Oh, Pretty Girls, You're Too Good For This
This week will see the release of Life As We Know It, another entry into the Heigl Compendium of Shitty Things, and yet another film that expects us to believe that a caddish dickwad and a type-A prude can find love in this crazy mixed up world.
Ages ago, Hollywood discovered that the easiest way to create plot out of nothing is to combine opposites. Add irresponsible, possibly herpes-infested man to high-strung, snooty woman and you will get a love story for the ages. Because he will loosen her up and teach her how to have fun, which she never learned to do before this stranger entered her life, and she will turn him into an adult, which has mysteriously never come up before in this gentleman’s existence.
Romantic comedies, I am tired of yelling at you. It is lazy writing to pair up people who hate each other and just make them fall in love for no apparent reason other than the crazy random happenstance these films call a plot. It is lazy writing to make every woman an uptight shrew, driven only by her career which has prevented her from finding love (you can only have one or the other, you silly vagina-havers). It is lazy writing to make every man a useless manchild who exists only to drink and come. These are not characters, and this is not plot. Why can’t anyone ever just be likable and okay?
It’s not just lazy; it’s reckless. Like it or not, our view of relationships is at least partly shaped by film, music and television. Movies with plots like this are why every teen girl has a bad boy phase. Because we have been instructed by film that love stems from finding your opposite and fixing them. You can change this person, and they’ll magically become everything you want them to be.
I’m not saying that no one changes, that no one goes from idiot to grown-up and becomes a good life partner. But I am saying it won’t be because of you. Unfortunately, the maturation of an adult does not make a widely marketable rom-com for the masses, and you can’t really instruct the PG-13 friendly audience the joys of the hatefuck, so they continue to churn out the faux-belief that all it takes is a good woman to fix a no-good man. And it just doesn’t.
Heigl, I expect nothing from you and I expect it in abundance, but stop making this fucking movie. For someone who incorrectly paints her bitchspeak as the honest words of a strong woman, you’ve become a professional sore upon your gender. Stop it.
However, the real assholes in Life As We Know It seem to be the parents. Look, film dead people parents: if you’re going to insist upon dying young, stop treating your children as adorable life lessons, and leave them to someone, anyone, other than your douchey friends. Your baby will not make these people grow up and become responsible adults. They will more likely get abandoned at Gymboree and be forced to take hilariously inappropriate Facebook photos. I wouldn’t trust Josh Duhamel with my tape dispenser.