City of Women’s First 40 Minutes Rules, Then It Falls Off a Cliff

I was really grooving on this for the first 40 minutes or so. Sure, the feminist convention that the protagonist wandered into was a mess of stereotypes of Second Wave feminists, but the dude was getting his ass handed to him. And the whole time he was wandering around like a bumbling idiot trying to assert his agreement with everything they were saying but also asking why they have to be so angry and why aren’t more of them smiling. He just couldn’t begin to imagine that his presence and feedback weren’t even slightly required. Y’know, just like men in real life.

And then during the whole rollerskating thing he angrily rejects Donatella’s help because it wounds his pride, but seconds later he’s impatiently demanding her help when he realizes he’s in over his head. And at this point I was just pretty thoroughly convinced that the film didn’t want you to be sympathetic to this dickhead in the slightest. Even though 140 minutes of this loser getting dunked on seemed like it would be a bit excessive, hell, I didn’t hate the idea.

And then it got weirder and weirder (which is fine) and it became increasingly clear that the film was asking me to feel sympathetic towards this chucklefuck (which is not). And I felt the film trying to forcibly realign my perspective on the earlier bits of the movie as it became clear you were supposed to feel bad for this guy because of how awkward he was being around the straw feminists, but I’m honestly just going to pretend that the first forty minutes are from a totally different movie that was intentionally pointing out how shitty a lot of guys are in these situations.

So, yeah, the moral of the story is that “look at that dumb loser trying to talk over feminists” and “oh no this is actually some circlejerk bullshit about how precious male anxieties are” can be nearly indistinguishable from each other until they’re not.



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