favorite movies

Why Wonder Woman Made Me Cry

wonder-woman-movie-2017-gal-gadot-images I have never cried in a superhero movie before.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a total cryer in movies: indie, family dramas, romances, etc. But not action, not movies like this. And yet, last night, about halfway through the movie, Diana (Gal Gadot) is putting on her crown and embracing her destiny, and I am totally tearing up. She was about to kick ass and save a lot of people, but that's not why.

I'm sitting there crying because in about the first 20 to 30 minutes of the film, there's a fight sequence where the whole battleground is filled with WOMEN. Like Lord of the Rings-style epic battle. Except every one of the "good guys" is NOT. A. GUY. (Apart from cutie pie Chris Pine, of course.)

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I'm crying because the movie passed the Bechdel test in about the first five seconds.

Because I didn't realize until I saw hundreds of women kicking ass on a beach that I had never seen anything like that before. And how much that informs my feelings about myself and womanhood and my own power.

I was crying because on the way into the theater, I saw two girls around five and eight in Wonder Woman outfits running around and kicking and yelling and starring in battles in their own heads. Or because I saw little boys realizing that girls can kick ass, too.

And mostly, I was crying because I couldn't help but wonder if we lived in a world where one of the most compelling superheroes of all time didn't take this freaking long to get her own franchise (while we explore male characters pretty much to death), would we be more comfortable with seeing women in positions of power?

Would we be less obsessed about emails?

We're in a geopolitical place right now where the worst elements of patriarchal masculinity--ego, pissing contests, thirst for power and wealth for power's sake--are actually informing our domestic and foreign policies. Of course, Diana and the Amazons, who were created to spread peace and not war, an antithesis to that energy, are the heroes we need.

Wonder Woman is a great movie. It's one of the best origin stories I've ever seen. It's funny. It's heartfelt. It embraces femininity and female power without making light of it. It delves into sexuality without making Diana an object. It shows that a love of peace can be a badass, POWERFUL stance.

Go see it. Show the Hollywood bigwigs who have likely been saying for years, "but will enough people see an action movie if it's only got a woman?" how very wrong they are.

Show the industry that we need more Patty Jenkins's, because we already have tons of Michael Bays.

Vote with your wallet, and hopefully we'll be seeing a lot more movies like Wonder Woman and Hidden Figures.

Or go see it just because it's a damn good movie.

 

How cool it is to see a movie from your childhood in the theater

One thing I gotta hand to technology. The revival of the movies of my youth. Yes, it's just so they can make a buck by releasing them in 3-D and yes, sometimes 3-D just gives me a headache, but still. Last year, my former roommates and I sung aloud to Beauty and the Beast in the theater. A few weeks later, a group of my friends dressed up for the Titanic re-release (that's us, below).

And last night, to top everything else--Jurassic Park. 3-D. IMAX. It doesn't get much better than that.

I watched Jurassic Park at a birthday party of one of my best friend's as a kid. I remember that we all had to ask our moms permission because it was rated PG-13, and we must have been 8 or 9. I remember that we watched it in the dark of the basement on what seemed like a really big screen at the time and played with nerf guns afterwards.

The movie was beautiful in 3-D--I was literally jumping out of my seat. The John Williams score was just as beautiful as I remembered--it took me back to my friend's basement birthday in seconds. There was a refreshing lack of CGI--and what was used was used well. But more than that, it was the story. So imaginative, so exciting that even when you know how much is going to go wrong, you find yourself wishing, in that childlike way, that there was a way to keep the park open. That there was a way for people to see dinosaurs, because what, really, is cooler than that?

My new manuscript relies heavily on the characters' childhood memories for its narrative. Though it's set when the two main characters are 17 and 18, it has frequent trips back to when they were just 8 or 9. The After Girls even includes a few memories from this time. It's an impressionable age, when you're learning to think for yourself, when you're learning all about the world, but you still haven't lost any sense of wonder and amusement and imagination. It's really fun to write about--and it's great fun to relive at the movies--even if the ticket does cost $17.50.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8zlUUrFK-M?rel=0]

Oh, also, here's the score. Just listen and tell me it's not the greatest music ever composed.