Second in my series of pop-culture stories exhibiting interesting ideas of sexuality:
(And p.s., I promise that soon I’ll stop critiquing pop culture and start saying some positive things about it, because I actually do love movies/books/etc. and the things they have to say.)
2. Anything with Michael Cera in it.
Or… Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist:
SUMMARY: Youv’e seen Michael Cera. He’s the soft-spoken, ultra-passive and smiley kid who impregnated Juno, or the, um, soft-spoken, ultra-passive and smiley kid who drove Norah around all night in “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”. Plot summaries: “Passive Boy smiles awkwardly and sweetly until Teen Girl just can’t help herself anymore and hops into bed with him. Passivity ensues.”
ANALYSIS: First of all, I liked both these movies. Not hating at all. Second: When did acting like a five year old become the best way to woo a girl?
Juno (from a chair on MC’s lawn): “So, um, I’m pregnant.”
Juno: “So, I was thinking maybe I’d just, you know, nip it in the bud.”
MC: “Um, ok. Whatever, yeah.”
(What MC’s character does here is so easy for men to do: To just go passive and let the woman make the decisions alone… leaving her to fend for herself. Passivity is so easy and so appealing for me as a man and so many men I’ve spoken to, rather than a real and honest engagement with what is happening, and a willingness to share the burden.)
GLIMMER OF TRUTH: In “Nick & Norah”, Nick’s ex-girlfriend sees him hanging out with Norah, which makes her jealous. She decides to try to win him back. She flirts with him, and they drive to a private spot to “park”. She gets out and starts to do a strip tease in full glare of the headlights for Nick. As she begins to take off her clothes and dance seductively, Nick realizes he doesn’t even like this girl and drives away.
Now, I do not advocate leaving half-dressed girls alone in the ghetto to walk themselves home, but I like the way this scene shatters the myth that ultra-seductive and hyper-sexual is the best way for a woman to be. On-screen, it appeals to the base desires of many men and can be very titillating, but in real life, it’s awkward, unattractive, and sad. Women, feel free to be women and not sex toys.
UNDERLYING MESSAGE: To men: Just act stunned all the time, and smile sheepishly a lot. Nobody will ever hold you responsible for anything. To women: … sorry girls, you’re on your own. But after you go through horrible emotional turmoil, you can still sit on the porch and play guitar with your dude like two little kids.
P.S. – both these movies are hilarious and have great music and are very worth watching. And Michael Cera is hilarious.