Toenail Painting, Giggling, Talking About Boys Entry: Charlie’s Angels

6 Apr

In 2000, just a few hours past the dawn of the new millennium, American culture stood on a cusp, though it did not know it.

Stuff Blows Up Real Good. And Titties.

The late 90’s saw a wave of postmodern feminism (yes, this is going to be one of THOSE posts) that I look back on with nostalgia. We had Buffy. We had Scully. We had Tank Girl. We had L7 and Poe, Veruca Salt and other snarly girl bands.

We had females DOING things, speaking their minds, making mistakes, trying and failing; granted, it wasn’t perfect, but it was stumbling, staggering, and shuffling towards that equality that feminists of the previous 100 years had dreamed of.

Charlie’s Angels was an exponent of that time, almost more so than the subsequent Kill Bill movies, and here’s why:

Charlie’s Angels, for all the glitter nail polish, high heels, explosions, and bouncing boobs, acknowledged the ridiculousness of the action genre by allowing women to take part in it the same way that men did. Plain and simple, it showed that women could be as witless in movies as their male counterparts.

For example: take any action movie that preceded it, and look at the cliches. The bad guys are terrible shots, go down with one punch, may be blown up but are never hurt in a way that humanizes them (ie broken limbs, etc.), attack one at a time, posture, but are less competent than your average frycook.

The good guys never miss, can do ridiculous stunts, have 12-foot vertical leaps, can punch through concrete, and have encyclopedic knowledge of Earth and all its contents. Most importantly, they never look bad: with one exception (played for laughs) their hair and makeup is always perfect. Just like in the boys’ movies, where the protagonist can be shot at, beaten up, fall out of a helicopter into a volcano, fight their way through a herd of buffalo and look elegantly rumpled, so too the girls of Charlie’s Angels are always sleek and poised. After a couple kung fu go-rounds with the baddies, the most disheveled they get is that ‘just been fucked’ look.

And really–for a tom boy girlified enough to like the accoutrements of beauty and fashion, what better movie is there than Charlie’s Angels? The main characters are capable, intelligent, and violent when necessary. It’s just plain awesome.

Of course, for anyone even marginally aware, the last decade has seen a bizarre return to 1955’s gender roles. Commercials would have you believe that women need men to do math and open the pickle jar, and that men are barely civilized savages who only wear pants and use utensils if women are around to nag them into it. Plain and simple, it’s bullshit.

I know women who are so slovenly in their household affairs you’d consider calling the health department, and men so neat and tidy (gay AND straight) you could perform brain surgery anywhere in their home without fear of contagion. I know women with no social skills, men afraid of snakes, women who lift weights, men who wax, women who hate children, and men who daydream about changing that first diaper. When people begin sentences with ‘Well, girls are naturally. . .’ or ‘Little boys always. . .’ my hackles begin to raise and a host of anecdotal evidence lines up for reference in my mind.

Unless you are speaking about biology, gender doesn’t matter a whole lot to the individual; but it matters to the masses, and this is where enculturation comes in. Think of the boys’ and girls’ toy aisles in the store: teaching males to be ‘boys’ and females to be ‘girls’ begins at a very young age, even before children are mobile. Hell, it practically begins in the womb, with people showering pink and blue gifts on people.

But I digress. I was talking about how much fun Charlie’s Angels is.

Because I like watching movies where women DO things rather than ARE things. The Angels, although directed by the ever-unseen Charlie, are more proactive in the investigation, following threads and formulating theories (however convoluted they might be) to the final showdown with the bad guy.

En Garde!

Very pointy. From the sword, to the eyebrows, to the nose, very pointy.

The other thrill that Charlie’s Angels presented the world was Crispin Glover’s return to mainstream cinema.

I was sitting in the theater, agonizing over why the Creepy Thin Man was so familiar, when my friend leaned over and informed me that it was none other than George McFly, from Back to the Future.

“But that’s impossible,” I thought. “That movie came out like 20 years ago and he looks about 25!”

He was about 35, actually. Which, since I am not too far away from that myself, doesn’t seem that huge a difference. But still. A well-kept 35, to be sure.

Man, I had a crush on him for like 2 years after that.

Anyhoodle, Charlie’s Angels was followed by the slightly less fun Full Throttle, which was only lessened by the enormous expectation set up by the first fun-filled film.

I think the most fun thing about Charlie’s Angels is the simple camaraderie of the 3 lead actresses. No backbiting, no veiled criticisms of each other, no snark; literally just 3 people who get along very well but for a few quirks and function as a well-oiled machine.

LOL See whut I did ther?

VERY well-oiled!

There just aren’t enough high-level movies where women respect each other and get along. For Christ’s sake, we comprise HALF the world population, getting along with each other and learning not to compete for some dude’s attention shouldn’t be this hard. For reals.

 

 

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Toenail Painting, Giggling, Talking About Boys Entry: Charlie’s Angels”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What I Have Learned Post: 5 Movies to Get You Through a Breakup | Late to the Theater - March 8, 2015

    […] girl-power fluff about friends and fashion and having a good time. If you’re unfamiliar, here‘s a review I wrote a few years ago. Not to be taken with any seriousness whatsoever. Really, […]

  2. Welcome! Please, Let Me Show You Around! | Late to the Theater - March 14, 2016

    […] Toenail Painting, Giggling, Talking About Boys Entry: Charlie’s Angels […]

... but what do YOU think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Struggle

YouTube Channel

indiescifi451.wordpress.com/

science fiction movies, reviewed and dissected ruthlessly. full autopsy.

One Working Mommy

Follow me for reflections on motherhood through the eyes of one working mommy.

J. A. Allen

Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins

AfroSapiophile

Intelligent Black Thought.

Writing Is Hard Work

Musings of a hard working writer.

Janet Carr @

This Bug's Life

I create worlds. John E. Brito's Blog

Behind the scenes of John E. Brito's animated and live action (short) films & comics

Josep Goded

Seeking Truth

Stuff White People Like

This blog is devoted to stuff that white people like

Dark Matters

For Well-Rounded Blerds and POC Nerds

Examining the Odd

literature, visual art, music and film

My Year Cooking with Chris Kimball

Recipes from Cook's Illustated, Cook's Country and America's Test Kitchen

The Entertainment Patrol (and general musings)

My musings about everything from entertainment to life!

Writer's Haven

Words from heart

Lovecraft eZine

Weird Fiction, Cosmic horror, and the Cthulhu Mythos

breaktimestories

Musings, Short stories, Inspiration.

BROTHA WOLF

Howling For Justice!

MyCreativeRamblings.org

“I used to want to be an astronaut, but astronauts don't even go to the moon anymore.”

BecomeBetty.com

Food, drinks, style, and humor

BaileyBee

The Hive

Carmilita's Handmade Jewelry

handmade bead jewelry

Mark My World

Hacking life while enjoying everything in between

Really Awful Movies

Horror Movies, Science Fiction, Exploitation, Action, Genre Films.

yaskhan

Poetry, free verse, haiku, senryu, photography, books, art, philosophy , nature.

TheWarner

Your Source for Honest Commentary and Reviews

Rob Powell Writes

Let's see where this goes, starting with some short stories and flash fiction.

Opinionated Woman

Opinionated women of the world, unite!

BayArt

New Perspective on Life

What's Your Chic?

Your Chic. Your Style.

Meditating Millennial

A Millennial's Journey Into Meditation and Mindfulness

SparkleWithUc

Leave a little sparkle wherever you go!

word and silence

poetry & prose by Tim Miller

Blog of the Dragon

Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire news, theories, and other nerdy goodness

LOWLIFE MAGAZINE

"Find what you love and let it kill you." – Charles Bukowski

tekehdddddddddddddddddddddddddddd.wordpress.com/

Mostly about poetry, madness and darkness

Londongrad

Erotica City of London Russia Confessions

The Gymternet

The ultimate gymnastics news. For the ultimate gym nerd.

witchlike

Exploring wise-craft and weirdness

%d bloggers like this: