My dear friends, this post is not ballet related, but I need an outlet, so excuse me whilst I rant.
This Saturday, Rob and I went on a trip to the Bournemouth seaside. That’s where we met 6 years ago during university, where we first lived together, where he proposed. We were having a lovely time when the weather turned and we could not stand the cold anymore. We decided to go to the cinema, and watch American Reunion. We watched American Pie in our teens and liked the first movie, so were hoping for a funny, nostalgic afternoon.
We just sat there, slack-jawed and in awe. Not only was the movie ridiculously unfunny, but it was also ridiculously offensive. The plot goes like this: it is their 13 year High School Reunion, so the original American Pie cast members all go back to their home town to celebrate. Hilariousness does not ensue. I would be angry enough at having spent money to watch an awful movie, but I was fuming at all the offensive and outright messed-up CR*P on the screen.
In one scene, there were scores of half-naked teenage girls having a party, when they are joined by the main characters, who are in their 30s. Well, we know they are not really teenagers, but we are told that they are ‘high school chicks’, celebrating an 18th birthday. We are supposed to find all of it funny, not at all creepy.
At possibly the most troubling sequence (and that is saying something) Kara, the birthday girl, is too drunk to drive and Jim (her 31 year old neighbour) offers to drive her home. Kara is drunk and randy, so she strips down to her thong with and tries to get intimate with Jim. He almost crashes the car and she passes out. Being a total idiot, Jim calls all his buddies to come help him get the unconscious girl back in her house. He has the courtesy to cover her with a beach towel. Stifler, possibly the biggest twat of all cinema history, gets really excited at the sight of the UNCONSCIOUS, half-naked 18 year old and tries to get the towel off, but he is stopped by his friends.
But fear not! As Jim tries to carry the UNCONSCIOUS girl into her house, the towel gets stuck on a bush and is ripped off, exposing her naked breasts to the audience. Hilarious. She eventually wakes up and parades around naked for a while more, but finally passes out in her bedroom, quickly followed by Stifler, who sees this as an opportunity for more UNCONSCIOUS boobies.
This is not ok!
After the movie, we actually enumerated all the separate instances of potential sexual offences, and our number reached the dozens. Rob is great at these things and he once spotted a rape in Sixteen Candles.
This is a highlight of sexual offences found in American Reunion:
– Stifler walks around his office slapping almost every woman’s bottom until he reaches his office.
– At the lake, some teenage boys steal bikini tops, leaving girls with no choice buy expose themselves (if not a sexual offence, than at least theft).
– Stifler doing his vagina-shark bit at the lake. (swimming underwater and biting unsuspecting girls in their lady parts)
– Attempt to strip an unconscious girl. (the previously described sequence).
Did any of the girls in this movie try to get Stifler arrested? Nope. Did they attempt to slap Stifler? Nope? Did they at the very least complain? Nope. They react with a little yelp, a roll of the eyes, and a frowny face. Almost every woman in this movie was a non-threatening, infantilized sex-object This was all framed as COMEDY! And does anyone bother telling Stifler that he is a sex offender who might need help? No, he is celebrated as a beloved character.
I know people will dismiss this criticism saying American Reunion is a guys movie, and just a bit of fun. Well, Rob is a guy and he hated this movie. When the credits started, he turned to me and said: ‘This is the most misogynistic movie I have ever seen.’
He was right and we both despaired at the audience of teenage boys and girls hooting with laughter at the hideousness of screen. We felt like yelling:
No! It is not funny!! This movie is not funny!!
Misogyny is not funny!
Vulnerable, UNCONSCIOUS 18 year olds are not funny!!
Sexual offences are not funny!!!
Am I the only that is deeply offended by this movie? I really hope not…