In the same outspoken 12.14 interview, N.Y. Times critic Manohla Dargis has responded harshly and (I think) hilariously to a quote from Hollywood.com’s box-office analyst Paul Degarabedian in a 10.25 Washington Post article by Ann Hornaday.
“What women like, at least for now, are traditional narratives,” Degarabedian said. (Note: PD always says stuff like this, repeating status-quo views on tastes and trends.) “There’s no Bourne Identity with a woman starring in it right now. It’s almost as if in real life, women want to be empowered and in control, but on-screen they seem to like the old-fashioned damsel-in-distress, love-struck female.
In response to which Dargis says, “Fuck him! What an asshole! Yes, that’s what I want! That’s exactly what I want. If Angelina Jolie had been cast in a movie as a good as The Bourne Identity with a filmmaker like Paul Greengrass, I would have gone out to see it, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be alone. That is absurd. That’s blaming female audiences – you get what you deserve? Is that what he’s saying?
“It’s a vicious cycle,” Dargis also says. “We’re not going to movies because there aren’t movies for us. Therefore we’re not seen as a loyal moviegoing audience. My point is that if there are stories about women, women will come out for that.
“That’s why [women] go to a movie like The Devil Wears Prada and make huge hits. They want to see women in movies. People in the trade press constantly frame that as a surprise. This, gee whiz…Sex and the City‘s a hit, Twilight, hmm…wonder what’s going on here? Maybe they should not be so surprised. In the trade press, women audiences are considered a niche. How is that even possible? We’re 51 percent of the audience.”