We’re All Stars: A Feminist Retrieval of ‘High School Musical’

There's so much pep in this poster, I'm exhausted just looking at it.

I am not here to argue that the ‘High School Musical’ franchise is a feminist triumph. But I continue to believe that popular cultural products beloved of young women and girls receive an inordinate amount of vitriol because of misogyny, and that they merit close and generous examination for the retrieval of positive messages.

Call for Writers: Female Friendships

Female friendships are the bedrock of feminism. The ideal of a community of women who support, understand, and love each other is a source of succor for sisters in need and a dream towards which the feminist movement strives. There are endless power and agency in female friendships. There is purpose in those bonds, a purpose outside the pursuit of men, even if Hollywood doesn’t see it.

The Brat Pack: The Roundup

Check out all of the posts for our Brat Pack Theme Week here.

‘Mannequin’: A Dummy’s Guide to True and Everlasting Love

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By any regular standards, even the 1980s, ‘Mannequin’ is a TERRIBLE movie. It never should have been green lit, let alone hit wide release. It’s often lumped in with other Brat Pack pics, thanks to the presence of Andrew McCarthy and James Spader, but it really should be categorized separately, as a romcom gone wrong. Showroom dummies that come to life after hours should be the stuff of horror movies, or episodes of ‘Doctor Who,’ not fluffy fantasies starring a nearly naked Kim Cattrall. John Hughes wouldn’t have touched this material with a ten-foot pole.

‘Sixteen Candles,’ Rape Culture, and the Anti-Woman Politics of 2013

Holy fuck this movie. I started watching it like OH YEAH MY CHILDHOOD MOLLY RINGWALD ADOLESCENCE IS SO HARD and after two scenes, I put that shit on pause like, WHEN DID SOMEONE WRITE ALL THESE RACIST HOMOPHOBIC SEXIST ABLEIST RAPEY PARTS THAT WEREN’T HERE BEFORE I WOULD’VE REMEMBERED THEM.

Nostalgia is a sneaky bitch.

A Brain, an Athlete, a Basket Case, a Princess, and a Criminal: How ‘The Breakfast Club’ Archetypes Set Standards for High School in Brat Pack Cinema and Beyond

Breakfast Club Cast Photo

While today’s entertainment sources a lot of inspiration from Brat Pack Cinema, especially the high school-coming-of-age era of Brat Pack Cinema, we have to be very aware that we do not fall into the trap of embracing multifaceted male characters and yet only providing a Princess/Oddball dynamic with female characters. Not all of us fall into The Brain, The Athlete, The Basket Case, The Princess, and The Criminal, and while we can look to Brat Pack Cinema for inspiration to create new projects for our generation and generations to come, archetypes are suggestions, not the end-all be-all for characters in entertainment.

After The Brat Pack: Ally Sheedy in ‘High Art’

Syd and Lucy

Although a few who had fallen under the brat pack sobriquet (like Demi Moore) continued in mainstream star-vehicles well into the 90s (and Rob Lowe, dismissed as another pretty face in the ’80s, was able to sustain a TV career into the present), most had faded from the public view by then, including Ally Sheedy (after starring in 1987′s ‘Maid to Order,’ her own ‘Weekend At Bernie’s') –though earlier in her career she, of the whole “Pack,” received some of the best reviews for her work. Sheedy went on to reinvent herself–and make good on her earlier promise–in a series of meaty roles in independent films in the late 90s: the most well known one (for which she won several awards) was Lucy Berliner in writer-director Lisa Cholodenko’s 1998 feature debut ‘High Art.’

What They’re Going Through: The Brat Pack Gave Teens a Voice

Changes Title Card The Breakfast Club

Whatever the Brat Pack actors did with their fame in real life does not reflect the impact they ingrained on our culture. They helped put a face and a voice to teen struggles. These talented young actors gave teenagers an identity and platform for their problems that will stand the test of time. We will always thank the Brat Pack for that.

‘To Be Takei’: Ohhh Myyy

To Be Takei Poster Horizontal

Jennifer M. Kroot’s documentary ‘To Be Takei’ centers around the life, career, and activism of George Takei, the much beloved ‘Star Trek’ original series veteran helmsman Sulu. The real meat of Takei’s story, though, is his youthful imprisonment in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II and his coming out as a gay man, followed by his gay rights activism.

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks

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Check out what we’ve been reading this week–and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!

Family, Friendship, and Getting By: The Two Mrs. Harts of ‘Reba’

It took Reba several seasons to warm up to BJ's manic energy.

Like many of us, I’m a child of divorce, and I saw firsthand the lasting effects of infidelity and separation. For years, I’ve turned on ‘Reba’ because I find it comforting; everything from the stills of the cluttered kitchen to Reba’s adorable southern twang make me feel very tranquil as I clean or type on my laptop. I detect similarities to my own experiences, such as living in close proximity to a parent’s ex or a father who seems to abandon his former life for a newer, shinier one. ‘Reba’ normalizes these experiences and reminds viewers that every family has its issues.

‘The One I Love’ and the World’s Strangest Marriage Retreat

Poster for The One I Love

If you’ve seen an ad or trailer for ‘The One I Love,’ you probably still don’t know much about it. After watching a trailer you’d think it’s a movie about a couple going in and out of doors. All of film’s advertising hinted at, but never revealed the Charlie Kaufman-esque twist at the heart of its story, telling intrigued audiences only that an amazing twist existed and that critics agreed that it would spoil the film to reveal it. Which is pretty odd, because the twist in question takes place only 20 minutes in. Right off the bat I should probably tell you I’m going to spoil this movie, mostly because I want to talk about it.