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 there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children? [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)
Similar to the issue of “femininity used as a joke” [why this is a problem], here we have the male protagonist’s female sidekick, who is a lesbian and is constantly being mistaken for a boy, which everyone seems to find hilarious.
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: All of the girls and women in this film function solely as support for the male protagonist as he goes on a life-changing personal journey: as a friend who happily helps with even the most dubious and dangerous of schemes, as an object of love or lust, as a wholly understanding mother. Even the one character who might have offered a more progressive portrait ends up serving as reinforcement of the male-dominated status quo: the female friend who is a lesbian only underscores the film’s objectifying male gaze as she joins the male protagonist in ogling women.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Dope! 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 Dope.