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Do We Live in the Age of the Forty-Something Leading Lady?

Jennifer Aniston’s romantic comedy The Bounty Hunter may not have quite set the US box office alight last weekend (coming third behind Alice in Wonderland and some film even I’ve never heard of), but she’s still one of Hollywood’s biggest name leading ladies currently on film – and I don’t see that changing. And she’s 41 years old. Sandra Bullock, that darling of the nineties romantic comedy, spent last year reaffirming her golden touch, with the surprising-even-by-the-standards-of-the-genre romantic comedy The Proposal and an Oscar-winning role in The Blind Side. There was also a Razzie-winning role in All About Steve, but she even managed to use that to demonstrate that she is still one of the queens of Hollywood. And she’s 45 years old. Are the attitudes towards women – particularly leading women – changing in Hollywood?

Is Aniston on a winning Streep?

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Alice: A Feminist In Wonderland?

Alice in Wonderland opens this weekend, and we were lucky enough to tag along to the Irish premiere. Since we came out of the cinema, we kinda suspected that this would be a polarising film – as the Rotten Tomatoes score seems to demonstrate. However, taking a moment to step back and appreciate the breadth and depth of the critical response, is it possible that we’ve all completely missed the point? Rather than being a fantastically realised gothic fantasy that strays just a little bit closer to The Lord of the Rings rather than its own source material, has Tim Burton produced a uniquely feminist fantasy film?

Should feminists be up in arms?

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Non-Review Review: The Ugly Truth

Who says sexism is dead? To look at the bulk of the romantic comedy genre, you wouldn’t know it. The subtext of any given mainstream big budget romantic comedy is that guys are stupid and unaware dinosaurs, while women are just the tiniest bit uptight and are neurotic in a mild and endearing manner. The Ugly Truth probably isn’t the worst offender – I felt much worse coming out of 27 Dresses, to be honest – but it is the most recent one I’ve seen.

It's a familiar dance...

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The Bechdel Rule – Feminism in Movies

I discovered a really fascinating movie-related concept this week, from my better half, who in turn picked it up from the Irish Times magazine. Basically, it’s The Bechdel Rule. Basically it states that the eponymous author will only watch movies that meet three simple conditions:

It has to have at least two women in it…
… who talk to each other…
.. about something besides a man.

There’s also a suggested corollary (known as the Mo Movie Measure) that the two women must be named characters. I’m dubious about using the test as a measure of quality, but it is interesting to think about how many movies meet that criteria. And which movies don’t.

So, does talking about how crap their lives are because they are oppressed by men count?

So, does talking about how crap their lives are because they are oppressed by men count?

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