Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sandra Bullock's Proposal to pass $150 million mark

Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock's The Proposal box office total, after this weekend, stands at $148.9 million. The film will cross the $150 million mark (domestically) before Friday. Congratulations to Sandra for steering a blockbuster, for filling seats and selling tickets and for proving that women are still wanted on screen.

The illustration Isaiah did above June 21st to note Sandra Bullock's number one opening weekend.

This is a wonderful time for Sandra who deserves tremendous praise, it's a wonderful time for all involved in the film (including director Anne Fletcher), it's a wonderful time for actresses who've repeatedly been shot down by studios when trying to develop films -- or did you think it was an accident that women disappeared for this decade? Did you? Did you?

I'm kind of pissed right now because I've been on the phone with two friends (female producers). I'm on the road every week speaking out against the illegal war so I miss a number of things -- some good which is the trade-off and some that's just crap which I choose to avoid. Crap would be Terry Gross who's never been there for women but can treat a decidedly minor male artist (Lou Reed, for example) as if he were a god. So I missed Terry and her monkey John Powers and the little slam on The Proposal and Kathyrn Heigl's The Ugly Truth.

I haven't seen Hiegel's film. It looks interesting but I haven't seen it. She's a talented performer and Gerald Butler has certainly shown promise, the screenwriting team has shown talent repeatedly. But I haven't seen it so I can't comment as to whether it's hilarious or what have you. I have read the script and unless they completely broke from it, I can comment on the message. The Proposal I saw at various stages of production and have seen the completed film.

Little John Powers want to play 'feminist,' click here for his garbage. It's real funny that Terry Gross' Stale Stench is always interested in feminism . . . when a woman gets ahead. That's when they start screaming foul. Terry an interview with one sexist pig after another, praising him, lauding him and the issue of sexism never comes up. But let a woman walk into the spotlight and it's time for the repressed, obsessed tired Terry to set her ALL MALE posse loose. Or does no one ever notice that when attacking various women over the years, Terry maintains a woman-free zone at Not So Fresh Air?

Ken Tucker, John Powers, do we need to go down the entire list?

I don't think we do.

But I do think we don't need lectures from a tired hag who thinks she's still a 'waif' and who plays Queen Bee every dying day of her life.

As for little John Powers, he couldn't hack it at a real outlet (Vogue isn't known for its film reviews and he didn't work out at the weekly freebie) and possibly that's due to the fact that he's an idiot.

Powers doesn't know the entertainment business. Powers doesn't know the first thing about a plot point or an act structure or how two minutes, before the third act begins, you better have flipped it so that it drives the third act to a speedy conclusion. He doesn't grasp the first thing about arc of growth.

I'm reminded of the carpers about Julia Roberts' character in My Best Friend's Wedding (still the finest film she's ever done and an amazing performance from Julia). "Oh no! She's smoking! What will children think!" Uh, she's trying to break up a wedding, do you not get that she's not a role model? Did you miss that fact?

John Powers floats the criticism that The Proposal and The Ugly Truth give career women a bad name. I haven't seen The Ugly Truth, I've read the script, and that wasn't the message in the script. It's not the message of The Proposal.

And it takes a real idiot to claim that it is.

Try to get it through your heads, all you John Powers out there, you don't know what you're talking about.

Pretty Woman? Edward is an ass. Now because Edward's played by Gere, a lot of people miss that. Apparently on purpose. He's buying a woman. And he looks down on her. Edward's not a hero at that point in the film. Think about the little speech about rescuing Edward and Vivian exchange at the end. That's the point of the movie. (Runaway Bride is superior to Pretty Woman and the points are more clear in it -- how both characters need to grow and do so -- without any money exchanging hands.)

Sandra's not playing a role model in The Proposal. Did you miss the dialogue, John Powers? She's playing a character who needs to experience some real emotional growth.

That's not sexist. That's not anti-woman.

And people need to grow the hell up because it's really hurting actresses, this bulls**t.

I can't think of film, including Funny People (which I've seen cuts of but not the final version showing now), where Adam Sandler hasn't played a man who needs to do some emotional growing. I can't think of, for that matter, many Jimmy Stewart films where Stewart didn't need to do some growing (and that includes the Hitchcock films).

The reasons is because films are usually about a journey. The character goes from point A to point B or maybe further along in development.

Don't confuse a character's starting point with the message of a film. In a romantic comedy, don't forget that the male and the female leads have to interact. So you're going to have the shallow and callow man who is awakened by the woman and, yes, it's going to happen the other way as well.

It's not sexism.

Now there is sexism on film. And it deserves to be called out. But don't confuse arc of growth, don't confuse character journey with sexism.

And it's really funny that when a woman is the lead in a film, John Powers wants to talk sexism. How many films came out this year where women were barely present? And John Powers didn't want to talk about the sexism involved in that.

But let a woman star in film and let it be successful and it's time for all the bitchy little idiots to come out and start carving up women.

It's not helping.

Sandra's film going past the $150 million mark domestically? That helps women. John Powers' garbage? It doesn't help anyone.

As for the claim that it's sexist because Bullock or Heigl play "career women" -- uh, what should they be playing? They're too old for co-eds so Powers wants what, hookers?

They're playing professional women. And it's real funny how when various forty-plus year-old men have the leads in film and their oh-so-young wives stay home or work part-time John Powers isn't there calling out the sexism.

But let a woman be successful and suddenly John Powers thinks he's ready to be the voice of feminism.

Meg Ryan was systematically torn down by the likes of John Powers. It wasn't surprising because we saw the same thing with Goldie Hawn. It was the exact same tear down that the men did on Goldie and the women sat by and didn't do or say f**k. When Goldie was being attacked for doing the 'same thing' in film after film (she wasn't doing the same thing -- Best Friends and Private Benjamin are in no way the same role), Clint Eastwood wasn't being attacked for doing the same thing. But they put that out there on Goldie and put it out over and over and made it into a conventional wisdom that hurt her. They did the same thing with Meg Ryan and, sorry, but Tom Hanks is the one who has given the same performance for over two decades now. Tom's talented, I'm not saying he's not. But I'm saying all the critics who made the tail end of the nineties and the first half of this decade about ripping apart Meg? They weren't playing fair and it wasn't nothing but bash a woman. Meg got chosen because Julia's seen as "one of the boys." (Which means when you hit the age of X, you're out of the game for other reasons, as Julia's finding out.) Goldie was attacked because she didn't stay in her box as actress. That's what it was about. It wasn't about "Her films are the same!" Her films weren't the same. Private Benjamin is not the same film as Protocol nor are the characters she plays the same, nor is Seems Like Old Times the same film, or Best Friends, or Swing Shift, or Wild Cats.

Now John Powers wants to go after women and claim he's doing so in the name of feminism.


Drew does a wonderful female empowerment film and what does she get? She gets trashed. Charlie's Angels -- an incredible pop corn film -- does amazing business but "It's sexist!" It's not sexist at all. And they just chip away at it and chip away to the point that, when the sequel comes out and does strong business at the box office, they still portray it as a flop.

The sexism bitchy little critics like John Powers 'see' isn't on the screen. The sexism is to be found in what they choose to call out. Time and again, they trash women and do so while posing as 'feminists.' They never trash the films that reduce women to fifteen minutes onscreen. They never trash those films, they never note the sexism involved in alleged workplace films that have no significant female employees.

But they can come out and bash any woman who finds success and they can claim to do so in the name of feminism. They did it to Goldie, they did it to Meg, they did it to Drew and now they're doing it to Sandra and Kathryn. (I know everyone but Kathryn mentioned in this post except the NPR crew, disclosure. I've met Kathryn but I don't know her.)

Between George W. Bush's bellicose bullying, the two wars and 9-11, women have been pushed aside onscreen for pretty much the entire decade and that's not surprising because studios have wanted to 'macho up' (just like Bully Boy Bush) and have refused repeatedly to greenlight projects by women but have been happy to put them in films that were garbage from the script (in many cases, strong work on the part of men and women turned those films into better than what they were on paper). Actresses have suffered very real setbacks this decade and the last thing anyone needs is assholes like John Powers coming along with his uninformed attacks on women. (If you're unaware of this decade's cultural push against women, read Susan Faludi's The Terror Dream.)

Congratulations again to Sandra for steering a huge blockbuster at a time when women supposedly are the kiss of death at the box office. Congratulations to Kathryn for taking one of the most savaged films to beyond the fifty million mark domestically.

And shame on the likes of Terry Gross and her cohorts who only want to talk sexism whenever a woman's garnered some success.

Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts and he has a funny one that will go up later and there will be "And the war drags on . . ." But the stuff in this entry, this constant tearing down of women in the so-called name of feminism, happens far too often and I'm not going to just gripe about on the phone with friends. It's very damaging and it has repeatedly hurt women on screen.

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[8-3-09, Dona note: The e-mails love this entry by C.I. With C.I.'s permission, I went through and fixed typos. As most of you writing can tell, C.I. wrote this in a strong burst of energy. For the record, I love this entry as much as everyone e-mailing.]