Amy reviewed this a few days ago. She even sent me an email, which I forgot to respond to until it was too late. So I’m writing this post, instead, to let all of you know what I thought of The Prize-Winner of Defiance, Ohio.
Or, at least, the first 15 minutes of said movie.
Because I’m sorry…I could not sit through it.
Here’s the thing. I love my husband, and he’s a man. I love my dad, and he’s a man. I love my brothers. Yep, you guessed it. They’re both men, too. Heck, even my DOGS are men. Well, male anyway.
And from what I saw of PWODO, it was yet another Carnival of Misandry disguised as a “fun family film.” You know what I mean if you’ve seen a single episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond”. It’s all that business about how men are duffers–at best they’re goofily incompetant. At their worst, they’re raging alcoholics burning through life at the expense of long suffering family.
Now, I don’t doubt the existence of these men who are dullards and drunks. But I feel more and more as though the last ten years of popular culture has put forth the idea that all men can only be one or the other. (Okay. They can sometimes be both.) PWODO was no exception. The father, played by Woody Harrelson, was a raging alcoholic who couldn’t keep his family of twelve in shoe leather. The mother, played by Julianne Moore, was a wise woman who kept the wolf from the door by “contesting”–writing jingles for soap, appliance and food companies. Once again, a smart woman has to bail out her family after the stupid man keeps ruining things.
I believe in smart women. I am one. I know many. But you know what? Brains are not a zero-sum game. There are smart, good, hard-working men out there. Well, everywhere except in the movies.