This year at Feministing, I’ve been manning (womanning?) the Feministing Rom Com Review project, in which I see and review every romantic comedies that comes to theaters this year. The final movie of the year was How Do You Know, which was less than brilliant:
As far as plot and dialogue go, it’s pretty boring. But its approach to gender is a little more interesting. One of the most common themes running through rom coms from the last decade is that of the uptight career woman who doesn’t know how to have fun, and whose priorities are all out of whack – that is, who doesn’t spend enough time courting male approval and attention. The cure for this female illness is always meeting and falling in love with the man of her dreams (even if she hates him at first). How Do You Know doesn’t hit you over the head with the message that Lisa needs to learn to loosen up and that a long-term monogamous heterosexual relationship will make that happen, but that message certainly is there. Lisa might not wear a suit and black Louboutins – universal rom com mark of a hard-driving career bitch – but she’s an ambitious, high-achieving woman, whose job requires her to put aside emotion, a habit that predictably impinges on her ability to have a good time. At one point, Matty declares that he’s going to teach her how to have fun. Which, apart from being a dicktastic thing to say to a woman you just finished having sex with, drives home the message that while she might not work in an office, we’re meant to read Lisa as an uptight career bitch.
You can read the whole thing here.