Maybe it’s because I am writing a book about women — women who have suffered injustices and slights — that all I see when I go to the movies are male heroes. We went the other night and every preview featured male protagonists: a young man looking for his father, a hero come to save the day, two buddies on a quest. The only females were a daughter who had to be exorcised, a la The Exorcist, and a love interest. Then, last night we watched Up, a charming film, yes, great graphics, great talking dogs, and yet, I could not help but be critical. The young girl character grows up, finds out she can’t have children, ages, and dies within ten minutes. The rest of the film features her husband, now an old man, and his sidekick, an eight year old boy. Off they go on adventures where they meet a villian and lots of dogs who talk, all of whom are male. The only other female in the movie is a large colorful bird who does not speak and only squawks. Everyone wants to capture her. They chase her. She gets injured. She has to be rescued. And then she is returned to her babies (where she belongs). So the female role models are the dead wife and the princess bird, always in danger of capture. Oh, and I almost forgot, the eight year old boy’s mother makes a cameo.
I am annoyed at our world and at myself for noticing how our favorite stories go.