While more big budget movies are being casted with female leads, these films are still facing more criticism than those featuring male leads.
Earlier this week, as I sat in the movie theater to watch “Birds of Prey,” the newest D.C. movie showcasing Harley Quinn, I wondered why the fan reviews I’d seen had rated it so low.
It was a fun romp with a crew of interesting women.
So, why the negativity? Why all the posts about how the director, Cathy Yan, made Margot Robbie unattractive? And why was this being thrown around as a valid critique of the movie? “Birds of Prey” is the most recent example of female movies that received excessive backlash.
Complaints about plot holes, inconsistent pacing or underdeveloped characters are valid. What should not be a complaint is Harley Quinn not being perceived as attractive based on costuming choices.
The 2016 remake of “Ghostbusters” faced angry comments from fans who thought the new movie was unnecessary and overall unimpressive. While there were valid critiques of the movie, thrown in the mix were comments about not understanding the reason behind the all-female cast.
The 2018 remake of “Ocean’s 8” faced similar critiques. Some critics focused on more objective standards to rate the movie, such as pointing out plot holes or calling it another cash grab in a long stream of pointless remakes. But, much of the criticism revolved around how unnecessary a female-led cast is.
I do not think all these movies are cinematic masterpieces. I do not think that because these movies feature an all-female cast that they should be placed on a pedestal, where no one can critique them. If there are plot holes in these movies, it’s only fair to point them out.
What I do believe is that comments about female casting or not finding the female cast attractive are not critiques. A major problem with a movie should not be that the cast is all female.
We should judge movies based on what they are. These movies are meant to be fun, comedic and enjoyable. They are marketed as such, yet it seems people tend to be much more critical of these remakes simply because they had replaced a male-dominated cast with a female-dominated one.
No matter the genre, we should critique movies using proper, more objective lenses. The fact that the movie has an allfemale cast – and whether you perceive that cast to be attractive – shouldn’t influence how good or bad a movie is. Judge the movie based on the purpose and its merits.
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