This will be the first in a column series about me justifying how often I watch rom coms and then hating myself for it. The predictable plot of rom coms just sticks a knife in when the romantic conflict reaches a crescendo, and then twists it in my bleeding heart with its typical anti-feminist ending.
This one I just knew from the beginning I had to watch, and I had to hate. It sets up some gender dynamics from the beginning – a successful career-minded women and a neurotic (feminine?) male best friend. How zany! But let’s remember the real motivations underlying all ladies’ life decisions – makin’ some babies. We are slaves to our biology afterall. So she goes, gets herself knocked up by a donor, who actually ends up being her best friend, blahblahblah. I took the following notes while watching:
The supposed donor teachers a class in feminist literary tradition.
“I think you want to have a child and I think that’s natural.”
Juliette Lewis screaming “We’re doing it for ourselves!” (Why is she in this movie??)
Jerking off to Diane Sawyer.
Jason Batemen puking into a trash can in the most sexual way I could imagine.
The kid is super into getting people to rescue dogs from shelters.
All movies should end with Jeff Goldblum playing a jazz version of “happy birthday” on the piano.
Somehow, actually, this movie ended up offending me way less than I imagined it would. She didn’t really give up too much of herself in order to be with an obviously poorly matched partner. She still falls for a man for no reasons that make any sense to me. He kind of sucks. But she still had her (barely mentioned) career, seemed to be doing well financially, and most important, the movie did not end with a wedding scene. J. Jack Halberstam refers to this film phenonenom as the wedding cum shot in his book Gaga Feminism. So this movie was set up to fail – the pressure of a woman’s biology to have a baby, choosing a less-attractive, less-interesting, less-emotionally stable man over one who seems to be better on all counts – but somehow the movie manages to just be boring more than anything else. I was confused by Juliette Lewis’s presence the whole time, but this is balanced by the genius that is Jeff Goldblum in everything ever. Oh well. I’ll never have those 101 minutes back, but at least I didn’t cry through the predictable romantic conflict and then continue to cry through the predictable anti-feminist resolution (and then get in a predictable fight with my partner).
In case anyone is interested, here is a graph of women’s fertility and likelihood of infertility by age.
Also, have you ever heard of this thing called adoption? Or perhaps, more generally, not putting as much pressure on only have of the population to live their lives according to their natural biology and not according to their developed abilities?