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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

why do women pay to see crappy movies?

Where is the networking and support for female filmmakers?

Yup, it’s The Week in Women, my regular column over at the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Enjoy.



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  • funWithHeadlines

    Why do MEN pay to see crappy movies?

    Yup, same reasons. Both genders are forgiving of crap, the majority of both genders haven’t learned to appreciate good movies, and thus they eat what Hollywood gives ’em and like it!

    Women have it far worse, of course, since so few movies are made for them. But asking why sub-standard fare gets consumed misses the point that it always gets consumed, whether it’s movies, TV, fast food or music.

  • I’m having trouble thinking of why men and women go watch/read trash without sounding like a sexist ass.

    I shall simply say that we go to trashy movies to turn off the upper brain and appeal to the lower brain, which doesn’t make anyone look good but a theater is dark and it’s a culturally accepted form of release.

  • Lisa

    I’m with funwithHeadlines. I blame men for Michael Bay and y’all should start taking responsibilty for his career!

  • Why do women pay to see crappy movies?

    For the same reason members of both sexes eat too much junk food and drink too much alcohol.

    It doesn’t help that even the brightest people who post here have differing definitions about what constitutes a crappy movie. One person’s trash being another person’s beloved classic and all that jazz…

  • Interesting discussion. I do agree that people like different movies and have different definitions of poor movies. I do, however, follow the ratings and when a movie that I was keen to see launches with 1.5 stars (which happened recently) I’m willing to save my money.

  • Christine

    Good article! I make a point of boycotting obviously bad movies and I’m always wishing they’ll flop so Hollywood won’t be encouraged to make more of the same. But my little boycott makes no difference.

    I think some women pay to see crappy movies for the same reasons men do: desperate for distraction from real-life crap. That wouldn’t work for me because I can only get lost in GREAT movies that make me forget my surroundings, etc. Far from providing a turn-your-brain-off-and-forget-your-troubles escape, crappy movies just remind me of things that depress and upset me about this sick, sad world we live in. Like the increase of crappy movies. :P Like misogyny, lack of originality, corporate greed and stupidity, etc, etc.

    Another reason some women support crappy movies is they haven’t been encouraged to be critical of these things. Society still expects girls to be nice and passive, and reinforces gender stereotypes with… crappy movies. Even those women who notice/criticize might watch ’em anyway, to support actresses and female filmmakers, so that Hollywood will keep making movies “for women”… but I don’t think it does any good to encourage more Twilights or Sex In The Citys.

    Oh how I wish everyone would be more critical, and not go to see a movie just ’cause it’s heavily advertised/hyped/they don’t want to be left out/are bored and it’s just “something to do”. Clearly I obsess over The Power Of Movies And The Responsibility Of Movie-Makers/Goers, more than is healthy. :)

  • stchivo

    Most guys are extremely forgiving of a movie if it has really good explosions. Hence, Micheal Bay makes lots of money. Likewise, most woman are extremely forgiving of a movie if it has lots of romance. Hence, The Twilight Saga makes lots of money.

  • amanohyo

    1) Roughly 75% of the population lies on the extroverted side of the spectrum; interaction and connection with many people energizes them. They watch movies not just for the initial experience of watching the movie, but primarily for the experience of discussing the movie with others. These are the people who comment on a youtube video by simply restating their favorite line, lyric, or quote. They need to connect with others or they become bored.

    2) Most people are not exposed to good movies in their youth. Not only does this mean that they never develop the watching/reading/listening comprehension skills necessary to appreciate/critique many of the ideas in good movies, they also develop a taste for and an emotional connection to poorly made movies. Later in life, these trashy movies/books serve the same function as comfort food. They are familiar, uncomplicated, and connected to pleasant childhood memories.

    3) Marketers are good at their jobs.

    4) Women in particular have slim pickings when it comes to the movies that are expressly made “for them” (according to the marketing departments).

    5) After having spent a large portion of my life living in various cities in the suburban midwest, I’ve realized that there are millions of housewives who are so bored, religious, and intellectually unstimulated that even a tedious romantic comedy or juvenile vampire romance novel is a thrilling escape from the tedium of childcare and consumption. As with all stereotypes, there are exceptions, but they are clearly in the minority. I would guess that many housewives in other regions of the US are in a similar state.

  • Fortunately I have been spared seeing many bad movies because I can smell them before I can see them (nor I am alone in this ability) but I have been tempted to watch a bad movie from time to time so I can share in making fun of it with my friends or being snarky about it on this site. But then I think, Hollywood doesn’t care if I like or not, if I bought the ticket, I voted for it, so restrain myself.

    And Aman has also explained why the release big action movies in the summer: lots of bored teenage boys without school to keep them busy.

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