#girlsonfilm is a feature in which `English Lit student Hannah Oliver recreates famous cinematic scenes in real life and then writes about them. The idea being to discover what happens when the fantasy of film is brought down to the reality of everyday life. Nice. This week, however, Hannah was rather busy so she decided to write about Fat Amy instead.
I love Fat Amy. You know who I’m talking about. The one in Pitch Perfect who’s IQ and who’s BMI could potentially get confused with the temperature reading of a Mediterranean summer’s day. Is that PC? Probs not. As always, not off to a great start.
Time for some positivity: Fat Amy breaks boundaries. No, I’m not talking about her weight (blah, blah, boring). And Rebel Wilson is clearly not only highly intelligent but a damn-good laugh. Fat Amy talks about funny shit. Horizontal running and krakens and shit. The one time a guy pulls a move on her she equates him to crystal meth. Sweet.
The reason I’m bringing this up is that recently one of my friends, who studies Film at Warwick (badass), told me there’s this theory (neither he nor I can remember the name of and Google isn’t delivering – this is a really, really intellectual article by the way) that whenever girls are in each other’s company on film, they’re talking about men or bitching about each other.
Hold on. Before you scoff, I challenge you to count off on one hand the films you can conjure to mind where this doesn’t happen (and that’s if girls are on screen outside the company of men at all). Even the god that is Tarantino isn’t guiltless: why do all the girls scrap over the attention of this old, drawly dude called Bill? I mean seriously – Black Mamba has his baby, and that’s when it all goes tits up. As for Mean Girls, Grease – hell, The Big Lebowski counts too – don’t even get me started.
Why was the lesbian scene all anyone seemed to talk about when Black Swan came out? Why do the plebiscites of the world think Winter’s Bone is slow and boring? I mean, come on, Jennifer Lawrence is the best thing since sliced bread.
Fat Amy stands on her own two feet. Yes, the film has romance and one-night-stands (ain’t nothing wrong with that), and the girl characters often call each other ‘bitches’ and ‘sluts’ (but let’s face it, it’s funny, and a great man once said something about the first step on a staircase). What I’m getting at is that the essence of the film is singing rivalry and simple, clichéd girl power. Fat Amy pulls some guys and rejects others. Her lounging on the poolside surrounded by men is an anecdote, never even commented upon. It’s jokes. Her singing, her dancing and her one-liners are far more central to her character and her role in the plot.
So, what have we learnt about film-life this week? It’s ok to talk about boys and bitch about each other cause, y’know, it’s fun. But only occasionally. To the film industry and to film-life: pull one’s rich and bling-encrusted finger out to change this up. To observers: talk less about lesbian scenes.
P.S. It’s a real tragedy that I had to bring The Big Lebowski into this, but I wanted to hit home. I really am sorry-not-sorry about that.
Hannah Oliver studies English Literature at Edinburgh University. She would like to think that this is an apt excuse for her tendency to be overly florid, pleonastic and long-winded (yeah, we couldn’t find a more pretentious word for long-winded). However, there are two things to effectively shut her up – coffee and/or chocolate. ’Nuff said.
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