Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Mindy Kaling on Women in Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Producer/writer/actress Mindy Kaling of “The Office” has a great piece in the New Yorker about women characters in movies.

[W]hat I’d really like to write is a romantic comedy. This is my favorite kind of movie. I feel almost embarrassed revealing this, because the genre has been so degraded in the past twenty years that saying you like romantic comedies is essentially an admission of mild stupidity. But that has not stopped me from enjoying them.

I like watching people fall in love onscreen so much that I can suspend my disbelief in the contrived situations that occur only in the heightened world of romantic comedies. I have come to enjoy the moment when the male lead, say, slips and falls right on top of the expensive wedding cake. I actually feel robbed when the female lead’s dress doesn’t get torn open at a baseball game while the JumboTron camera is on her. I regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world operates according to different rules than my regular human world. For me, there is no difference between Ripley from “Alien” and any Katherine Heigl character. They are equally implausible. They’re all participating in a similar level of fakey razzle-dazzle, and I enjoy every second of it.

Kaling describes some of the outlandish categories assigned to women characters from the clumsy klutz (“When a beautiful actress is cast in a movie, executives rack their brains to find some kind of flaw in the character she plays that will still allow her to be palatable. She can’t be overweight or not perfect-looking, because who would pay to see that? A female who is not one hundred per cent perfect-looking in every way? You might as well film a dead squid decaying on a beach somewhere for two hours.  So they make her a Klutz.”) to the ethereal weirdo, the career-obsessed no-fun girl, the skinny beautiful woman who eats all the time, the “mother” of the young actor who is only a few years older than he is (Jessie Royce Landis was actually the same age as Cary Grant when she played his mother in “North by Northwest”), and the girl who works in an art gallery because “It’s in the same realm as kindergarten teacher or children’s-book illustrator in terms of accessibility: guys don’t really get it, but it is likable and nonthreatening.”

Read the piece to see what the guy-equivalent of art gallery worker is and why it is just as unrealistic.



Previous Posts

Exclusive Clip: Behind the Scenes on "Calvary"
Brendan Gleeson gives a magnificent performance as a warm-hearted priest in a sad and damaged world in "Calvary," opening next week across the country.  Here's an exclusive peek behind the scenes, featuring Gleeson and Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies Sister Rose Pacatte. [iframe

posted 3:45:01pm Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »

Tonight: The Last of Our Pre-Code Series, Jean Harlow in "Red Headed Woman"
Tonight is the last of the Pre-Code films Margaret Talbot and I will be presenting at Washington D.C.'s Hill Center.  And it's a doozy, Jean Harlow in "Red Headed Woman."  We'd love to see you there. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATDif96J5Ms[/youtube] Margaret and I will be back a

posted 3:37:33pm Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »

Statler and Waldorf and "Muppets Most Wanted"
Featuring my favorite Muppet characters!  (Probably because they are critics.) [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/U0NpTfwfbCM" frameborder="0"]

posted 12:21:40pm Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »

Comic-Con 2014: Costumes!
[gallery ids="28926,28927,28928"] About 10-15 percent of Comic-Con attendees come in costume and they are always willing to post for photos.  I love the way there is total fluidity of age, race, gender, and body type.  Even species -- see Superdog below (no, that's not Krypto -- look at the sup

posted 8:40:49am Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »

The Real Story: James Brown and "Ski Party"
One of the highlights of this week's "Get on Up" is a scene where James Brown and his group appear in a teen movie set in a ski chalet. The fun of the scene is seeing the R&B performers so far from their usual milieu, wearing ski sweaters and performing for a bland group of white kids perkily c

posted 8:00:05am Jul. 31, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.