Trashing Men in the movies

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We’ve come a long way from the days when female critics complained that men won all the lead roles in movies, while female characters were one-dimensional props to male heroes.

Many producers and playwrights who produce entertainment today display a complete indifference to making male characters believable.

One of my favorite movie performances is Bill Murray in “Lost in Translation”. He plays a fading movie star stuck filming in a Japanese hotel who befriends a young woman, played by Scarlett Johansson, portraying an equally lost soul.

He’s in a rocky marriage and she clearly has a crush on him, but he resists the temptation, valuing their growing friendship. It is a complex and touching story celebrating the restraint and kindness of men.

That was in 2003 before the rot really set in. Over the next two decades, men were ruthlessly pushed from their pedestals.

In 2020, Sophia Coppola, the producer of “Lost in Translation”, calls on the talented Bill Murray again, this time for his comedy “On The Rocks”, where he plays a womanizing father whose daughter fears that her husband have an affair.

In this supposedly happy game, dad drags his daughter around town spying on the husband, indulging his paranoia with rude comments about “that’s the way men are”. No moral complexities here, just demeaning stereotypes about men who can’t control themselves. Yawn.

American actor Bill Murray attends the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022. (Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)

Many commentators have taken up the disgrace of male heroes in movies. There is a funny rant by Scottish YouTuber Critical Drinker. It’s called “Why Modern Movies Suck, They Destroy Our Heroes”.

He’s acerbic about the latest “Star Wars” sequel. He points out that Han Solo “started out as a selfish smuggler who only cared about number 1, but over the course of the first three films, he morphed into a smart, resourceful, brave, and protective fighter of Princess Leia, ready to risk everything for the sake of his buddies. Pretty cool, isn’t it?”

The YouTuber then describes the sequel set 30 years later, where Solo is “a cynical, self-absorbed smuggler.” A worthless father who abandoned his wife and son, and an incompetent criminal who made enemies across the galaxy.

Epoch Times Photo
Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) in a scene from the 1977 film “Star Wars” released by 20th Century-Fox. (AP Photo/20th Century-Fox Film Corporation, file)

Solo is believed to be in his 60s, but he’s “somehow less experienced, competent, and mature than when we first met him. All of his experiences, character development, and accomplishments have been rendered completely irrelevant. .

A fitting epitaph, perhaps, to the fate of generations of men once skilled in this feminist world?

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Epoch Times.

Bettina Arndt

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Bettina Arndt is an Australian writer and social commentator on gender issues. She was the country’s first sexologist and feminist, before focusing on men’s rights. Arndt is the author of several books and has written for major newspapers, magazines and appeared regularly on television. She was awarded the Order of Australia in 2020 for her work promoting gender equity through advocacy for men. Find her online at her blog, BettinaArndt.substack.com.

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