Thursday, February 19, 2015

Blog 2: The Representation Test

The movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days scores a C, with a total of six points, on The Representation Test. I was surprised that this movie scored as high as it did because it is a chick flick with the typical male-female romance; however, I also expected some aspects of the movie to get it some points to help increase the score due to the fact that the protagonist was a woman fighting for her career. The points earned all came from two out of six categories, which shows that this method may not be a fair way to score movies to determine if it holds the qualities of being diverse.
Most of the points came from the Women category with four of the six points. This makes sense because the movie is predominantly woman with few male interactions other than the one love interest. Though a large portion of the movie has the focus of Kate Hudson, the protagonist woman, as an “object for the male gaze” it represents more equality since she is doing the same to the male role, Matthew McConaughey. Also, they both are treating each other in such sexual ways for work purposes to move up in their job ranking. This movie is contradicting in many ways when it comes to the representation test because it is based on a man and woman relationship focusing on the other as sexual objects. However, the woman character is passionate about her career and this is the driving force behind her actions. Kate’s character, Andie, is told by her boss that if she does well on her column “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” she can write about anything she wants, which essentially is politics. Andie has a “Masters from Columbia” and is not interested in continuing down the path of a fashion writer. There is a scene in which Andie and her boss are having a conversation about Andie’s plans to start writing about things that are important to her. This shows Andie in an assertive way as a woman as well as her boss, also a woman, in a powerful manner; this gives the movie credit for passing the Bechdel Test. Though the relationships between the women in this movie are important and serve to represent a large portion of the movie, there is more focus on the man protagonist.
Though there isn’t focus on glorifying violent men or portraying extreme and unhealthy body image, there is sexual focus from the woman point of view towards the man and the same from the man to the woman. In a way, since both the man and the woman are giving off the same judgment it displays more equality than if it was just from the man. With the movie being a chick flick, the male role does serve as a stereotypical man that has the narrow-minded focus of work and women. This doesn’t help its score on the representation test because the man doesn’t fall into a category that is non-stereotypical. There are also no points gained in any other category; every other character in the movie is a friend or family of the two main characters and they don’t represent anything unordinary.
The fact that this movie scored as high as it did with the characteristics it has including chick flick, a white male-female romance, and woman viewed as sexual objects shows that the representation test may not be fair to judge if a movie displays diversity. There were many qualities that were quite the opposite of diverse in this movie and it still managed to get half of the points. The questions asked in the representation test need to be more in depth and more specific to get better results from movies.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my favorite movies and you pointed out some things that I've never noticed before. It was interesting how mentioned that while Kate Hudson is portrayed as an object for the male gaze, Matthew McConaughey is also portrayed in the say way for women. I have to agree with you that it makes that category almost seem more fair/equal because they both display that quality of objectifying the other sex. I also think it's striking about the diversity of the representation test compared to the non-diverse elements of the film as it only scored in 2 of 6 categories.