Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]
Is a woman paired romantically with a man old enough to be her father? [why this matters]
Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: One way this remake could have stood apart from its source material and found something fresh to say about its subject would have been to swap out its male protagonist for a woman. We can safely assume that this didn’t occur to anyone involved in making the film. Indeed, with an almost entirely male-dominated cast apart from the protagonist’s mother and too-young-for-him girlfriend, this is a great example of how movies typically want nothing to do with women unless they’re propping up a man. The film’s score would have been even worse, because the mother character could have easily been a father (as the female bank manager in one brief scene could have been played by a man), but those are positives only in the veritable woman-desert that movies are.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Gambler! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of The Gambler.