The movie I chose, My Sister’s Keeper, does pass the Rep test with a score of a B. The story’s protagonist, Anna Fitzgerald, was born a test tube baby for the purpose of donating vital organs and body parts to keep her older sister, Kate, alive. Her whole life, Anna had to struggle through painful transplants, many of which her parents never asked her permission to do. When Kate starts going through renal failure, Anna’s mother tries to force her through a kidney transplant, which she refuses. The setbacks from donating a kidney were far more important to her than the possibility of saving her sister’s life. So she makes her decision to sue her parents for the rights to her own body in hopes of being able to live a normal life with both of her kidneys.
Because of the bravery and determination Anna demonstrates throughout this process, she is seen as much more than “an object of male gaze.” She recognizes her purpose, to live a happy life, and chases after that purpose. Anna and her mother constantly fight over her stubborn refusal to donate her kidney. Most of the scenes between them involve her mother screaming at her, trying to prove her point that is not well received or supported by the audience. These interactions prove that the movie also passes the Bechdel Test because two named characters talk about something of substance, other than a male. Not only do we see this here and there, but also it occurs throughout the whole movie. This section scored a 4 in this category. It is unique because it involves so many female characters with the overall message not being about a male. This is not something that we typically see in movies with female protagonists. I think this role Anna plays gives more empowerment to women in the types of roles they should play in movies.
On the other hand, Anna’s father seems more supportive of her situation, which we see in the scene where he takes her to his work at the fire station. He takes her with him to get her out of the house and give her some peace of mind. His character shows that he is sympathetic and very much involved in his daughter’s well being. This is not something we see of the stereotypical male character. Instead he acts as a caregiver to Anna and Kate, supporting them in whatever will make them happy. The movie scored 3 points in this category, just shy of a perfect score. The movie didn’t portray any racial, ethical, or cultural stereotypes, so there were no negative occurrences regarding these themes, giving it a point in this category as well. It got no points in the disabilities, LGBT, or bonus categories, which makes it seem mainstream in this sense. A point or two in one of these categories would have added some diversity among the characters.
This test does seem fair in grading movies. This movie passed by a lot of points, and I don’t think the points were too hard to earn. Some of the categories seem harder to earn points in because they aren’t many well-known movies that involve disabled or LGBT characters. So to improve this test, the points in those categories could be worth more, which would decrease the number of points on the scale it takes to pass. This would make it a little easier for a movie to pass. Overall, I think this test covers all areas of representation and is a good method for grading movies on stereotypical themes.