Reese Witherspoon

Post-Feminist Rom-Coms and the Existing Female in ‘Trainwreck’ and ‘Legally Blonde’

Legally Blonde and Trainwreck

In the post-feminist romantic comedy, female characters transition from being non-existent objects, into existing, as subjects, in the course of love. … In ‘Trainwreck,’ Amy begins the film as a subject, but ends as an object. Amy’s opposition becomes submission to male desires, for a man, which erases her. In ‘Legally Blonde,’ Elle begins as object, but ends the film as subject. Initially, the gaze of the camera and the characters objectify Elle’s body. But eventually, Elle demonstrates her worth and success outside of male desires and ultimately finds love.

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks


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

The Internal Monologue of ‘Wild’: Lone Woman Walking, Lone Woman Writing

Most of the film follows Cheryl as she walks alone

In a film, as in real life, with no language to defend herself, the lone woman is a suspect. She gets stared at and scowled at and catcalled and often told that she’s making herself vulnerable, or taking unnecessary risks. In short, our culture says she’s asking for what she gets. A woman alone is unloved, uncared for and written off. In ‘Wild,’ the film based on Strayed’s memoir of her months solo hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, she has several uncomfortable and frankly terrifying encounters.

A ‘Wild’ Woman Alone


The filmmakers (director Jean-Marc Vallée and screenwriter Nick Hornby) profess to be fans of Strayed’s work, but they were apparently so busy patting themselves on the back for not making this story of a woman alone into some kind of boy-meets-girl rom-com that they forgot to include everything else that makes the book distinctive.

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks


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

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks


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

Women As Perpetrators of Violence in ‘Freeway’


In films, as in life, women aren’t supposed to be violent. Women make up the majority of violent crime victims (domestic violence, assault, rape, and murder) but they don’t usually retaliate in kind. Even in the relatively rare film where a woman seriously injures or kills a rapist, like ‘Thelma and Louise’, she does so with lots of tears and anguish–in that film from both from the woman pulling the trigger and the one whom the man attempted to rape. The unwritten rule in movies seems to be that in order to justify a woman killing or even assaulting someone, we need to see her or some other woman suffer, a lot, beforehand. Contrast that rule with the male heroes of action films who leave dozens of corpses in their wake, and not one of the dead has raped or otherwise tortured the hero beforehand–though the hero may be avenging some great wrong the dead guy (or guys) did to his wife or daughter.

Choose Your Own Sexist Adventure: Victim Blaming, Domestic Violence, and the Glorification of the Nice Guy™ in ‘Mud’

Matthew McConaughey all over the movie poster for Mud Written by Stephanie Rogers, who spoils the entire movie.  I wanted to see Mud because it looked like an interesting film about the cult of masculinity. It is, in fact, a film about masculinity and father-son relationships, but it goes out of its way to avoid […]

Classic Literature Film Adaptations Week: Slut-Shaming in the 1700s: ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ and ‘Cruel Intentions’

Period dress This is a guest post by Jessica Freeman-Slade. Name more than five novels in which sex, and all its consequences, takes center stage. OK, you’ve got The Story of O, Justine (the infamous novel written by the Marquis de Sade), Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and of course, the juggernaut 50 Shades of Gray trilogy… […]

Women in Politics Week: ‘Election’: Female Power and the Failure of Desperate Masculinity

“I just think people are made uncomfortable by ambitious women.” – Tom Perrotta, author of Election, the book that inspired the film The 1999 film Election features Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon), a power-hungry young woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants and Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick), an emasculated male high school teacher […]

Women in Politics Week: A Lady Lonely at the Top: High School Politics Take an Ugly Turn in ‘Election’

Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) in Election  Guest post written by Carleen Tibbets. Warning: Spoilers ahead. Election, the 1999 film directed by Alexander Payne and based on the novel by Tom Perotta, chronicles type A personality Tracy Flick’s (Reese Witherspoon) quest to become student body president and the unraveling of her social sciences teacher, Mr. McAllister […]

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks

Stephanie’s Picks: “Trumping the Industry with Kickstarter: Women Support Women To Get Movies Made And Seen” by Lydia Dean Pilcher for Hope for Film “Women Top 50 Powerlist in Film and Broadcasting: The Balance of Power” by Maggie Brown for The Guardian “DFI Celebrates International Women’s Day in Film” by Reem Saleh “Reese Speaks Out […]