Streaming Showcase: Men Dealing with Women (Poorly)

Douglas Van Hollen

Software engineer. Kravist. Oenophile. MSTie. Trekker. Coffee-drinker. Lush. Fur-father. Last of the V8 Interceptors. On permanent sabbatical in Winter River, CT. Still amazed that his wife Carey still lets him in the door every night.

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2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Body Heat

  2. I had to track down a copy of BODY HEAT (http://www.flickchart.com/movie/045BD7BA5F) in order to address your comment; I admit I’d never seen it.

    Despite it not being available streaming (that I could find), I can see why you might want to add it to this list. William Hurt does indeed fail to “deal with” Kathleen Turner, in that he underestimates and misjudges essentially every square inch of her mind, body, motives, and sanity for one hundred and thirteen minutes. He doesn’t get what he needs from her (which is sweaty sex and….*some* of her husbands money? To take a risk together? Not at all clear.) and ultimately they do not end up together.

    But really Turner is “just” another femme fatale: a malevolent succubus that leads to Hurt’s downfall. The nature of the tension in their relationship was not love (it seemed) but rather the logistics of infidelity and murder. Once her spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler, Hurt’s challenge is not to try to gain, grow, repair, or save the relationship, but rather to save his life and/or freedom. Which is slightly askew from the thrust of my original list; the above five films (or at least my lens onto them) were mainly concerned with the romantic, gender-orientated life of the man.

    Of course, a decent argument could be made for including any movie with a femme fatale in this list. By definition, an FF is dealt with poorly, and such films pretty much always end up saying something (damning) about the relations between the sexes.

    But I contend that it takes more than “fatality” in a female character to really have the film say something interesting about how men relate to women. I think that the film needs to be intentionally “about” how men relate to women, both literal women and archetypal ones. And, respectfully, I think that BODY HEAT is about a whole crop of different issues, which sets it apart from these five films.