Mrs. Wonderland

Some British guy just proposed to Alice on the TV commercial previewing the movie. I am so bummed. I’ve been hoping they didn’t fuck up Alice in Wonderland. Now, I’m worried.

Alice replies, “This is all happening so fast. Let me just take minute.” Then she goes down the rabbit hole. Maybe this ad is skewing the story, and the film is not really about this (which would still annoy me with lame advertising, but not as much as if they really messed up the movie) Isn’t Alice a kid, anyway? Doesn’t she fall asleep while her sister is reading her a book without pictures? Maybe that abstinence only study for sixth graders is relevant after all (see my last post.)

I am frustrated that the plotlines of so many (all?) contemporary movies with girls in big parts always feature marriage as central issue.

Yes, now the girl protagonist is often reluctant to marry, she doesn’t go off with the first guy who kisses her out of unconsciousness; she doesn’t make the obvious, predictable choice (see Mulan, Ariel, Belle and now possibly Alice escaping off to Wonderland) but the plotline is still focused on marriage, rebellion within the safest possible framework. I’d prefer no marriage debate at all, just like in the boy movies. Did Fantasic Mr. Fox or Up have its main characters face this dilemma? In case you didn’t see them, rhetorical question. Actually, I didn’t even see Up and I know I’m right.

I hope Tim Burton doesn’t pull a Dora and turn another cool girl into a Princess. I’d feel better if the film had a female director and a female star whose name I recognized instead of promoting Johnny Depp all over the place. Things are not looking good, but it’s Alice in Wonderland for God’s sake, I’m holding out hope.

6 thoughts on “Mrs. Wonderland

  1. Eh if im writing something like a movie or a book im going to try and make sure it stays a bit balanced. It cant be perfect but at least im going to TRY to keep it a bit balanced instead of having a bunch of nutty perfect formed chicks going for prince charming or trying to be different and going for uber-nerd whos nothing like them.

    And get THIS
    I has a nintendo DS, and got the alice in wonderland game.
    She doesnt do much, and you are operating a series of 3 male charicters WHO ALICE FOLLOWS. And you can make her stop following you, but if you leave her alone to long SHE BURSTS INTO TEARS AND THEN GETS SUCKED INTO A BLACK HOLE. Or worse, in some events its a even bigger black hole and a bunch of card guys come out of it and take her away and you have to save her (small rape reference?) and if you stop walking with alice maybe to do something, she stares blankly into space, like everything around her is to much for her small mind to comprehend. Its as much sexism they could stuff into a small video game card without making it to noticable. UGH.

  2. The new Alice in Wonderland film isn’t a straight adaptation of the book, it’s about Alice returning to wonderland later in life, and revisiting the characters she thought were just a dream; as a cursory google would reveal.

    Also: Up? That was a brilliant film. It wasn’t a kid’s film, let alone a ‘boy’ film, and the main focus of the storyline is on the main character’s marriage and his struggle to find meaning after being widowed.

    Fantastic Mr. Fox is also married, and the film shows a lot about the dynamic between him and his wife. Obviously there’s no dilemma – it’s well in the past. The son does have a love interest and does worry about it.

    The point in general is probably a good one – female characters between 20 and 40 tend to spend way too much time obsessing over marriage, but those wer awful movies to pick to demonstrate the point.

    • Fantastic Mr. Fox– are you kidding me???? That movie is all guys– it was like watching Oceans Eleven (and Twelve and Thirteen). All the bad farmers were guys, Mr. Fox’s team was completely male. Yes, fantastic Mr. Fox has a wife and his son has a crush– typical female love interest parts. Can you imagine a move called Fantastic Ms. Fox, where all three villians are female and so is Ms. Fox’s entire possy? It would be some crazy feminist movie.

      I never wrote these movies weren’t brilliant. They are! I wrote an entire op-ed complaining about Ratatouille (re-posted in this blog) and that movie was brilliant. That’s part of the problem– they’re so well done and compelling people miss that girls are left out. As far as Up and the widow you mention (another wife of the star) does the dead woman have abig part in the movie? I didn’t see her— or any female– in the posters all around town or the trailers.

      Alice– I’m just about to blog harping on Alice reduced role again. Why did they make a movie about her marriage dilemma later in life? That’s my question. I wish they would come up with more girl power themes and plots– especially with Alice in Wonderland– and I wish that 97% of Hollywood directors were not male, making their versions of the stories.

      Thanks for your comment,
      Margot

  3. Elsa,

    I love Julie and Julia! I even write Nora Ephron a fan letter. I sent her the op-ed I wrote on Ratatouille where I begged Pixar or Disney or anyone to make a movie about a female chef. And I also think the movie is such a great (and rare) depiction of two awesome marriages.

    My big complaint with the wedding thing is in kids movies– though I can certainly extend my issue to adult movies, and even reality– ha! It’s just all the damn princess movies always have weddings and such, but they are supposed to be kind of feminist or at least contemporary because the girl rebels a tiny, tiny bit by wanting to choose her own husband—crazy!

    Margot

  4. This may be a different kind of movie, but have you seen “Julie & Julia?” It’s the true story of a woman, named Julie, who is inspired by Julia Child. Julie’s admiration for Julia Child leads her to make all of Julia Child’s recipes and blog about the process. In addition to women empowerment being one of the main themes, I do not recall the topic of marriage being present in the film… Anyway, just attempting to find the slightest bit of evidence to help support the idea/hope that not all movies (with female protagonists) involve marriage. 🙂

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