Wedding Crashers (R)

Wedding Crashers is certainly the most inappropriate film that I have watched so far. It is expected that this film was the most problematic in portraying women because it is rated R, but at the same time, many of the themes in it are certainly applicable within the other films I have watched. There are so many thematic images and roles of the feminine body within the film that it is difficult to adhere to a few, but I will focus on the most prominent ones.

The first of those is women as objects. The function ranking within the film certainly favors the men. Throughout the movie, there are scenes in which the women are part of the plot and dialogue, but do not speak—the men speak for them. I could give a dozen examples but here are just a few: Sack announces his engagement to Claire at the dinner table and, before she can even open her mouth to comment or object to these previously unheard-of plans, he forcibly kisses her into silence; more simply, when John and Claire head off for a bike ride, John is the one to tell Jeremy where they are going despite the fact that it was Claire’s idea; and additionally, in this same conversation, only Jeremy and John speak, although Gloria and Claire are both present. From major scenes to very brief ones, generally the female body appears as a prop in the background of the dialogue that is carried out by men. Aside from dialogue participation, the film is simply misogynistic in the way that is portrays women. Towards the beginning of the film there is a montage of both Jeremy and John picking-up girls at weddings and them throwing them naked onto a bed afterwards. The montage consists of women in their underwear or completely naked literally being tossed onto the bed. Images like this of women’s bodies, again, display that the female body is merely an object that can be moved around or used in whichever way the misogynistic man desires. Within scenes like these throughout the film, women’s bodies are controlled by the men around them, and they ultimately do not have the same freedom of movement or agency for themselves. The passive roles that the female characters are given within the film perpetuate the patriarchical ideas of the active man merely using women as objects.

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The audience may see themes of feminine touch within the film, but different examples may result in very different effects. The first type of feminine touch that becomes prevalent is from Gloria. She frustrates me as a character because she fully embodies the Madonna/Whore dichotomy that is so problematically found in popular culture. The fact that she pretends to be a virgin at the wedding to seem more desirable is just horrible. Despite her ‘inexperience,’ the way that she presents her body suggests otherwise. After Jeremy and she have sex on the beach, she sits next to him elated, feeling her body and running her hands through her hair. The way that she caresses herself has a very different effect than much of the feminine touch we have discussed for some other films Many times, that touch is caring or motherly, but this is completely different. Here, Gloria uses feminine touch to accentuate and show-off for Jeremy. The female body is presented for the pleasure of the male gaze.

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Feminine touch is also used to portray the caring side of the women within the film. Like I said, Gloria has a stereotypically duel personality in which she is either childishly innocent or daringly sex-driven, however, there is also a caring role that plays into her female character. Both she and Claire exhibit caring attitudes towards the men around them. When Jeremy gets tackled during football, Gloria jumps up in worry, or when he gets hunting pellets stuck in his butt, Gloria silently pulls them out one by one. Claire plays a similar role. When Sack gets food poisoning, her father comes out to let her know that she should check on him, and then for the next few days, she cares for him, asking if she can do anything for him. All of these caretaking qualities that Claire and Gloria exhibit during the film go unrecognized by the male characters to which they cater to, and yet it is expected of them—as evidence by Claire’s father. The touches of caring within these scenes are gentle and unassuming, placing the ladies in a subservient role to the men around them.

 

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