Lately I have analysed a string of movies from the 1990s, when the backlash against women was still relatively new. The last picks include Misery (1990), Spice World (1997) and Fools Rush In (1997). Going back like this and examining portrayals of women at this time is illuminating and interesting for comparative purposes. Close to the end of Fools Rush In Salma Hayek says to Canadian actor Matthew Perry, "Why are you afraid of me? Why do you alienate me from your life?" to which Perry responds, "I don't know." This movie was written by two women and offers a sharp contrast to many movies in certain respects, including Misery, which was written by a man. The lead female in Misery, Kathy Bates, is portrayed as such a terrible person that only the most compassionate viewers would feel sorry for her at the end when James Caan kills her, similarly to Glenn Close's fate in Fatal Attraction (1987). When Fatal Attraction came out men in theatres were cheering on Michael Douglas at the end. They could not wait for him to "kill the b*tch." No one could be blamed for thinking that was the lowest point possible for women in cinema, but unfortunately things got much worse in the first decade of the 21st century.
© 2017 Alline Cormier
#Misery #SpiceWorld #FoolsRushIn #FatalAttraction