Film Corner: Zombieland & Night of the Comet

Zombieland is on Amazon Prime and I'm remembering why I didn't care much for it.

The whole "the fatties went first" is annoying and wrong, obviously, and then they follow it up with the whole Nice Guy sequence of his hawt neighbor attacking him.

But then you get to the girls, and their plan is so fucking foolish? They tell men the little girl is infected and needs to be shot, and the older girl wants to be the one to do it, and this causes nice men to hand over their guns. LIKE. She believes men are nice enough to let her be the one to shoot her sister, WHILST believing men aren't nice enough to trust and team up with. She believes two mutually incompatible things!!

I hate this type of writing in a very particular manner, because it's predicated on the idea that women expect--and have experience backing up these expectations--men to treat them with extreme reverence and deference. In real life, Woody Harrelson's character would've shot the kid and thought he was doing the older girl a favor by not letting her do it. Cis men don't listen when I say "wait!" Cis men don't let me do things even when I'm the best one to do them.

I once had a five minute argument with my husband explaining the best way to trap a baby possum in our garage because he WOULD NOT BELIEVE I knew my shit. He stormed into the house and I had it locked up in a cat carrier literally 30 seconds later. (It was a capture and release, the baby possum is fine and much happier than it would've been in our garage which does not have food or water.)

But SO anyway, you can't handwave this writing as being "well, the girls are [not smart / too trusting / very young]" because the underlying problem is that the writing REQUIRES a very different world than the one we live in. These girls have somehow experienced an America where most men are nice guys who don't unconsciously perpetuate sexism, and yet Woody can still throw around insults like "bitch". THESE TWO THINGS CANNOT BE TRUE.

It used to frustrate my spouse when I'd point this out during movies, but it's a suspension of disbelief for me? I cannot BELIEVE two girls would think this plan is a good one, and I cannot BELIEVE it would go down that way.

The swiftness with which the Nice Guy decides the first girl he encounters is his soulmate is honestly terrifying.

We've reached the racist sequence where they run around in warbonnets whilst smashing up a gift shop. That's...a thing that happens.

Honestly, the whole thing where this extremely safety conscious guy goes to Hollywood--one of the densest populations in America, and therefore full of zombies--doesn't really work for me anyway. It's supposed to be a comedy and handwaved as character development slash being in love with Emma Stone, but it just doesn't work for me.

This thing where the movie keeps trying to convince us that Jesse Eisenberg was horrifically shunned by girls for not being handsome? When he's attractive and skinny and several layers of social privilege? I just. Okay, movie!! Jesse Eisenberg ping-ponging between movies where he's Tragically Ugly and Corruptingly Handsome and I just. *lol*

LOL, and of course Emma Stone ditches him the moment she gets feelings, because women do that to Nice Guys. (Oh, and her sister says Emma goes for Bad Boys because of course she does.)

I spent the whole movie assuming the girls went to the playground PLANNING to die? Like this was their last hurrah, their planned suicide? I was so shocked to find THEM shocked that lots of light and noise would attract the zombies they know are attracted to light and noise.

Like, that isn't a thing that only we the audience know?? They've been luring zombies out with bells and banjos! No one could've predicted that one of the most populated cities in America would have lots of zombies! I guess!??

Ooh, Night of the Comet is on Prime. THAT'S a good zombie movie.

I do like the dynamic of the younger sister flirting at Robert Beltran and he politely just doesn't acknowledge it because she's a kid playing at being an adult and it's NOT HARD TO *NOT* SEXUALIZE YOUNG WOMEN.
We don't really have lots of examples of heroes politely turning down sexual offers/flirting, and we need more. I say "politely" because there's plenty of "maybe later" eyes or extravagantly denying a woman's advances in order to humiliate her.

I'd like to see it normalized that sometimes men just aren't interested in sex, or aren't interested in sex from that person because of good reasons, and politely issue soft no's without humiliating a woman. And especially with younger girls, which we sexualize so much in movies. Having one come on to an attractive older man who is VERY AWARE that he'd be a creep to encourage her is...I don't really know if I've seen that anywhere else.

Oh gosh, I remembered the mall shopping spree but I forgot that it was the older sister's idea in order to distract the younger sister from her grief. My heart.


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