Let's just get one thing out of the way before I continue, a great disservice has been done to the world because Amy Heckerling's I Could Never Be Your Woman was never released in theaters.
Heckerling's film is an ode to the sorry state of 21st century feminism. Michelle Pfeiffer plays the disillusioned heroine, Rosie Hanson, working as script writer and producer for a TV show that invariably encapsulates the garish influence of commercialism in society. Her confidence and personal identity is already under threat due to her neurosis, but that further multiples with the onslaught of her daughter Izzie's adolescence and the unexpected presence of a younger lover, the goofy Adam (Paul Rudd).
Rosie is what has been missing from the canon of the romantic comedy, and what, invariably due to how poorly the film was clearly received, will continue to be absent from this canon. She is an honest depiction of the modern woman, particularly that of the more mature, successful variety. Sure she's sexy and has a thriving career, but she's also a divorcee, a mother, and a frustrated (read - pissed-off) feminist. She is pissed at the male-female dynamic, and she's passing her wise philosophies onto her protege. Saoirse Ronan has often played beyond her years, but this time it's nice to see her play her own age with abandon, if depicting one who is a little precocious. She is well on her way to becoming a very independent and self-possessed lady. She teaches us all a lesson worth noting. See video below. (These days this message may be more applicable to the likes of Katy Perry or Rihanna, amiright?)
The film is not perfect, the plot's a little thin, the subplots are way too Scooby Doo-ish, Paul Rudd is the anti-love interest, but not in a good way. But there's something about the message I just find to be rather empowering, as I just don't see it enough in cinema, or in media for that matter, nowadays. On an aside, the recent backlash targeted towards Girls is just pissing me off.... Which brings us to the best part of the film, Mother Nature. Tracey Ullman brings life to Heckerling's sardonic pessimist and Rosie's personal conscience/wise-ass. She's pretty much a personification of everything women, of the realistic and honest variety, would like to say, do, and eat. She empowers Rosie with her honesty and witticism, but is also there to ground her and call her out for being ridiculous.
This bohemian, rational version of Mother Nature is the antithesis of the Mother Nature that predominates in culture. Usually we are led to believe women are at the mercy to the whim of the all-ruling mistress of our bodies. The cliches of the emotionally unstable crying lady, and the hormone-enraged bitch. Mother Nature is blamed. We are weak because of the apparent existence of this ruler and our subservience to her. Women, Rosie in this instance, can in fact live harmoniously with her. It's a democracy, not a dictatorship. Rosie and her Mother Nature have a back and forth; a relationship rather than a negotiation.
Sorry for the rant, but this film just magnified for me how women are treated and portrayed. I'm not exactly one to talk, one of my favourite genres is War film, where women are one of three things usually, the mother, the devoted partner, or a prostitute. And I couldn't even name a list of fabulous female directors or writers that I respect and yearn to emulate. If anything this movie has called me out on my own sexism. My own ignorance is palpable in my preferred tastes. Rosie struggles to sustain the love of what she does, not because of her own issues, but because there are people like me who are forcing her into to unfulfilling careers because it's convenient for us.
Guys, let's just try to be better to each other.