They may as well use this poster for 99.8% of the excreta of male writers and directors, since even movies named after women aren’t about the woman.
Case in point:
Meryl Streep is one of the finest actors of her generation. Presumably these guys paid for the privilege of having her grace their movie — and then they waste her talents by making Florence into a glorified mannequin to be posed by mediocre-on-his-best-day Hugh Grant?
We learn almost nothing about Florence except the few facts needed to create sympathy for her and mitigate the spoiled-rich-lady-using-her-fortune-to-insulate-herself-from-reality image the character otherwise might have projected. There are hints of Florence’s intriguing past — she played the piano for the president as a child! She was performing in a “violet velvet dress” the night she met Mr Bayfield! She got her own apartment as a young woman despite her father’s objections! We’d like to know more about these experiences — maybe a flashback or two? We’d like a better picture of how Florence sees herself, how she understands her ability, and what motivates her performances. We’d like to see her interacting with a female friend, perhaps, (Bechdel test fail) or exchanging more than two sentences with her Irish lady’s maid, or really having contact with anyone other than her sycophantic, wishy-washy husband or her smug, ambitious accompanist.
But no. It’s so much more important to show Hugh Grant getting wasted and dancing with someone else’s wife in the apartment Florence pays for, or cavorting in golden-sunshine-washed Long Island meadows with his lover (played by a woman 23 years younger than Grant*). We must foreground the sweet, self-sacrificing actions “Whitey” performs to protect Florence from herself. God forbid a man lowering himself to care for a woman (the way women worldwide take care of men every day) not get center stage in a movie that’s not about him. Because old fat ladies are boring and it’s a sausage party after all!
I love you Meryl. I hate you BBC.
Oh, and yes:
FEMALES ARE HOT DOG BUNS.
Whoever thought this up, may you burn in hell.
* I will say that in a rare and unusual departure for the movie business, Streep is 11 years older than Grant.