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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (review)

Die Fat

Oh my goodness, it’s a ripoff of Die Hard. A shameless ripoff that gets more and more shameless the longer it goes on, and it crams a lot of shameless into 90 minutes. Actually, into only 60 minutes, because it’s not till around the 30-minute mark that we learn that this is to be a shameless ripoff of Die Hard.
No, up till then, it’s been merely yet another whiny but-I’m-a-nice-guy, why-don’t-women-like-nice-guys excuse for a romantic comedy. We’ve met Paul Blart (Kevin James: I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, The King of Queens), who would like to be a state trooper but can’t pass the physical exam because of his hypoglycemia, which makes him faint and fall into a deep, snorey sleep without warning (which seems like a very good reason to keep someone off the police force, frankly). So he works at a New Jersey mall, security-guarding the ball tank and the food court and insulting unattractive female shoppers. That’s fine, because, as Paul Blart: Mall Cop knows, our society is totally onboard with determining that overweight and less-than-Barbie-doll-pretty women are acceptable fodder for insecure idiots to take a swipe at while overweight, less-than-movie-star-gorgeous men are entitled to be treated with respect, and for even totally hot women way out of their league to “give them a chance.”

Like Amy (Jayma Mays), the very cute girl with ridiculously huge eyes who works at the hair-extension kiosk. Paul decides from afar, before he’s even met her, that she’s the girl for him. And that’s completely awesome and natural and normal, of course, because even big sweaty dumb fat guys like Paul — whom the very movie itself debases for being big, sweaty, dumb, and fat — deserve to be given every benefit of the doubt by even pretty girls who could have their pick of suitors. As Paul’s daughter, Maya (Raini Rodriguez), who looks about 12, consoles him, as soon as Amy gives him a chance, she’ll be hooked. (Maya’s mother has abandoned Paul and their daughter, because, it would seem, fat ugly women cannot be trusted. But at least that leaves Paul free to pursue sweet, nice, adorable Amy.)

The movie is not so gracious to the large woman Paul verbally assaulted earlier, but who cares? Time to move on to the ripping off of Die Hard!

Thirty minutes into Mall Cop, just when we’ve been convinced that this will be simply the endless inevitable overload of brand names that comes from shooting in an actual mall and a desperately unfunny conglomeration of fat jokes, fat jokes, more fat jokes, and 80s power ballads, a troupe of the world’s dumbest — but most physically nimble — villains ever launch the most poorly thought out mall heist ever. Fortunately, the screenwriters — James and Nick Bakay — completely ignore the serious flaws inherent in the bad guys’ plan and move on to the theft of every major plot point from Die Hard, from the anticipation of the cops’ reactions to the discovery of a loved one of their nemesis’s among their hostages.

Their nemesis? It’s Blart, of course. (I’m not sure which is worse: that James and Bakay did not realize that the surname of their putative hero is British slang for an intimate area of female anatomy, or that they did.) He alone — because of his idiotic incompetence — is left to roam free in the mall as the bad guys take over. (They’ve shooed the shoppers out. All of them? On Black Friday? Well, that’s one of the potential hangups the movies pretends doesn’t exist.)

Like most pathetic excuses for comedies these days, the screenwriters and director Steve Carr — perpetrator of such atrocities as Are We Done Yet? and Daddy Day Care — want to have it both ways. They want to expose Blart to ever increasing levels of humiliation that we’re meant to laugh at while also asking us to care about him. They want us to accept Blart as someone better than the low-level job he does — they go to great pains to show us that Blart is more conscientious about his work than his bosses and coworkers, though they don’t seem to be quite certain whether conscientiousness is something to be made fun of or not — but they also want us to accept that in the middle of a hostage situation in which people he cares about are at stake, he would stop to shop for a birthday card.

But really, the worse of it is that their plot — and some of the dialogue — is lifted wholesale from a classic movie that its entire intended audience will be familiar with. Do they think we’re stupid?

Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a Happy Madison production, which is Adam Sandler’s company, so you should know what you’re in for. Grading on the Adam Sandler curve is, if you want to be kind about it, kinda like how everyone cheers at the Special Olympics. I don’t want to be kind about it. The athletes at the Special Olympics are doing the best they can. These Paul Blart guys are doing the bare minimum they think they can get away with without getting lynched by the audience, and we should not be applauding them for it. Maybe lynching would be extreme, but how about tarring-and-feathering?


MPAA: rated PG for some violence, mild crude and suggestive humor, and language

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine
  • JoshDM

    Oscar-worthy.

  • Glenn

    30 minutes? Wasn’t the Die Hard ripoff evident about 15 seconds into any of the pervasive TV ads?

  • JoshDM

    Massawyrm agress with MAJ’s assessment.

  • Brandon H.

    “So he works at a New Jersey mall, security-guarding the ball tank and the food court and insulting unattractive female shoppers. That’s fine, because, as Paul Blart: Mall Cop knows, our society is totally onboard with determining that overweight and less-than-Barbie-doll-pretty women are acceptable fodder for insecure idiots to take a swipe at while overweight, less-than-movie-star-gorgeous men are entitled to be treated with respect, and for even totally hot women way out of their league to “give them a chance.”

    In retrospect, do you think you may have gone on a pointlessly righteous tangent here?

  • JoshB

    In retrospect, do you think you may have gone on a pointlessly righteous tangent here?

    Sure, just remove the word “pointlessly.” There is a point to her righteous tangents, whether you agree with them or not.

    Hope this doesn’t double post, I had some issues with the site…

  • Joan

    …because of his hypoglycemia, which makes him faint and fall into a deep, snorey sleep without warning…

    What kind of bizarro hypoglycemia is that? Mine doesn’t do that,what with it not being narcolepsy and all. Sheesh!

    It pains me that Jayma Mays, who is talented, charming, and cute as a particularly cute bug, is stuck in tripe like this. Is she in debt to the mob or something?

    …our society is totally onboard with determining that overweight and less-than-Barbie-doll-pretty women are acceptable fodder for insecure idiots to take a swipe at while overweight, less-than-movie-star-gorgeous men are entitled to be treated with respect, and for even totally hot women way out of their league to “give them a chance.”

    Oh Lord yes. “Tired of this” doesn’t begin to cover it. “Cripplingly exhausted,” maybe.

  • Mwaaaahahahaha! Your suffering makes us strong, MaryAnn! :)

    Another great review. Hope you got paid to endure this one. I’m going to click on your ads for a while, just in case.

  • Accounting Ninja

    I agree, hypoglycemia Does Not Work That Way. Grr.

    And Brandon, it’s so classic for males to respond to perfectly valid complaints like that with “lighten up, you self-righteous broad”. We women see that shit ALL THE TIME in the movies, and frankly, I’m just sick of it, as is MAJ. I’m sorry that our disapproval infringes on your ridiculous wish-fulfillment fantasy.

  • MaryAnn

    Wasn’t the Die Hard ripoff evident about 15 seconds into any of the pervasive TV ads?

    I hadn’t seen any of the ads.

    a pointlessly righteous tangent here

    I think Brandon is asking whether the issue of gender relations is tangential to this movie. And the fact is that it is not: that’s the entire B plot, and it is way more prominent than how it usually operates as a simple basic assumption of gender relations that is widespread throughout other movies.

    I agree, hypoglycemia Does Not Work That Way. Grr.

    I thought the same thing too, and was about to rant about it, but when I looked it up it does appear that this can be a side effect of the condition.

  • Magilla

    Just got back from seeing the movie. All the comments I have read so far seem to bash the movie. I knew before I went to see it that is was not Oscar worthy. I knew it would have a very narrow plot. I took my wife and my 7 year old daughter and we laughed at the funny parts just like everyone is supposed to do. I Knew going in that (Adam Sandler) movies are all the same. just relax and laugh once in a while. Thats what I did.

  • JasonJ

    as Paul Blart: Mall Cop knows, our society is totally onboard with determining that overweight and less-than-Barbie-doll-pretty women are acceptable fodder for insecure idiots to take a swipe at while overweight, less-than-movie-star-gorgeous men are entitled to be treated with respect, and for even totally hot women way out of their league to “give them a chance.”

    Well, the target audience has a significant percentage of men that fall within the sweaty overweight category, so no shock here. I haven’t seen the move, so I can’t comment on it. The only thing I can say is if it happens to wander across my movie channel and I am really really bored and the lawn doesn’t need to be mowed or the cars need to be washed or the house needs to be reframed, I might watch it.

  • Magilla (Sat Jan 17 09, 9:52PM):

    Just got back from seeing the movie. All the comments I have read so far seem to bash the movie. I knew before I went to see it that is was not Oscar worthy. I knew it would have a very narrow plot. I took my wife and my 7 year old daughter and we laughed at the funny parts just like everyone is supposed to do. I Knew going in that (Adam Sandler) movies are all the same. just relax and laugh once in a while. Thats what I did.

    The point is, there aren’t any funny parts — this is lowest common denominator ‘entertainment’ my friend. You can pay your $20 and subject your children to it if you want, I guess, but some folks aren’t all that interested in doing what “everyone is supposed to do”.

    Don’t get me wrong: farts are funny and I love laughing at fat people, but a civilized society is conscientious enough to avoid doing either one of those things in public.

  • MaryAnn

    the target audience has a significant percentage of men that fall within the sweaty overweight category, so no shock here

    Ah, so then we can soon expect a movie pandering to the fantasies of overweight women?

    I didn’t think so…

  • JasonJ

    Ah, so then we can soon expect a movie pandering to the fantasies of overweight women? I didn’t think so…

    Gotta love that ol’ Double Standard. Stays crunchy, even in milk….

  • MarkyD

    You’ve GOT to be kidding me! This movie did 33.8M this weekend? What the hell is WRONG with people?
    I agree fully with Newbs from above. It might just be time to set some standards, America.
    This is why the Taliban hates us.

  • Nathan

    it made $34m this weekend because for some people going to the movies, especially with families in tow, the inoffensive, lowest common denominator is a positive thing. this will always be so… and i don’t see anything wrong with it.

  • Ah, so then we can soon expect a movie pandering to the fantasies of overweight women?

    Ahem…I’m not going to pretend there’s a lot of movies that fall in that category but they do exist.

    For example, Phat Girlz. My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Both versions of Hairspray

    And some of these movies include films you have actually reviewed. (!?)

    Not that those films makes this film’s existence anymore appealing from my viewpoint but still…

  • MaryAnn

    I’m not going to pretend there’s a lot of movies that fall in that category

    Thank you. Can you name one more? I can’t. The ones you listed are the very rare exceptions that prove the rule.

  • Anne-Kari

    The only other one I can think of is “Babycakes”, and I had to go back to 1989 for that one.

  • Bill

    Time out. You’re saying Nia Vardalos was overweight in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”? No way. I vote we scratch MBFGW off the list.

  • Vergil

    Ah, so then we can soon expect a movie pandering to the fantasies of overweight women?

    The audience also has a large percent of overweight women too, I would imagine. Is it not pandering to them? What are some of these overweight-male pandering movies again?

  • JoshB

    Bridget Jones’s Diary. Shallow Hal (sort of). Can’t think of any others off the top of my head.

  • bitchen frizzy

    The audience was asked to believe that Bridget Jones was “overweight,” but only an anorexic or a Hollywood actress would see Zellweger’s bod in that movie as overweight.

    Bridget Jones’ appearance might be a goal of diet and exercise, if you can call that a fantasy.

  • Paul

    I thought overweight women’s fantasies included being beautiful, thus they watch movies and read books about beautiful women having romances. It is sorta of like men watching action movies; the VAST majority of men aren’t buff or trained enough to pull off those fight scenes, but we still watch and often enjoy them. If Hollywood made movies that only pandered to “the beautiful people,” I wonder how much money they would make.

  • JoshB

    Really? Only an anorexic would see that as anything but a goal of diet and exercise?

    I see what you’re getting at, but that’s a ludicrous exaggeration.

  • MaryAnn

    What is the point of linking to that image, JoshB?

  • JoshB

    Well, overweightness is about more than physical attractiveness. It’s at least as much about biology as aesthetics. bitchen frizzy set up this false dichotomy where reasonable people would say that Bridget Jones’s weight is fine, and only unreasonable would say otherwise. By the standards of athletes who are by design the healthiest human beings in the world, (and thus cannot be compared to anorexics) Bridget Jones’s weight is not fine.

  • misterb

    A sincere question for MaryAnn –
    why is this a pointless ripoff of DieHard rather than a harmless parody? I’m not going to see this movie until it’s on free TV so I’m not trying to defend it, but it certainly doesn’t seem as if the filmmakers are trying to hide their source. It is a comedy – why couldn’t it be a send-up? In a way, casting the Bruce Willis part as an overweight, less than superman could be seen as a shot at Bruce’s preening hyper-masculinity rather than offensive to the under-exercised.

  • bitchen frizzy

    –“Well, overweightness is about more than physical attractiveness. It’s at least as much about biology as aesthetics. bitchen frizzy set up this false dichotomy where reasonable people would say that Bridget Jones’s weight is fine, and only unreasonable would say otherwise. By the standards of athletes who are by design the healthiest human beings in the world, (and thus cannot be compared to anorexics) Bridget Jones’s weight is not fine.”

    Which athletes? The marathon runners who are blowing out their hearts, the ‘roid freaks who are frying their brains and shrinking their dinks, or the pro ball players funding half of Colombia’s GDP? Athletes are not necessarily healthy, and many athletes are a part of the same cultural insanity that leads actresses to starve themselves.

    I’m not overanalyzing it like you are. Objectively, Bridget Jones is around average weight for her height (as defined by those charts in doctor’s offices and health class – not by wildy skewed standards of entertainers and body-obsessives). Subjectively, she was hot in that bunny costume.

    But now I’m talking about a different movie.

  • JoshB

    Which athletes? The marathon runners who are blowing out their hearts, the ‘roid freaks who are frying their brains and shrinking their dinks, or the pro ball players funding half of Colombia’s GDP?

    Unless you have some specific evidence that Lisa Leslie or any other athlete is using steroids, that paragraph reads like so much sour grapes.

    Of course any slender woman must be anorexic or “body-obsessive,” and any athlete that can run 26 miles must surely be on the verge of a heart attack.

    Be serious.

    I’m not overanalyzing it like you are. Objectively, Bridget Jones is around average weight for her height (as defined by those charts in doctor’s offices and health class

    I’m not overanalyzing anything. There are benefits to being in excellent shape that have nothing to do with whether people want to rip your clothes off, and surely I don’t need to list them for you.

    Also, you should disregard any of those charts that list proper weight according to height. They are useless. By those standards bodybuilders would qualify as morbidly obese. The proper measurement is fat tissue as a percentage of overall body weight. By this measurement the “average” American is in fact overweight (don’t know about the Brits).

  • bitchen frizzy

    YOU made a GENERALIZATION: “athletes are… the healthiest human beings in the world.” I responded to that with a generalization: athletic build isn’t proof of good health. Some athletes are healthy, some aren’t. I didn’t say anything about Lisa Leslie. I don’t even know (or care) who she is. And c’mon, you cannot ask me to believe that you are unaware of steroid abuse by athletes, and need evidence. It’s been all over the media for years.

    –“The proper measurement is…”

    I think that there’s a grey area between “obese” (not normal) and “marathon runner” (also not normal – not a bad thing to be necessarily but also unusual). I’ll call that grey area “normal,” and that’ll be my standard.

    All I said was that Bridget Jones looks normal, not overweight. You got all technical about it.

    You’re saying that compared to athletes, Bridget Jones’ weight isn’t fine. Well, so what?

  • JoshB

    My generalization was justified. Your’s wasn’t.

    Seriously, how many of the 17,051 people who finished the 2008 LA marathon do you think were on steroids?

    All I said was that Bridget Jones looks normal, not overweight. You got all technical about it.

    Well, fair enough. You have your aesthetic way of evaluating it, and I have my technical one. But since I am neither an anorexic nor a Hollywood actress I take exception to THAT generalization.

  • bitchen frizzy

    I said, not all athletes are healthy. That requires “justification”?

    –“Seriously, how many of the 17,051 people who finished the 2008 LA marathon do you think were on steroids?”

    Dunno. Hard to tell just by looking at them, isn’t it?

  • Ryan

    I’m having trouble reading you here, bitchen frizzy.

    If you are saying that healthy body image shouldn’t require being anorexic, or comparing oneself to models et al. then obviously I agree with you.

    However, participating in athletics, or doing other things to make oneself healthier just seems like common sense to me. JoshB isn’t saying that people need to be twigs, or look skeletal like Kate Moss…he is saying that being healthy and in-shape tends to look good.

    I’m not seeing the issue.

  • MaryAnn

    Okay, enough with the debating about weight as a medical issue. Let’s just leave it as a given that Hollywood promotes an image of female body weight that is not realistic for most women to be able to achieve, *and* that it is a fact that the lowest mortality rates have been demonstrated to be among those people who are slightly *overweight.* And also that just because BMI gets skewed for those at extreme ends of the range — like bodybuilders — doesn’t mean it isn’t a useful general gauge for the average population. And that just because someone *looks* healthy (or doesn’t) doesn’t mean they *are* (or aren’t).

    And let’s also concede that when we’re talking about a few pounds — and not the morbidly obese — and when issues of what our bodies should look like come down to aesthetics and not health, men get an easier time about it in our culture. (Aesthetic issues apply when it comes to athleticism, too: not everyone finds extreme athletes attractive. And we *could* talk about NFL players, many of whom *are* obese. But we won’t.) Which is what my original point was about.

  • MaryAnn

    why is this a pointless ripoff of DieHard rather than a harmless parody

    Because there’s nothing satirical about it, and it’s not funny.

    It’s like the difference between *Mad* magazine and *Cracked.* *Mad* usually got. *Cracked* usually didn’t. And *Cracked* would have turned this one down.

  • bitchen frizzy

    –“If you are saying that healthy body image shouldn’t require being anorexic, or comparing oneself to models et al. then obviously I agree with you.”

    I am definitely saying that. I am also saying that healthy body image shouldn’t require an obsession with “fitness,” either. It’s gotten to the point that teenage boys are torturing themselves physically and chemically to look like and perform like their athlete role-models, just like teenage girls do to look like models.

    He said Bridget Jones looked overweight. That seemed extreme, except by Hollywood standards, so I said she looked normal.

    His explanation seems to be that “not athletic” equals “overweight”. I don’t think that’s what he meant, really, and that’s why I’m trying to get at his rationale. Is he saying that Bridget Jones is unattractive because she’s not athletic? If that’s his opinion, then fine, everybody has their tastes, but by that standard most women are unattractive…

    I also can’t agree with the apparent premise that “looking athletic” equates to being healthy.

    –“…he is saying that being healthy and in-shape tends to look good.”

    In reality, there’s no absolute correlation between “looking good” and “being healthy and in shape,” especially if the standards for “in shape” are so high that Bridget Jones is “fat” and therefore unattractive when evaluated by them. That’s back to what I said above. Same poison, different flavor of koolaid.

  • bitchen frizzy

    Oops. I was posting as you were issuing your moratorium, MaryAnn. Sorry. Please delete my prior post.

  • JoshB

    I also don’t want to incur MaryAnn’s wrath, but I hate to leave my point unclear.

    His explanation seems to be that “not athletic” equals “overweight”. I don’t think that’s what he meant, really, and that’s why I’m trying to get at his rationale. Is he saying that Bridget Jones is unattractive because she’s not athletic? If that’s his opinion, then fine, everybody has their tastes, but by that standard most women are unattractive…

    I was purposely avoiding bringing the aesthetics of attractiveness into my posts. I’m not at all saying that a woman has to be athletic to be attractive. Indeed I have been highly attracted to several women who would rate as overweight according the technical standard I posted above.

    My point is that when you divide people up into ‘unhealthily skinny’, ‘normal’, and ‘overweight’ you miss out on the benefits of being in excellent, athletic shape. Benefits which a person who is ‘normal’ would not share, and that are NOT limited to being uber hawtness.

  • Vergil

    JoshB, your point is clear and well made.

  • Markyd

    Imagine the Paul Blart role being Paula Blart, and being played by an unattractive, overweight woman(I’m talking morbidly here, not by Hollywood standards). Would the movie sell? absolutely not. Heck, it would never even get made.
    Welcome to America, where ugly fat guys can score 34M movie openings and score hot chicks, but similar females are relegated to a desk job in cubicleland slurping on Slimfast and reading harlequin romance novels.
    It really is bizarre how that works.

  • Paul

    Mark: maybe you should write a script: Ugly Betty: the Movie.

    I know, one gleaming exception doesn’t disprove the rule of thumb.

  • I don’t really know anything about Ugly Betty except this: America Fererra is not, in actuality, ugly at all. So… how about that?

  • Lucy Gillam

    Neither is America Fererra of a comparable body size to Kevin James.

  • Vergil

    Markyd,
    Do you think that Kevin James is unattractive? Very much to the contrary, I’d say he is an attractive overweight man. Just like Queen Latifah. Roseane Barr on the otherhand, isn’t normally considered a beauty queen, but has done rather well for herself thank you very much. I think the disproportion has more to do with the total disproportion of men to women in movies more than anything to do with “weight” issues. It is also far from an American phenomenon. And not limited to movies. There aren’t many women Chess Grandmasters either. It is a worldwide, historical, cultural phenomenon. Let’s improve the situation by all means, but let’s identify it for what it is, instead of bashing the American/Hollywood bogey (straw) man.

  • Michael

    Die-Hard “ripoff?” Really?

    I suppose the classic Pink Panther movies are a James Bond ripoff, or that Hot Shots was a ripoff of Top Gun.

    This movie could have been written/executed a lot better (though it did offer some much needed stupid comedy), but the irony could not be more delicious when a self-identified movie critic can’t recognize the value of parody in film.

    I won’t even bother to delve into your over-the-top rantings about Hollywood putting fat men with slender women. While you’re on your overly sensitive high horse, I could argue that you’re biased against fat people, and that a lot of women find men of James’ size attractive. I won’t though, because it really has nothing to do with what the potential audience of this film cares about: is it funny? Answer: Somewhat.

  • amanohyo

    You’ve got it all figured out Michael, a self-identified critic whose favorite movies include The Princess Bride and The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai doesn’t recognize the value of parody in film. Yup, it’s not like the review makes it clear that the movie lazily apes the form of Die Hard without adding anything interesting or surprising to the original concept. And I couldnt tell at all from the review if she thought the movie was funny or not.

    As far over-the-top rantings go, imagine that at the end of every three stooges episode, each of the stooges ended up in a relationship with an intelligent, attractive, well-adjusted, responsible young woman. Then imagine that you are a woman and that you’ve seen hundreds of these ludicrous sideplots pop up throughout your entire life in almost every genre of movie and television show imaginable. Can you understand how it might be just a little insulting to suggest that a woman is expected to happily settle for a man who will require years of training, mothering, and financial investment just to be a healthy, responsible, stimulating partner?

    But it’ll all be worth it because he’s a really nice guy with a great sense of humor. Sheesh, and people wonder why marriage rates are dropping in developed countries.

  • Paul

    Did the divorce rates start rising before the marriage rates started dropping? If so, I think lots of kids watching their parents break up would be a better explanation.

    Someday our nation, maybe even our species, will admit that not every body should get married because not everyone deserves to get married. I’ve long advocated that nice people should find each other and let the B&B (words I shall not spell out here) make each other miserable.

  • Accounting Ninja

    Thanks, amanohyo. That’s exactly it, it’s the frequency that it pops up. And it’s very typical for a man like Michael to poo-poo it by calling a woman who notices “overly sensitive”. Easy to dismiss when you don’t have that crap constantly pushed in your face.

    Fat, lazy, childish men with disgusting habits are almost always portrayed as worthy of the beautiful woman. Why, just today I caught a few minutes of that old movie High School High, where John Lovitz was making kissy-kiss with an actress who looked like Tia Carrere.

    Sure, there’s an occasional Bridget Jones (and she’s highly debatable), but it’s still in that “safe zone”. Like, she can be chubby, but not TOO fat. She can be cutely neurotic as a flaw, but she can’t have any truly off-putting flaws like being disgusting while being unattractive.

    And I can just hear a guy laughing and saying, “Well, how realistic would it be to have a guy fall for a fat, disgusting pig of a woman? I mean, come on! No one wants to see that!”

    Yeah, exactly. That’s how we women feel seeing this.

  • Vergil

    Sweet irony. The childish, fat men in these movies are so unworthy of these “Beautiful women” because the women are what, beautiful? Speaking of ugly Betty, isn’t it interesting that she dumps her first “geeky” looking Walter for the suposedly nerdy but actually extremely attractive Henry (who apparenty makes more money too)? Just what, exactly, does cinderella bring to the table? What does she do to deserve Prince Charming? Yes, we know she’s gentle and kind and all that, but the prince takes a look and see’s a hot little number in a tiara and he’s suddenly all his! I don’t see a Hollywood double standard here. I see two, equally offensive and equally unrealistic standards.

  • Accounting Ninja

    Well, I can’t comment on Ugly Betty, because I haven’t seen it. It would depend how it was portrayed. Did it show this as a detriment to Betty’s character that she would reject Walter as she herself had been rejected? Was the show oblivious to this and actively encouraged this double standard? I would have to see the context.

    In the most shallow of these movies, you’re right: the lovely lady brings nothing to the table except a hot body, and expects that the male audience should only be satisfied by this, cuz they’re men, amirite?? (sarcasm) But most of the ones I’ve seen, the woman usually has a career (sometimes a high-powered one), she’s together and mature (whereas he hangs with buddies all day like he’s still in high school and plays video games). Take Knocked Up, for instance.

    Personally, I also think the “fat idiot man” stereotype, especially bumbling sitcom fathers, is offensive to males. The difference is that the shows or movies condone the way they act, or even celebrate it (not that that makes it right or any less offensive to the thinking man). And in Paul Blart’s case (I haven’t seen it, but I trust what MAJ says here, she has an eagle eye for this stuff) the movie itself seems to ridicule a fat woman while at the same time celebrating James’s character, plus he gets the nubile young thing. Don’t you see how this maybe gets offensive to women? Because this thing just seems to happen a lot.

  • BMB

    As an aside, and as someone coming from the UK, I can happily confirm that the following is (as far as I’m aware) completely wrong

    “the surname of their putative hero is British slang for an intimate area of female anatomy”

    At least, not in any form of common parlance. If it is then it must be seriously niche.

  • JasonJ

    I don’t know, Accounting Ninja, I think most of the movies you might be referring to regarding these “mature” women are projecting just as inaccurate a representation of women as any other movie. In fact, there are very few movies that I can think of that actually portray women in an accurate light. These “mature” “together” women in most of these movies are rancid, vapid ball busters who play games like junior high school girls, jerk men around, and somehow think they deserve a good man just because their nether bits are polished with a golden sheen.

    It cracks me up that people even try to compare movies to real life. In the real world, men and women struggle to find a mate that they can spend their life with happily. Sometimes you find a mate, fall in love, and if you spend more than 6 months with that person, they (the horrors!) might gain weight. Oh my god, it’s aweful. A woman has to put up with a man that gets a beer belly! Who cares if he makes her laugh, takes care of her, keeps her car running, is there when her beloved cat dies, he has a BEER BELLY. Most movies get real love, real relationships completely wrong.

    As a side note, just in case we being fooled into believing women are perfect, let me fill you in on a neat little gift women bring to the table, something that isn’t touched upon in the movies with any accuracy. I’ll give you a hint. It starts sometime in the late 30’s to late 40’s. It makes not only the woman’s life pure hell, but her husbands life as well. It starts with an M. See, women who always bitch about their man playing video games or watching a football game or whatever, they just don’t get it. They have never, ever looked in a mirror and understood that they are just as flawed and screwed up as the man they are bitching about. So tell me, why does a woman deserve better than a Paul Blart? Really, give me 1 good reason why. I have met a lot of women in my 4 decades, and I have yet to meet one that deserves a perfect well sculpted, funny, rich man (which doesn’t exist by the way).

    In case you are wondering, no, I am not fat, but I am not in perfect shape cause I do have a bit of frontal protrudance. I am not rich, but I am not poor. I am not perfect, I like scifi, I hate sports but I do mountain bike, I play with radio controlled helicopters (the kind that can kill you, not the toys), I build boats, fish, fix cars, I can repair everything in the house, the cars, everything. I am damn funny, but I also snore and my farts can peel paint. Most of the time I am empathetic, but sometimes I say the wrong thing. Pretty much what the movoes tell you is the wrong man.

    My wife has seven years of college so is vastly more intelligent than any of those movie women (or most real women I meet), she was the cheerleader and popular one whereas I was the one that disappeared into the background. She is what the movies would tell you is the Right Woman.

    Why do I deserve her? Because she learned that going after that perfect looking well off man resulted in her being abused and beaten and in a hospital. She learned that sometimes the slightly chunky decent looking funny man who plays with helicopters is a better option than having her ass beaten almost daily by the guy with the money and the movie star looks.

    Most real men still have a little kid in them. Let them play their video games if they are working their ass off to pay the bills and keep the lights on. Sometimes it wouldn’t hurt for women to just lighten up and get over themselves. Women need to earn the nice guy, it is not a birthright due to golden nether bits….

  • Accounting Ninja

    um, okay. I never said that women are perfect. I was protesting Hollywood’s tendency to pair childish men, who are celebrated, with supposedly “perfect” women, while also ripping on women who are less than perfect (according to them, anyway). The LAST PART is key. And I’m talking about only movies here. I am well aware that real life is nothing like this.
    I could write another essay on how sick I am of Hollywood’s interpretation of perfect womanhood, also. They are always Hott, but they are also humorless harpies seeking to control men, or they are “cutely neurotic” (gawd, I hate that!)

    Even 40 Year Old Virgin, which I generally liked, succumbed to this Idea of Womanhood, when the female lead got “freaked out” by Andy’s action figure collection (because a REAL woman would NEVER understand that weird, geeky shit! It MUST be indicative of a severe psych problem!!) Her reaction was too extreme, IMO. It would have been much cooler if she had also loved Star Wars, but female geeks are just a myth, am I right?! (sarcasm, again)

    I myself am a sci-fi loving, video game playing, comic book reading geeky girl who is in love with a man who is just as geeky. We are not physically perfect, either. And I am obviously not a “perfect woman” according to Hollywood, otherwise I’d rather go tanning and shopping than play an RPG. So, trust me, I’m NOT saying the Paul Blarts of the world do not deserve love. Not at all.

    Seems to me you are taking my protestation of a trend personally. Plus, it’s kind of spurious to imply that a good looking man is more likely to be abusive. That’s her personal experience and I respect that, but it doesn’t mean anything one way or another about other attractive (or even unattractive) men. Just like a woman being attractive (or otherwise) gives no clue as to what kind of mate she will really be.

  • JasonJ

    Seems to me you are taking my protestation of a trend personally. Plus, it’s kind of spurious to imply that a good looking man is more likely to be abusive. That’s her personal experience and I respect that, but it doesn’t mean anything one way or another about other attractive (or even unattractive) men. Just like a woman being attractive (or otherwise) gives no clue as to what kind of mate she will really be.

    I am not saying a good looking man is more likely to be abusive. I am just saying that back then she made decisions differently than she does now. Rather than being fooled by the superficial, she takes more time and finds out what the real deal is. Women make decisions when they are in their 20’s that are much different than when they are in their 30’s. That whole lessons learned thing we all go through. That’s all I was saying.

    I don’t remember whats-her-face getting freaked out over the action figures in FYOV. I remember she saw them as a means of income, and I also remember her persuading him to sell them wasn’t right, but he didn’t have to sell them, he allowed himself to be persuaded.

  • Preston

    Of course it was intentionally slanted toward Die Hard, but that is exactly what made it funny. Personally, I liked it and was ready for a good clean funny movie and this hit the mark. Hey, I’d see it again.

  • Mario

    Very disappointing. This proves, again, Adam Sandler is inept as a comedian, actor and now producer. I love Kevin James, but I should have known better when I saw Adam Sandlers was behind this whole crappy theme of a movie. Never again will waste my time and money for anything having to do with Adam Sandler.

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