Once I was talking to some friends about a movie I had just seen that I had really liked, and I was trying to describe it when one of the friends–a dude–said, “Wait, is this a chick flick?” I had to think for a minute about what might constitute a “chick flick.” “Well,” I said, “it isn’t, like, Beaches or anything.” He wasn’t satisfied. He was still suspicious. I should probably tell you that the movie in question was Bullets over Broadway, a Woody Allen comedy about a struggling playwright who collaborates with gangsters to get his play produced. It’s hilarious and it’s not a thing like Beaches, but as far as my dude friend was concerned, there was apparently too much plot to qualify as a movie suitable for self-respecting dudes.
Since then, I’ve come to think of a “chick flick” as any movie with more than a few lines of dialogue and no explosions. Several men have told me this is accurate as far as their tastes are concerned, but that’s just anecdotal evidence.
I happen to enjoy movies with dialogue and no explosions, and for a while I figured that was just part of what made me a girl, but a while ago I learned about the Bechdel test, popularized by the comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For, in which a character says she only watches a movie if it meets the following criteria:
1. It has to have at least two women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something other than a man.
You may infer from the title of the comic strip that this is some kind of feminist thing. Well, you know, I’m down with the chick flicks–the talky, non-exploding movies–so I thought that I might be some kind of feminist movie-watcher, but after thinking about it for more than thirty seconds, I began to wonder if any of my favorite movies would pass this test.
Let me think about what some of my favorite movies are.
1776 – There are two women in this movie–Abigail Adams and Martha Jefferson–but they never meet each other, much less have a conversation.
The Magnificent Seven – There are women in this movie, but most of them don’t have speaking roles, and I don’t think any of them talk to each other. Needless to say, all of the “magnificent seven” in question are men.
Finding Nemo – There are female characters in this movie, but again, I don’t think any of them really have a conversation with each other. Unless Dory taunting the angler fish with “No eating here tonight–YOU’RE ON A DI-ET!” counts as a conversation. The angler fish doesn’t really talk back, so I’m guessing this is another fail.
The Manchurian Candidate – If Raymond’s mother and Josie have a conversation, as far as I can recall, it is probably about Raymond or Josie’s father, so another fail.
The Incredibles – Hey, this one passes! Helen and Edna totally have a conversation about…clothes.
Emma (the one with Jeremy Northam and what’s-her-name) – Lots of women in this movie, and lots of conversations between them, but considering that Emma is a wannabe matchmaker, I doubt any of the conversations are not about men in some way. I guess her interactions with Miss Bates are not about men. So, another pass.
Serenity – I will have to watch this one again to be sure, but it seems like if there are four women on the ship, and if one is second-in-command and another is the mechanic, they’ve got to talk to each other about something ship-related at some point. At the very least, the ship’s a she, and Kaylee must talk to the ship sometimes, so I’m going to call this another pass.
I know what you’re thinking: “Mad, are these really your favorite movies?” Well, I think so. They’re the first movies that sprang to mind, anyway. Now I tire of frivolous movie chatter.
So it’s Daylight Saving Time. I would go on and on about how much I dislike Daylight Saving Time, but I’m tired from waking up at 6 a.m. just because the government decided it was 7 a.m. Is it just me, or do they keep lengthening the period that we do Daylight Saving Time? It seems like it starts earlier and ends later every year. Why don’t we just switch over to Daylight Saving Time year-round, just call 6 a.m. 7 a.m. forever? What’s stopping us? Or should I ask, what’s stopping Them?
I didn’t get very good sleep last night because I had a dream that Mister Bubby, who was supposed to be 5 or 6 in the dream but looked more like 18 months or so, had an explosive diarrhea incident in the minivan and was smearing the stuff all over the car, and Girlfriend, who was just the same age as she usually is, threw up in the minivan because that is just what someone who had witnessed an explosive diarrhea incident might do. Anyway, I spent the rest of the dream trying to clean up aforementioned bodily excretions when all I had was a small package of dried-out baby wipes, which I attempted to moisten with an old cup of Sprite which had lost its fizz. If this was not the sort of thing you wanted to read about first thing in the morning or ever, I’m sorry, but as I indicated in the first place, it was not a relaxing or edifying story for me, either.
The other reason I didn’t sleep well is that Girlfriend woke up in the middle of the night, having wet her bed, and wanted to sleep in our bed. I should have just re-made her bed, but at the time I was sleepy, possibly having just dreamed about spending an hour and a half cleaning the interior of my car with a handful of baby wipes and flat soda and not making a bit of progress. Anyway, so she was in our bed for the rest of the night, such as it was, and that was uncomfortable. Somebody tell me how a child can be so small during the day but so large while asleep in the same general vicinity as an adult.
It doesn’t seem like it’s scientifically possible, but empirically, we know it to be true.
And why do children always want to sleep this way? It doesn’t matter how many times you move them; they always get back in this position within, like, forty-five seconds.
This is why my child needs to stop wetting the bed. Or I need to stop dreaming about diarrhea. The current pattern is not sustainable!
Well, I have a lot of stuff I’m supposed to be doing, so I’ll give up pretending to maintain this blog and attend to my real duties. Happy Daylight Saving Time, government patsies!