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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Not Another Happy Ending trailer: not another adorably incompetent heroine

I suppose all the Amy Pond fanboys will be happy to see this, but I doubt I will. The film’s Facebook page describes Karen Gillan’s character as “clumsy yet beautiful.” And of course the trailer clearly indicates what a mess she’s supposed to be — crying? when she’s happy? baking when she should be writing? why do women have to be so… weird?! This is written and directed by men… men who don’t seem to like women very much, or can like them only when they’re not too good at anything.

UK release date: Oct 11 2013
official site | IMDb
posted in:
movie buzz | trailers
  • Danielm80

    I’m pretty sure I’ve done baking when I was supposed to be writing. I’ve also ironed clothes, folded laundry, and discovered files that had to be sorted right away. That was the one scene in the trailer that I found completely believable.

  • singlestick

    There is a long trend of male nebbish characters who are
    bumbling, useless, dumb, hapless, and yet somehow supposed to be
    charming. The protagonist of the BBC series “Black Books” might
    be a prime example of this. That there might be a female equivalent of
    this is not surprising. The variation is that the female version is usually pretty, so the other stuff doesn’t matter as much.

    I’ve read that the film was financed partly through crowdsourcing, so I guess this only goes to show that indie crowdsourcing stuff is no more a guarantee of originality than any other source of “indie financing.”

    On the other hand, maybe this Scottish production might end up with a bit of the charm of something like the old faithful “Local Hero.”

  • teenygozer

    Is this a middle-class version of the Manic Pixie Dreamgirl trope?

  • You think Bernard Black is supposed to be charming? I mean, he’s *hilarious,* but he’s an antisocial misanthrope. He’s Basil Fawlty.

    “Clumsy yet beautiful” is shorthand for “she’s pretty but she doesn’t know it so she’s not a bitch about it.” Like all those other women are.

  • singlestick

    RE: You think Bernard Black is supposed to be charming? I mean, he’s *hilarious,* but he’s an antisocial misanthrope.

    Bernard Black is incompetent. He couldn’t run his book shop, couldn’t do his taxes, could barely survive in the world. But he is supposed to get a pass because he is a righteous anti-social misanthrope. I understand why many others liked the program, but the main character (and some of the supporting ones) just got on my nerves. A near variation is the lead of “The World According to Jim,” where we are supposed to sympathize with the character’s pig-headed stupidity because he is a “regular guy.”

    I’ve enjoyed “Fawlty Towers,” but have never gone out of my way to watch the entire series.

    Sorry to ramble on here, but my point here is that modern short hand for male and female comic characters is often shallow, lowest common denominator stuff. Weird, slacker guys are supposed to be our everyday heroes, so why not weird, slacker women, as well?

  • Tonio Kruger

    He’s Basil Fawlty.

    If only.

    Basil Fawlty had a decent backstory, understandable motives and a way of excelling at both verbal and physical comedy. He was not all that likable but then as author Isaac Asimov once pointed out, a character does not have to be likable to be funny.

    Bernard Black, on the other hand, had no backstory to speak of and no motives for his behavior. His show was just fine if you found non sequiters to be the height of humor but apart from that, it was an acquired taste.

    As for the antisocial misanthrope part, at least Basil Fawlty will be nice to you if he thinks it’s to his benefit to do so. Bernard Black is just rude for the sake of being rude.

    I wanted to like Black Books as much as I liked Fawlty Towers but I didn’t. And given the fact that most American sitcoms set in bookstores (Stacked, Ellen, All-American Girl, etc. ) have been at best notoriously mediocre, it was probably just as well. Apparently there is something in a bookstore that hates a comedy…

    Now back to your regular discussion…

  • Tonio Kruger

    I suspect every creative writing teacher who ever lived can testify about the number of students they have had who obviously have more fun talking away their ideas than actually writing them down.

    Indeed, the whole trope about writers being willing to do anything save actually write was already old when Bob Newhart used it in one of the episodes of Bob back in 1992.

    That said, I will admit that it’s believable if not always easy to depict in a way that other people will find sympathetic. Perhaps we should see it as the adult equivalent of putting off doing one’s homework until the very last minute…

  • Tonio Kruger

    Amy Pond has fanboys?

  • I assume she means Karen Gillan playing a character similar to Amy Pond will make all those who loved Amy happy.. Regardless, don’t ALL attractive actresses have fan boys? And attractive actors as well?
    I’m a fan of Karens, and I must admit, it’s almost 100% because she’s gorgeous. Doesn’t meant I’ll see any movie she’s in, though. No, thanks to this movie.

  • RogerBW

    Well, Gillan is doubtless used to working with men like that by now. I confess I’ve never found her terribly convincing as an actor. Though not having looked up the cast, I thought at first that this might have been starring Molly Quinn (the daughter in Castle).

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