Sick of films that pair ugly men with beautiful women? Don’t watch Superbad

// 26 November 2007


Superbad is a teen comedy – and therefore it will probably only make you laugh if you have a fairly high tolerance for pretty juvinile humour.

Clearly I fall into that catagory, because there were quite a few moments that had me rolling around laughing. But it’s yet another example of a film cliche that is getting more and more tired: ‘ordinary’ men (or in this case, boys) matched up with drop-dead gorgeous women (or, in this case, girls).

You can see the main male characters to the right. Then look below to see Emma Stone, who played the ‘romantic’ interest of the one on the right. At the end of the film, she gives a short speech about how she wouldn’t need to get drunk to sleep with him, and they go off into the sunset – or at least into the mall.

In short, the film tells the story that it’s OK for boys not to look amazing – they will still be able to land really attractive girlfriends.

superbad2.gifI see a number of problems with this: most obviously, perhaps, the male characters are all pretty average-looking, with the emphasis on their personality, the same is not true for the female characters. These girls are presented as a reward for the male characters, and they are not allowed to be anything other than drop-dead gorgeous. It’s a classic example of the double standard, with one rule for the boys and another for the girls.

Unlike in the teen films which I grew up watching, which generally showed very attractive girls getting off with very attractive boys (Pump up the Volume, anyone?), it seems like the new trend is to present characters that the average teenage boy can relate to, while maintaining the high-standard of perfection when it comes to women and girls.

And the trend extends beyond teen comedies – as I posted about back in September.

Over all, it seems pretty objectifying and dehumanising to me – especially when it’s combined with jokes about how disgusting menstral blood is and lines referring to breasts as “warlocks”.

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