June 10, 2008

Will a Hit Movie About a Girl Help Make More Movies About Women?

Let's be honest. There are only a couple of female centric films opening this summer. Mamma Mia is the largest one and then there are a couple of smaller films notable Brick Lane and Frozen River (I've seen and liked both) but not too much else.

But Hollywood is really trying to figure out how to build on the Sex and the City audience so they're pitching the girl movies like Kit Kittredge: An American Girl to women. I haven't seen Kit Kittredge yet (I will later this week) but I am pretty offended by today's NY Times piece that basically says that Picturehouse is trying to get the Sex and the City audience to see Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. Pleeze.

I have nothing against Kit. In fact you can probably bet that I will like it. It's directed by a woman (Patricia Rozema), written by women (Ann Peacock and Valerie Tripp), produced by a woman (Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas) and stars the lovable Abigail Breslin as a young girl reporter trying to be taken seriously in 1934 Cincinnati. Shit, that's some serious women power.

Sounds pretty good to me. It's based on the American Girl doll (character) and I know some girls worship those dolls (they are way better than Barbies) and the store has become a serious destination for the young set in the cities where they are located.

But this is a movie about a girl. This is not a movie about a woman or women and that's where I take offense. It's just not the same. Movies about girls and young women even movies with feminist messages like this one sounds like it has, have always been ok. Think about Bend it Like Beckham, Mean Girls, Nancy Drew and the upcoming Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. But movies about women is where we are faltering.

If they really wanted to build on the Sex and the City "womentum" wouldn't it have been smarter to move up the date of The Women into the summer and try to make it another group outing?

I hope Kit Kittredge does great, but Hollywood still needs to pay attention to women and films about girls won't cut it,
More Girls, Little Ones, Try to Take Back the Multiplex (NY Times)