WGA Diversity Report Says Women Screenwriters Lose Even More Jobs

The WGA diversity report, released on April 15, delivered this rather devastating news about women screenwriters in Hollywood. While women and other minorities are doing a bit better on television, on film things are only getting worse:

Women Screenwriters Lose Ground in Film
In the film sector, women writers fell further behind their white male counterparts in 2012, accounting for just 15 percent of sector employment (down from 17 percent in 2009). Women remained underrepresented by a factor of more than 3 to 1 among screenwriters.

Gender Earnings Gap in Film Widens Again
The gender earnings gap in film has traditionally been greater than the gap in television. Women film writers earned just 77 cents for every dollar earned by white male film writers in 2012, down from 82 cents in 2009.

I believe there are many reasons for this and only of those reasons, a very small reason, can be laid at the feet of women. Where women are to blame really only has to do with women being, perhaps, less visually oriented than male writers. This isn’t strictly true, but it’s partly true and that means you actually have to think while reading their stuff. It tends to be far more complex than stuff that comes from the male mind where things are relatively simple. I’m only half-kidding. Visual storytelling rules the day in film so if women start thinking with less complexity and more simple visuals they would probably do a lot better. In other words, dumb it way way down.  It also has to focus mostly on what men think and feel and want.

But in seriousness, women tend towards the dreaded “relationship movies.” And until they get unstuck in this genre – I know, we’re raised on fairy tales and hideous romantic comedies and force-fed this outdated notion that we need to be rescued to be happy. But we have to stop thinking this way, at least where providing entertainment and/or stimulating artistic masterpieces to the masses is concerned. Or even critics.

Basically we are looking at one singular demographic that controls Hollywood: the white male. The central white male figure, usually hetero. This male figure starts out in animated films – think Finding Nemo. Or Up. Or any animated film that makes a bazzillion dollars and isn’t a fairy tale. Central white male figure makes good – usually he’s a misfit, or flawed, but by the end of the movie he will have saved the day! Or gotten the girl! You get the idea. This theme is massaged and milked over and over again because, remember, there is only one demographic in Hollywood and it must be served.

Fanboy culture has heightened this phenom to an absurd degree. Now you aren’t even really required to actually grow up – you can dwell forever in the boyhood bubble of comic books and comic book movies and superheroes and superhero movies! There is an endless stream of nourishment for this generation, which was once that generation, and will soon be that generation.

But oh, if it were only fanboy culture – it isn’t. Look at the Oscar race. Everywhere you look (except last year’s respite, 12 Years a Slave). Singular white male figure is the hero. Women are the declaration. They can sometimes be “strong” within that context, or quirky! Or sexy. Either way, they are there ONLY to serve, or service, or promote the male figure who saves the day!

Almost all of the movies that have been nominated for Best Picture since Oscar changed the date, back in 2003 or thereabouts, Million Dollar Baby was the last film that featured any central character who was a female.

Crash
The Departed
No Country for Old Men
Slumdog Millionaire
The Hurt Locker
The King’s Speech
Argo
12 Years a Slave

These are all films, with the possible exception of Crash, where the main characters were male and the supporting characters were female. In fact, the females don’t really exist at all except to serve the male characters. Argo was, I believe, the absolute worst of these – with faceless, bland female characters who, quite simply, didn’t matter. At all. Good thing 12 Years a Slave came along where the female characters were very richly drawn. In fact, though 12 Years is about a central male figure it is so much a film about the women that Solomon Northup cannot protect. No character has it worse than the women. That film breaks with tradition, mercifully.

But let’s take it a step further. Let’s look at film the critics.

Los Angeles Film Critics:

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 3.18.31 PM

What’s that, 46 males to 11 females? One demographic where the opinion of women have no real choice except to blend in.

And the New York Film Critics?

8 women to 26 men. While that’s slightly better than the LA Film critics, which is just plain embarrassing, it’s still an unequal representation.

Knowing how touchy film critics are at any charges of racism or sexism – one has to assume that they would have a problem with my even pointing this out. After all, they might be (mostly) white but that doesn’t color their impression of film. They are wholly objective. Their taste isn’t dependent upon their sex or their skin color. That might be true. And it might not be true.

I look at Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. Imagine, if you will, a woman – or even a black or Asian director – delivering that film.  Had a woman directed Noah it would have gotten at most a polite pat on the back while being ridiculed as Christian fodder at best. At worst, an expensive, bland bomb.  All women directors would have had to pay for a female directing Noah next time any woman wanted to direct a “religious epic.”  But that didn’t happen to Noah.  Two words prevented that from happening: Darren Aronofsky. He is so revered by the (mostly white male) film critics that they were more than willing to give him a pass. You see, these directors in our culture are made into heroes.  As such, they are almost always helped along by critics, even when they stumble, as Aronofsky did with Noah.

We myth-make male directors.  They have several at-bats before a woman director would ever the same shot, even when their films bomb they keep coming back.  Women would be run out of town and told never to come back.  Remember Mimi Leder?  I would ask all film critics and bloggers to do some serious soul-searching.  Imagine a female name on a screenplay credit. Would that give you pause? Would you think, oh, it’s going to be bad. You have to be honest about your feels before anything will change.

The economics of Hollywood are such that the only trustworthy artists are male. The male name brings with it reliability, trust.  Every year a new male screenwriter, auteur or director is lifted up and celebrated as the next best thing. This rarely happens with women. Of course, some of that is due to the dreaded focus on the “relationship movie.” But there is something far more serious going on. It has to do with perceptions of women overall in our culture. Women have become decoration. We’ve given away our power for the chance to be admired by the opposite sex. What that has done is extinguish anything we have to offer beyond our beauty or sexuality – these gifts last about two seconds.  Women have to be valued beyond their tits, ass, and quirk.

Making matters worse for women are the many voices out there making a fuss about stuff that doesn’t matter. James Franco? Doesn’t matter.  Is Lena Dunham racist? Doesn’t matter.  Are there only white characters in Frozen? Who gives a rat’s ass?  That is what we call missing the bigger picture.  Non-stories do nothing but deflate the potential power of mobilization.

What’s it going to take?

1. The five white guys in suits who run Hollywood to start using those balls they were born with.  Frozen is a phenomenon. What does that tell you, boys? It tells you that there is money to be made on films that feature actual female characters with their own — GASP — character arc.  The Hunger Games anyone? It was the highest grossing film of last year. These examples should tell those five white guys in suits that they know nothing when it comes to making money in Hollywood.

2. The readers who get the scripts in the first place have to check their perceptions. Or maybe take the names totally off of the screenplays so people don’t know if they’re reading a man or a woman.  Perhaps minds could be pried open to see the possibilities of what strengths women can bring to storytelling? Can we change the future of Hollywood? Maybe. Just maybe.

3. Women must start telling more universal stories.  Just because the film stars a woman doesn’t mean it can’t be a universal story – Terms of Endearment, Norma Rae, Silkwood, Bonnie and Clyde, hell, Game of Thrones are all strong on female characters and strong on universality. Somewhere along the line those five white guys in suits selected women out, like they just didn’t matter anymore. Why? Romantic comedies? The sexualization of all young actresses so that if they aren’t the fresh hot piece of meat they are worthless?  If so, Meryl Streep would not rule the box office. Think bigger.

4. It isn’t like Hollywood could do much worse. Seriously, what a wasteland the multiplex has become. Thank god for Oscar season because if it weren’t for Oscar movies what would be left?  Seems to me chances could be taken. And if they don’t succeed 100% why should women overall be written off?  When the focus is on opening weekend — the economic equivalent of measuring dick sizes – that starts to limit choices overall.  Can we not forget what movies can be, once were and could be again?

5. Probably nothing will ever fix this problem. There, I said it. Like climate change, perhaps we are simply too far gone to reel things back in. The blockbuster might just swallow up Hollywood completely and the ONLY good stuff left will be on television. We’re not quite there yet but we certainly could be. I think it’s time the five white guys in suits stopped thinking only about money.

14 Comments on this Post

  1. I think it’s a good thing that you point this out on a regular basis.

    More than anything, cinema is better if there is a healthy “Battle of the Sexes” going on. Back in the day, before the special effects bonanza that was the mid to late Seventies, women figured more prominently in film, at least on the screen. Most of the top films had to actually have a great story in order to compete, and many of those that did (such as Doctor Zhivago, My Fair Lady, The Song of Bernadette, The Snake Pit) had central female characters. Women were easily, NECESSARILY, incorporated into storylines. Now they are often replaced with explosions, space ships, super heroes, or guns.

    I hope it’s turning around. There seems to be a wave a female-driven material that can earn as much money as the guy stuff – and guys like it too! Right now it’s well-known fantasy or sci-fi stuff, with an undercurrent of romance. Hopefully a talented pool of women emerge as the subject matter experts and it will go from there. I believe Hollywood used to employ female romance novelists as screenwriters back in the day, especially when melodrama/romance was viable boxoffice(think Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Jeanette MacDonald).

  2. SallyinChicago

    This is interesting bec I just read an op-ed over at thewrap from an indie producer who has turned away from Hollywood for projects. He raises money through Kickstarter for his indie pics. I think women writers/producers have to take the helm and a) unionize or b) start using crowdfunding for their projects.

  3. It’ll be really nice for me when we can stop crucifying Noah as this year’s whipping boy and stop branding Aronfsky as some kind of dunce-cap Alfred E Newman, and blaming him and his ilk for everything that’s wrong with Hollywood.

    Shouldn’t we like it when studios give distinguished directors ample money to bring their personal visions to life? I’ll talk about another example of that happening in a minute. Hang on.

    But first, alright, Noah isn’t a great film. It’s Aronofsky’s weakest film. But it’s not fair and it’s incorrect to called Noah “an expensive bomb.”

    Noah cost $125 million. It has already earned $300 million worldwide in only 3 weeks.

    In comparison, Snow White and the Huntsman cost $170 million. It earned $390 million worldwide after 14 weeks.

    yes, both those movies are expensive. No, neither of those movies is bomb. (In fact I think I remember seeing some praise for Snow White and the Huntsman around here, because it was an expensive movie that featured a heroine.)

    Some people might like Snow White and the Huntsman better than they like Noah so they’ll say its $170 million cost doesn’t matter.

    But if critics opinions matter at all, then its only right to point out that Snow White and the Huntsman has a score of 57 on Metacritic and Noah has a score of 68.

    Nobody is going to lose any money on Noah. Nobody. $400 million or more is coming back to Hollywood pockets on an investment of $125 million. I know the argument: “yes, but the marketing costs! the distribution costs! the PR costs!”

    yes, Hollywood marketing people and Hollywood distributors and Hollywood PR people all get a share of that money — the $300 million profit that somehow disappears. The $300 million in profits Noah will earn does not evaporate into a black hole. Every cent of that $300 million in profit gets churned back into the coffers of the Hollywood system to make Hollywood people rich beyond my wildest dreams.

    I’m pretty tired of hearing how movies that earn a quarter of a billion dollars in profit are failures. Profits from Noah might not count as real money to shareholders, but it will quietly buy 10 mansions in Bel Air. That’s why Hollywood is a fabulous place to live and Casper Wyoming isn’t.

    Movies like Noah do precisely what they are intended to do. Among other things, movies like Noah entertain half a million people and they make talented filmmakers fabulously wealthy.

    These half-billion dollar movies are essential to the financial health of studios — and I like studios! I’m grateful to studios. I adore the 30 or 35 great movies that the studios make every year. The other 200 movies that are not to my taste do not bother me. I’m funny that way. I can drive right past KFC without getting mad about the people who eat there.

    So what if Joe Neumaier at the New York Daily News turned up his nose at Noah?

    Richard Corliss at TIME. Todd McCarthy at Variety, Joe Morgenstern at The Wall Street Journal all loved it.

    If the opinions of those 3 guys do not matter, Sasha, then let’s not quote them at AD ever again. Let’s just ignore them, even when they like a movie that we can all agree on.

    Either the opinions of reputable critics mean something all the time or else they’re meaningless all the time. We can’t just call them toady fanboy ass-kissers whenever they like a movie that’s not a BP nominee and then turn around and praise them as a noble dying breed when they write a nice review about movies we like.

    I don’t care much about Noah. But I do care about Darren Aronofsky and his sterling reputation. His reputation remains intact because he has made a movie that will easily earn 3 times what it cost. His reputation is intact because he made a movie that earned A-grade scores from several distinguished veteran critics.

    Aronofsky tried to make a movie that he’s been dreaming about since he was 13 years old. He earned the clout to get a studio to front him 1/3 the budget of Man of Steel. alright, so he failed to deliver a masterpiece but he absolutely did not deliver an “expensive bland bomb.”

    I won’t mince words. I’m not happy to see Aronofsky be mocked for trying to realize his lifelong dream and failing to impress you.

    Darren Arofsky is one of America’s most brilliant directors. He doesn’t get a free ride. He has earned his prestige and respect. I’m not enjoying battling about this, but I don’t like the insinuation that Aronofsky is coasting with the “help” of silly fanboy infatuation. Unless Todd McCarthy is a silly fanboy. Unless I am too.

    ===

    There’s a movie that was given a generous budget of $100 million but the director ended up and spent $170 million on it. That movie only earned $185 million worldwide. By fishy Hollywood accounting standards, that means its fantastical “marketing, distribution and PR” budget of $300 million had to be extracted OUT of studio profits — an estimated $300 million loss for Paramount.

    Thanks to studio accounting and the lavish Hollywood lifestyles those accounting methods support, somebody somewhere lost $300 million on that luscious magnificent expensive extravagance. (Those people who lost money are called shareholders, and they didn’t even feel it. Paramount shareholders lost maybe 3 bucks apiece.)

    But I wouldn’t call that movie an expensive bomb, because the director was Martin Scorsese and the movie was Hugo. I don’t recall us being angry about how much Hugo cost. Because we liked it. We didn’t care that it lost money, and we weren’t saying: “Just imagine if Lynne Ramsey had directed Hugo, think how everybody would be flipping out! yikes, there would be hell to pay if Hugo had been directed by a woman.” We didn’t hear anything like that. At most we maybe murmured how Scorsese has earned the right to make a movie that looses a quarter of a billion dollars. Because he’s Scorsese. (In contrast to that jackass Arnofsky and his legion of fawning hero-worshippers?)

    So all I’m asking is this: Can we please stop saying movies we don’t like should not exist?

    Is it not possible to throw our passionate support behind women filmmakers without pissing on directors and films that bring billions of dollars to Hollywood?

    How is it going to help Lynne Ramsey if Noah and Captain America don’t exist? The only major effect I can see if Noah and Captain America never happened is that Hollywood loses exactly a billion dollars in revenue.

    (One Billion Dollars. That would pay for the losses of 3 more movies like Hugo).

    I hate to think in these terms. But I look at it this way: How I am going to be angry about the profits made by World War Z when that $350 million in profit earned by World War Z helps Paramount pay for Hugo’s $300 million loss?

  4. Walt Gamble

    Is it not possible to throw our passionate support behind women filmmakers without pissing on directors and films that bring billions of dollars to Hollywood?

    Yes!!! Please!!!
    There is definitely a major problem with inequality in Hollywood, and it’s true that we will only have chance to fix this by getting more people aware and discussing this on a broader scale. However, tearing down popular directors and their movies does not help, neither does constant negative references to male genetalia.
    We need to focus on the real problems, get people involved in proper discussion about why so many people react negatively just at the concept of a female film maker (I have a friend who openly admits that he will not read a book written by a woman, because they can’t write. How the hell does he know women can’t write if he’s never read a book by one?!?) as opposed to jumping straight to cheap shots and blaming comic book movies.

  5. I rarely comment here anymore because honestly it’s the same old song on a regular basis. You use Frozen as a benchmark for female heroines. I don’t mind that you use Frozen as that benchmark but you go on to say it’s groundbreaking. It’s really not. Disney has been using central female characters since Snow White. Two years ago you were rallying with the same nonsense about Brave. Disney realized a long time ago that central female characters in their productions were money makers. You focus on Up as some abboration when in fact I don’t think I recall any Disney feature where the central character was an old man grieving over the loss of the love of his life, HIS WIFE no less. I’m so tired of hearing about how everyone but the white male in Hollywood is downtrodden. Complexity is not the enemy. Read a Lillian Helman play for god sakes.

  6. @Ryan, sometimes the things I am afraid to say or unable to say are the ones you put out in exemplary form. I’m not just saying that because I am a HUGE Darren Aronofsky fan (although I have yet to see Noah) but because you’re a wordsmith showing respect for the words. I’m not sure I can quite explain what I mean by that but I’m hoping you see there’s no pretension in that sentence. A guy like Aronofsky, his background, how he came up in the film industry, it’s unbelievable. Even the poem he wrote, The Dove, when he was a teen is something to behold. His passion bleeds through every frame and if he can go from Pi to Noah and still make something like The Wrestler in between with Mickey Rourke (a gamble at the time) then he deserves all the praise. For crying out loud, Aronofsky made The Fountain into a graphic novel after the production fell through and then it was brought back to life. This man can make anything he wants in my book.

    Reflecting upon your post I thought about some things. I would not have wanted Lynne Ramsay to make Captain America 2, in hindsight though. Why? Because Cap 2 is my favorite Marvel movie. Now that I’ve seen it I don’t want it to have been made differently, not even by Aronofsky. So it’s not about gender bias, it’s about what the final product should end up being. I believe studios like Marvel, and even franchises like Spider-Man and X-Men that are owned by Marvel but not the studio, are making the smartest choices when it comes to their directors. Are the movies always perfect? No. But talk about risk taking…Marc Webb, Joss Whedon, James Gunn and the Russo Brothers. Even Jon Favreau and Kenneth Branagh only had Elf, Hamlet and Henry V to show they could come close to the visual spectacle required of the movies. My point is studios are allowed to experiment on directors but picking them for the sake of filling out a status quo is asinine. However…I’d like to see someone like Kelly Reichardt direct a dark Bruce Banner movie where it’s less action and more him on the road and controlling his anger and reflecting on the damage he always brings with him (obviously it’d be different from the Incredible Hulk movie). That’s just another random thing to think about but what can I say, I love the lass :)

  7. Also, looking back at the list of BP winners you listed I find some contradictions. Crash may not have had a central female character, but there were no central character I’d argue. Everyone was supporting. You constantly say there should be more acting roles for people of color but, like the film or not, Crash did provide roles for Don Cheadle, Thandie Newton, Jennifer Esposito and (yes) Ludacris. The Hurt Locker was directed by a woman yet you put the movie in that list to make it seem like it’s part of the “great white male” movement that consumed 10 years of Oscar history. Should Avatar have beaten The Hurt Locker because Zoe Saldana is as much a lead as Sam Worthington? The King’s Speech won, but we all know you wish The Social Network should have won, as do many here, myself included. Would you have listed The Social Network in there and made it seem like part of the problem? It’s tough to argue against something like No Country for Old Men considering it’s adapted from a book and it’s a perfect movie, though I wish There Will Be Blood had won. It’s not as if the source material could’ve been changed so drastically. I agree with you about Argo, the female characters were drawn very thin. Even Affleck’s wife had many more scenes but they’re only on the special addition cut. But Lincoln, had it won, would’ve been on that list too.

    I have a hard time understanding which cause you’re fighting for when some of those causes contradict your own arguments you’ve made for years. I guess I wonder where the line should be drawn and when a great movie can just be left alone.

  8. murtaza

    Ryan Adams AND Nic
    I AGREE WITH YOU BOTH WITH ALL MY HEART…
    And Sasha seriously since when did white male writers begin to write simple and dumb screenplays for which the FEMALE writers have to dumb their standard way way down. THIS IS HILARIOUS, STUPID and makes you look like a whiny amateur.
    Take the best female written screenplays of recent times which include JUNO and LOST IN TRANSLATION, what was so complex about that?
    None of these films compare to the actually complex screenplays like HER, SOCIAL NETWORK, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, HURT LOCKER, A SEPARATION and the list goes on and on and on.

    AND FROZEN is not a phenomenon, if American box office means that much to you then TRANSFORMERS and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN are also phenomenons. Give them entertaining popcorn entertainment in 3D and yes the collections do go that high. Female strong character or no female strong character.

    And soon we’ll have another so called COMPLEX screenplay from female writer: 50 Shades of Grey… which is bound to be a major disaster.
    If a writer, male or female is working that bad, he or she, (in this case a she) should be run out of town and told never to come back.

  9. ubourgeois

    I agree with most every other word in this article (except maybe the fatalistic turn at the end), but that second paragraph threw me.

    I have never heard of men being more “visually oriented” than women. In fact, the more I think about it, I feel like I’ve only ever heard of things that contradict that (men are significantly more likely to be colorblind, etc). Where are you pulling this fact from?

    Also, since when is using visual storytelling “dumb[ing] it way way down?” Also, since when are most movies in Hollywood employing primarily visual storytelling? If anything, Hollywood’s greatest sin is too much spoken exposition. I /wish/ there were more writers/directors in Hollywood that could employ well-executed visual storytelling, male or female. Like I get that it’s satisfying to say “Hollywood spurns us because we are too good for it,” but your claims here aren’t the most solid.

  10. whoa whoa, murtaza, let’s please go easy on the harsh language, ok? I appreciate the show of support, but I should remind everybody that I wouldn’t have been inspired to write anything at all if Sasha had not offered such a provocative and compelling springboard with this post. Not only that, we wouldn’t be here discussing any of this at all if Sasha didn’t provide the platform and place for us to gather.

    None of us will all agree eye-to-eye on every issue. We all say and write things that can have a bristly turn of phrase. It’s easy to get snagged on those bristles, but it’s better to work them loose carefully than to roughly rip them out. We like to have a lively debate but we want to keep it respectful too, ok?

    ===

    With that out of the way… I believe maybe what Sasha means is that women writers might try ‘dumbing down’ a screenplay to see if a simpler script written by a woman will sell as well as some of the simple-minded stuff men are able to foist on us.

    I’m not sure I would recommend that, but I see the point: Why should all the hacks in Hollywood be men? Guys are earning enormous sums of money writing movies that I would never pay to watch — but millions of other moviegoers flock to see. Why shouldn’t women write movies for the masses too? Well, some do. There are apparently female hacks getting work in Hollywood writing simple-minded messes like Veronica Mars. I dare anyone to try to sit through 5 minutes of that dreck without cringing.

    So, respectfully, I would suggest that we not ask women writers to give us any more movies like Veronica Mars. Please god, no, no, I beg of you, please don’t write any more Veronica Mars movies like the one we got.

    What do we get when Diablo Cody dumbs down? We get Jennifer’s Body. (personally I would say that we also get Juno when Diablo Cody is dumbing down, but that’s just me. I really don’t think Diablo Cody should to be encouraged to write anything dumber than Juno.)

    ===

    Again, respectfully, I would gently ask: what happens when Lisa Cholodenko writes a warm witty intelligent screenplay like The Kids Are All Right. I’m afraid sometimes some people get mad when the New York Film Critics reward her efforts with a prize — so I think we have to try not to be disappointed if that prize for Lisa Cholodenko means Aaron Sorkin doesn’t get one more prize to add to the 175 prizes he’s already got. Doesn’t Ms Cholodenko have a hard enough time winning acclaim without begrudging her the rare opportunity when she does go head to head with the best male writers?

    So no, speaking for myself, I would not be suggesting to women writers that they try to emulate the worst male hacks and write dumb things like Identity Thief or Divergent. We have enough movies like that without offering women career advice to churn out more of them.

    Yes, I’ve intentionally picked three rather stupid female-driven movies (Veronica Mars, Identity Thief, Divergent) that are not comic book genre and are all written by women, to illustrate that women can clearly write dumb movies — but, yeesh, do we need that?

    On the other hand, for the life of me I can’t understand how a guy like Jack Paglen can see his scatterbrained script get a budget of $100 million so that Wally Pfister can make it his grand directorial debut with Transcendence. It makes us wonder what other stepping stones Jack Paglen had to navigate in his career struggles in order to be catapulted instantly into the big league like that. But good luck finding even one other thing Jack Paglen ever got produced because Transcendence is his very first virgin effort. And it’s about as fun as watching a virgin give his first blowjob. Ouch, no, don’t gnaw on it.

    So that’s screwed up. Are there seriously no women in all of Hollywood who can write a more coherent screenplay than Trancendence? heck, are there not any middle school nerds who can?

    But I do not feel we need to be advising women to write more movies like Transcendence either.

    Instead we probably should have given movies like Nicole Holofcener’s Enough Said more coverage here. It’s a real-feeling lovely film with more genuine heartfelt humor than 50 Hangover sequels.

    But we only posted one item about Nicole Holofcener and Enough Said before we moved on to humping all the usual male suspects for Best Original Screenplay.

    I didn’t have any opportunity to see Enough Said until mid-January — which was soon enough for it to make my personal Top 20 of the year, but it was already a week after Oscar nominations before I saw how wonderful it was. Too late to even rave about it in time for an Oscar attention.

    Honestly, Enough Said beats the shit out of Alexander Payne’s somewhat condescending Nebraska (in my opinion) but we dropped the ball on Enough Said in September and we even forgot that we had stowed it under the bus. So we have to do better than that.

    By ‘we’ I mean all of us. More important than any blog post, if we really want to have more movies like Enough Said — far and away the best romantic comedy of 2013 — then we as moviegoers have to get out there and pay to see them.

    Seriously, Enough Said looks and sounds like it was written by a graduate of Columbia Film School and makes Juno look like it was written by somebody who went to U of Iowa (which in fact are the actual facts).

    So how about we all try harder to Go Pay To See Smart Intelligent Movies written by women and then maybe those movies will make money.

    Studios seem to like to pay people to write movies that make money.

    Where’s that money come from? It’s in OUR WALLETS. So if we want to see smart women writers getting paid to write smart movies, then we have to do our part: We have to go see the fucking movies!

    That, to me, is a better plan than recommending women writers play dumb enough so the boys will let them in their dumb clubhouse.

  11. I think we should also look for signs that Sasha’s recommendation to dumb it down could have a facetious tilt.

    Here’s a clue: In the preceding sentence Sasha says, “I’m only half-kidding.” So that mean she’s only half serious.

    I can be so bitterly facetious myself sometimes, often I miss the cue when someone is being gently facetious.

  12. murtaza

    I didn’t mean to be harsh, I love the way Sasha covers the entire year from Oscars or awards’ perspective, I’ve been coming to AD since 14 years, but what she wrote in this article was really annoying and so untrue. I too support strong female characters, writers and directors but not like this.
    Anyways I can apologize, sorry…

  13. I’m late to the party here, but I second what Ryan said about ENOUGH SAID. Saw this in February and I loved it. I remember thinking it’s a shame it didn’t get more coverage anywhere and that there seemed to be more movies like that when I was growing up in the 80’s/early 90’s. It had romantic comedy elements to it, but much deeper and really allowed for some great female characters. I am definitely interested in seeing more movies like this.

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