stand up for women’s rights there!

There was one redeeming quality to the film, if you look really hard. Jamie makes an astute observation about women and marriage, and is somewhat representative of a lot of women in long-term relationships or marriages who no longer feel loved or desired by their husbands, who are taken for granted and who are run off their feet with 2.5 kids and a job (although Dave helps to break the stereotype of absentee father who doesn’t engage with his kids). But this also does a disservice to other kinds of wives and mothers and families, who don’t have rich husbands and live in a mansion, by all accounts.

Oh, and the unrealistically pert breasts of a breastfeeding mother of three and the ass of a 17-year-old on a lady pushing 40 don’t do much to help real women, either.

Related: The Taboos of Sexual Harassment.

Elsewhere: [MamaMia] These Are the Un-Retouched, Un-Fake Breasts of a 33-Year Woman Who Has Breastfed Two Babies.

Image via YouTube.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

 

“The Case for Dry Humping: Why Being Prude is a Feminist Statement.” [HuffPo]

Alone time is my siren call. Here, Jezebel’s Social Minefield tells you how to get more “me time” without offended those who want to have “we time” with you.

One woman goes mirror-free for a year. [Jezebel]

Lady Gaga’s run out of people to plagiarise, so she’s turned to herself for inspiration in her latest video for “Yoü & I”. [Fashionista]

Nipple slips from Khloe Kardashian, Nicki Minaj and Kelly Rowland in quick succession: shock, horror! [The Washington Post] (SFW)

Camilla Peffer on Beyonce as the anti-feminist. [Girls Are Made From Pepsi]

The gender politics of Justin Bieber. [FBomb]

Is there a need for women to have their periods?:

“… I do want to raise the question that while we do the work of destigmatising menstruation and teach young girls to be proud and excited about their menarche don’t we also have a responsibility to question its necessity? We tell women they don’t have to have sex to have children, that breast cancer can be beaten, that they can have their tubes tied and then re-connected and their faces lifted and de-wrinkled. We live in a modern world with modern solutions, isn’t it time we started seriously thinking and talking about the need to bleed?” [Feminaust]

Porn star and new mum displays picture of her breastfeeding her newborn daughter in an exhibition challenging the Madonna/whore dichotomy of motherhood, controversy ensues:

“The idea that there is something inherently prurient about a porn star breast-feeding plays right into that classic either-or thinking: Her breasts are erotic in one venue, so they can’t be wholesome in another. It’s a wonder anyone lets her breast-feed at all! On the one hand, it’s surprising to see this attitude coming from a pornographer; on… [yet an]other hand, it’s perfectly appropriate given the way motherhood is fetishised in porn.

“…We don’t like to think of moms as sexual beings—except for in the taboo-busting world of porn (paging Dr. Freud). It’s fitting for a porn star mama, the rare industry ‘MILF’ who is actually a mom, to remind folks that, generally speaking, one has to have sex in order to become a mom.” [Salon]

Anne Hathaway’s new effort, One Day, has a “bleak worldview of co-dependence where men need women to improve them, and women need to improve themselves to deserve men’s notice and achieve their purpose,” with The Film Stage dubbing it “the most toxic romance of the year”.

Also at The Film Stage, a breakdown of Katherine Heigl’s stereotype-reinforcing rom-coms, from the career-making Knocked Up, which she subsequently dissed for being sexist, to the just-as-sexist Killers and Life as We Know It.

Here’s an extended version of Erica Bartle’s debut piece for Sunday Life. While I don’t necessarily agree with her sentiments on faith most of the time, this is a great read. Better than the published piece, dare I say? [Girl with a Satchel]

Taylor Swift VS. feminism. [Autostraddle]

Is it “time for an abortion pride movement”?:

“… Women should not merely have the right to end unwanted pregnancies, they should have the right to be proud of having done so. Surely, there is enough suffering in this world already without adding infants with Tay-Sachs disease and Lesch-Nyhan syndrome to the mix. Women who step up to the ethical plate and have the strength to say, ‘This is the wrong time,’ or ‘This is the wrong fetus,’ should hold their heads high in the streets.” [Opposing Views]

Oh, the hilarity of Photoshop on this Glee/Vogue/Fashion’s Night Out advertisement. [Styleite]

It’s not just women who get the short end of the stick when it comes to Disney films: “Sexism, Strength & Dominance—Masculinity in Disney Films.” [FBomb]

The awesomeness that is Adam Lambert. [Autostraddle]

One from the vault: Buffy’s Willow Rosenberg destroys the world when her lesbian love is killed, calling into question the show’s support of the LGBT community. [Salon]

A mother’s perspective on the dysfunctional Twilight-saga relationship between Edward and Bella. [Persephone Magazine]

The politics of the SlutWalk. [New York Times]

Five of The Simpsons’ best recipes, including 64 slices of American cheese and Vaseline toast! [Warming Glow]

Image via Chubby Wubby Girl, Styleite, Salon.

Movie Review: Bridesmaids*.

 

*It has come to my attention that I give away too much in my movie reviews, so the asterisk will now serve as a blanket *spoiler alert* from now on.

Diarrhea, vomit, the c-word, (Judd) Apatovian-esque.

Those are the plot points, along with Maya Rudolph’s character, Lillian, getting married, as her best friend, Annie, played by writer Kristen Wiig, struggles to come to terms with it, that have been floating around in the lead-up to the most anticipated “chick flick” of the year.

Let me say, straight off the bat, that I hate Judd Apatow movies. I find them crass and full of sophomoric toilet humour. Knocked Up was the worst movie I saw in 2007, and that was also the year of the first Transformers and License to Wed, so that’s really saying something!

So I was a bit apprehensive that the film was being compared to Apatow’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin and The Hangover. So if Bridesmaids was just going to be equating the feeling of sandbags to breasts and and showing crowning from a female’s point of view, you could count me out.

I’d been hearing about the hype surrounding the film for a few months on Jezebel and, in turn, the Australian media as its June release date came closer and closer.

I’m here to tell you that it does live up to said hype.

Bridesmaids deals with besties Annie and Lillian, and how their friendship begins to change—not for the better, in Annie’s mind—once Lillian gets engaged and fellow bridesmaid Helen comes on the scene.

Helen is played by Rose Byrne, who I’m not biggest fan of, but after seeing her in this, I have to acknowledge her acting chops. Byrne made my blood boil with her portrayal of Helen, an entitled Stepford wife who takes over the planning of Lillian’s hens weekend, bridal shower and—eventually—her wedding, too.

I audibly grunted every time she was on screen, each time more infuriating than the last, making her a contender for villain of the year, in my book.

Wiig was so endearing as Annie; someone you would want as your own best friend. Until she starts to let Helen get to her, subsequently ruining Lillian’s hens weekend with her drunken airplane shenanigans, and trashing her French-themed bridal shower, the idea for which Helen stole from Annie and claimed as her own… with take-home Labrador puppies as party favours! Animal cruelty, much?!

It is very easy to empathise with Annie. She dates a jerk who puts her down all the time and won’t commit, but is drop dead gorgeous (Jon Hamm, please stand up), so doesn’t realise it when an actual good guy comes into her life and is encouraging and supportive. She “opened a bakery in a recession” and went bankrupt thereafter, so she really can’t afford weekend getaways to Las Vegas or $800 (“on sale!” as Helen exclaims) bridesmaids dresses. She gets fired from her job in a jewellery store for calling a teen customer a c*nt, evicted from her shitty, housing-commission-esque apartment she shares with British brother-and-sister odd-couple, played by Little Britain’s Matt Lucas, and Australia’s own Rebel Wilson, and eventually ends up moving in with her mum. All of this on top of the end of her friendship with Lillian because of Helen’s interference. Or so Annie thinks, and whiles away her unemployed days watching Castaway and feeling sorry for herself.

The movie is worth it for the aeroplane scene alone, in which the funniest joke of the movie resides. I won’t give it away as I’m pretty confident most everyone—men and women alike—will go to see it. It’s like the Hangover for girls, don’t you know?

Not all chick flicks have to suck!

Images via IMDb.

The Beautiful, Bigmouthed Backlash Against Katherine Heigl & Megan Fox.

 

Recently, there has been a bit of a backlash against Megan Fox, whothe consensus seems to beshould keep her mouth shut and be grateful for her break in Transformers. Much the same could be said about Katherine Heigl, who left Grey’s Anatomy amidst a storm of controversy earlier this year, when she complained about 17 hour days, which were allegedly scheduled around her movie filming and new mum timetable.

New York magazine went as far to give a “definitive… analysis” on both women, and whether their stock in Hollywood amounts to “buy, sell or hold.”

While Heigl managed to escape with a “hold” verdict, due to her ability to “get a project green-lit just by signing on” (the other four actresses in this category are Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie, out of which “Heigl is the only one who will work in a young romantic comedy”), Fox’s future is cloudy (“sell”).

I actually like both ladies, who also happen to be two of the most beautiful women on the planet. But apparently being beautiful and outspoken do not a feminist heroine make.

New York notes that some see Heigl as “refreshingly outspoken”. Others? “A headstrong, self-immolating, gaffe-spewing, headache-inducing diva freak.” Or, perhaps, she’s both?

She has stood up for her co-star T.R. Knight after fellow Grey’s Anatomy doc Isiah Washington dissed him with homophobic slurs. She also called her big-break film Knocked Up sexist, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Then there was the whole withdrawing-her-name-from-Emmy-contention debacle, due to insufficient storylines for her character, Izzie Stevens, on the show. Finally came her David Letterman rant about working seventeen hour days, and that the Grey’s producers should be “embarrassed”.

Some of these things perhaps weren’t the smartest, nor correct, things to say in the public arena, at the risk of coming off as a “diva freak”, but who the freak cares?! It takes a pretty gutsy woman to speak up about those kinds of things, as a lot of people would want to in any workplace; it just so happens that when Heigl does it, the world hears it.

Speaking of smart, Fox isn’t really known for espousing intelligent quid pro quos, but she is arguably Hollywood savvy, as “Fox’s appeal is all about simultaneously exaggerating her sexuality and then downplaying it as just Hollywood silliness.”

The exaggeration? Writhing around in denim cut-offs on a motorcycle in Transformers 2, girl-on-girl makeout sessions with Amanda Seyfried in Jennifer’s Body and lingerie ads, which is what she’s known for.

A recent Jezebel article asserts that “people really, really hate Megan Fox” (apparently, there’s a Tumblr hate-blog, “the description of which reads, ‘Fuck you, Megan Fox. No, really. Keep your trap shut’”) purely for the fact that she’s outspoken. (I’m a goner, then!)

When she criticised Transformers director Michael Bay for being a sexist “jerk”, he laughed it off, and this exchange of words carried on for the good part of a year, until she was let go from the franchise in May.

But in dismissing her from Transformers 3 and casting Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as her replacement (who’s “most notable acting role was as “Woman in Underpants” in Michael Bay’s own Victoria’s Secret commercial”), this should give Fox “a sense of how she’s viewed”, by Bay, at least.

This is further reiterated by the fact that Bay allegedly made her wash is car in her bikini in place of an audition (casting couch, much?), to which Jezebel says:

“Which she should apparently be really, really grateful for, since whenever people talk about her, they like to throw in the ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ admonishment. To which I say, what if that hand is also trying to grab your ass?

(Perhaps she’s asking for it then, because of the way she looks? But that’s material for a whole different blog post.)

Unfortunately, though I think she’s awesome and has much more to offer, I see Fox going the way of so many sex-pots who are no longer relevant: Tara Reid, Carmen Electra, Denise Richards.

So it seems you can’t win either way. Either shut up, sit tight and look pretty. God forbid you speak your mind, as you run the risk of being labelled an outspoken, ungrateful harpy worthy of your own hate brigade.

Elsewhere: [Vulture] The Definitive Vulture Analysis of Divisive Rom-Com Queen Katherine Heigl.

[Vulture] What is Professional Provocateur Megan Fox’ Valuation in Hollywood?

[Jezebel] Women Who Want Attention.

[Musings of an Inappropriate Woman] Guest Post: Video, Consent & Kendra Wilkinson.