Film Corner: Charlie's Angels (2019)

Charlie's Angels (2019)

[Editor's Note: This squee previously posted on Twitter in 2019.]

Y'all. You need to all go see CHARLIE'S ANGELS, trust me. It is so good. SO GOOD. How did we get this AND Terminator in the same year? K Stew is sooooo gay and good, and Ella Balinska gets so much screen time and they become friends in the most natural way and all the women are so REAL and well written and amazing. It's simultaneously an improvement over the old canon BUT respectful and loving towards it in ways that actually made me cry. So good.

I am now going to talk about some things I loved about this movie.

1. You know that trope where someone is an amazing physical therapist and they violently adjust someone's back without asking? THE MAN IN THIS MOVIE ASKS. "I would like to give you a back adjustment; do I have your consent?"

2. K Stew is, in one scene, allowed to just "oh hi hello" be distracted by a pretty woman in the mooooost sapphic way.

3. At one point, K Stew needs to cause a distraction. A lesser movie would have her strip or something. In this one, she pretends to be a monkey. Head scratches and monkey noises. Perfection.

4. If there's a "main character" among the three women, it's the Black angel, Jane. She's allowed to have this full range of emotions, she cries at one point, she makes friends, she has a full backstory. She's not The Sidekick With Only One Emotion.

5. The opening scene has a man sneer about "housewives" and K Stew says that's not her choice but there's nothing wrong with being one.

6. At no point is anyone threatened with rape.

7. K Stew saying "do you know that it takes men an additional 7 seconds to recognize a woman as a threat" while she strangles a man and his bodyguards look confused and dumbfounded.

8. There are several beautiful call-backs to the previous show and movies that are respectful and kind. There's no sense of disrespect to the other women who've been in this series. (The call-backs are also subtle enough that you can happily miss them if you haven't seen them.)

9. In fact, this movie does something I love but rarely see: one of the villains is attracted to the angels but NOT in a rapey way. He actually thinks her ability to beat him up is AMAZING and SEXY and would she like to run away with him??? This is so rare and it pisses me off because it's how more villains SHOULD act. They shouldn't all default to rapey.

10. K Stew plays an heiress who has an extensive jail record, and it's just...nice to talk about the fact that money doesn't make kids happy. (Plus, it's the white girl with the jail record and all the sketchy thefty skills, which is nice.)

11. We see a LOT of angels and Bosleys, and the movie is careful to move away from the American-centrism + Exceptional (Three) Women trope.

12. At several points, Kissmate had to lean over and say "keep breathing" and "calm your gay heart" and basically- Remember that one Ghostbusters scene that gave a lot of us gay shivers? There are a LOT of moments like that. Hell, you could probably take younguns to see this? It's not ultra violent and I don't recall any sex. The swears were often not in English. (Merde!)

13. YES-->  @MaevesMomma1. I also noticed that the characters all have a healthy relationship with food. No diet talk or abstention.

14. SAME.  --> @JacksonEflin. The way she straight up FORGETS THE WHOLE MISSION for an entire 10 seconds because someone is so hot that she becomes too gay to function is the first time I've seen myself represented on screen.

15. The movie is also delightfully trope aware in some excellent ways. For example, Jane notices something is wrong because a typist is hitting the wrong keys. (I'd noticed too!!)

@ChenClem. Naomi Scott? why every one talks about Kristen and Ella acting and nor about Naomi.

Naomi Scott is AMAZING in her role and I promise the only reason I didn't gush more about her specifically is because those really would be spoilers. But she's WONDERFUL. And it's really amazing to watch her character develop over the course of the film.

I thought of another non-spoiler thing I really liked: at one point, K Stew is allowed to make silly faces at a little girl. And here's the thing: If you know K Stew, you know her big role in Twilight landed her with a reputation for being a "bad actress" because her acting was wooden and expressionless. The thing is, she was told to act like that because conventional wisdom was that facial expressions make women "ugly". So seeing her *allowed* to make "ugly" facial expressions in a joyful scene with a little girl brought tears to my eyes. She deserved this excellent film.


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