Tags: madame bovary

20 Feb 2007, Comments Off on Little Kidults

Little Kidults

Author: Helen

Sorry possums. This blog should be renamed the Bludger on the Cast Iron Balcony, as we lie about in pools of our own sweat, panting and riding out the heat wave. Shoutout to people who have newborns or are just about to go— I hope you can keep cool.

The bad news I have for you is that the gender politics in popular culture, especially as relates to being a parent, they are still stuffed.

On Sunday, we decided an afternoon movie was a good way to survive the heat. We were aiming for Notes on a Scandal, but we got the session time wrong and ended up seeing Little Children (Dir. Todd Field). How much did I hate it? Let me count the ways.

Here are some of the messages you’ll get from this movie:

Women at home with children are all neurotic, Martha Stewart-esque bitches.
There are occasional exceptions to this- the nice mums are the ones who put out.
Women who are the primary breadwinner are ballbreakers. They’re reversing the natural order!
Women who are primary breadwinners, therefore ballbreakers, can only expect to be cheated on.
Men who are the primary caregiver must be losers, because they would never choose to do such a thing of their own volition.
Men who are the primary caregiver can make statements to perfect strangers like “Aren’t you going to ask me who wears the pants in our marriage?” and that is no way sexist or neurotic or passive agressive, not at all.
If a woman’s husband turns out to be a complete dickhead, that gives her permission to bonk another woman’s husband. Because the solution to pain is just to pass it on to others, right?
Reading Madame Bovary proves that infidelity is admirable. And feminist! Because feminism is, like, er…
People who disagree with the last point must be one of those neurotic, Martha Stewart-esqe beyotches (see above).
Child molesters are instantly recognisable in a Gollum type of way. They do not look like normal people.
Child molesters get that way because of their bad, smothering mums. (I remember this handy theory being used for all kinds of villains in the old black and white Hollywood movies. Pop Freud, I guess.)
Actually, all older mums are crones and bad and evil. Actually, all mums are smothering and evil except for the one who puts out.

Oh, and we’re supposed to believe that Kate Winslet’s a Plain Jane character. Please.


The presence of so many objectionable memes in one movie irritated what Twisty would call my obstreperal lobe severely, so while I was physically cooler at the end of the experience, my collar was considerably hotter. I felt as if I’d stepped into a Tardis and returned to the 60s.

If you want an escape-the-heat movie, I recommend staying home with a fan and a straight-to-DVD 2005 release, The Big White (Dir. Mark Mylod), which is set in Alaska, so there’s plenty of snow. This movie has been variously described as ‘the funniest release of 2005’ and ‘Coenesque‘. I can vouch for the Coenesque, as the plot is based on the guy who wants to pull off just one Insurance scam which will set him up for life and everything goes pearshaped from there… you know, that plot. Of course, a frozen dead body is involved… naturally, the film’s a bit derivative of Fargo and A Simple Plan. But it’s a romp, and at least you won’t be throwing things at the TV, and the setting is extremely chilly. Watch out as Holly Hunter makes a meal of a hilarious supporting role.