Thursday, February 19, 2015

Caddyshack Representation Test


I analyzed the movie Caddyshack using the Representation Test, and was not surprised by what I discovered. It scored a total of four points, earning a “C” grade overall. The only area where this movie scored on the checklist was under the “Men” section. 

Based on my observation the film avoided perpetuating an extreme and unhealthy body ideal for men and it included men in non-stereotypical roles. The body types of men ranged from fit young men to middle aged-out of shape men to an average male body type. It featured elderly men as well. This film contained roles for males that varied from the stereotypical “fatherfigure” or “breadwinner” roles. While these stereotypes were still present there was also an eclectic array of different male characters. Among these characters are Ty Webb, Chevy Chase’s character, who is a single middle-aged male golfer/ millionaire who has a strange outlook on life, and Carl Spackler, played by Bill Murray, who spends the entire movie trying unsuccessfully to eradicate the golf course of a gopher infestation while incessantly talking to himself. Another unusual male character was Al Czervik, who was played by Rodney Dangerfield. His character can only be described as a loud mouth, eclectic mad-man who is either oblivious to his rude remarks or simply doesn’t care. He is completely ridiculous and without a doubt out of the ordinary scope of the typical male character.
The women in the scene were objectified on many occasions and were never seen as anything other than “objects for the male gaze.” Lacey Underall, played by Cindy Morgan, is constantly being oogled for her looks. The first scene her character is introduced to us shows her strolling past the male caddies while they blatantly stare at her with desire. Another scene shows her arrival at the pool where two male characters stop mid-conversation to watch her approach in her swimsuit. There are many scenes throughout the movie that show the character Carl Spackler ogling the female golfers and narrating with innappropriate commentary.
The main race represented in the movie is caucasian, and all other races are subject to racial stereotypes. One scene depicts an African American man as an employee of the country club and one white man who is a member of the club is telling him to shine his shoes. This scene is immediately followed by a reference to a racist joke told between two white men. The only other race represented, besides white and African American, is Asian. There is one Asian in the film, however his role is unclear and he doesn’t speak, he simply is included in Al Czervik’s entourage.

This movie was written and directed by white men and consists of a cast made up predominantly of white men. I was not surprised to find that it did not meet many of the requirements of the Representation Test, yet I was shocked that I have never before noticed how common it is for movies to be made up of white men and how conditioned we have become to seeing this as normal and acceptable.

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