Let’s Talk About Sexism in Movie Reviews, You Guys!

A few weeks ago, Lola Versus was released in theaters and received mediocre reviews. It’s really a shame, because I thought it was quite good! Sadly, a lot of (mostly male) critics did not, and a lot of them did what many male critics do: they compared it to other things about young women. You see? This thing about a woman is just like that thing about a woman, because those two things are about women! UGH, dumb women, always trying to get men to watch chick flicks and shit. Why do they keep making them anyway? Ugh, because they are dumb, I guess. 

Obviously that is not how I feel, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a review of Lola Versus that would openly call all women dumb. Having said that, let’s hop back into our internet time machines and go back to a place just a few weeks ago!

On The Hairpin, writer Jessica Hopper wrote about seeing Lola Versus to check out if the movie was actually not good or if the negative reviews were actually kind of sexist. She is a woman, and you know how they are—she kind of liked it! And she also found an unfortunate trend among the reviews of the film!

The Lola Versus folks may not be able to correlate their lagging box office directly to the bad-to-awful reviews that they got from mostly male critics, who gave it a collective HELLS NAW and did some deep shitting upon the little film, but the facts of a critical gender split on the movie remain: of the 64 Google-able reviews of the film that were written by men, 65% of them were negative. In comparison, of the 39 reviews by women, 79% of them were positive. The unifying theme of the critique? There can be only one show/movie with a quirky single lady having questionable break-up sex in New York, U.S.A. — and that show is Girls.

A quick stroll through some of the notable negative review finds consensus — once we have seenGirls, we should be sated. Lena Dunham, uber alles.

“This is the kind of cutely alienated indie relationship comedy that Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girlshas made irrelevant.” – Entertainment Weekly

"Lola Versus" deserves the bulk of the ire being misdirected at the new HBO series "Girls."  – Indie Wire

“It’s all like an extended episode of “Girls,” minus that series’ self-lacerating sense of humor." – New York Film Critics Circle

“I’m sorry, but in the season of  “Girls” a secondhand, sentimental sex comedy, however well-meaning, is not going to cut it.” – So sayeth an uncharacteristically sharp A.O. Scott of the New York Times.

“You’re better off with HBO’s “Girls” if you want a sharper and more fulfilling take on the 20-something female experience in New York.” – The Playlist

Wait, facts and statistics and numbers? I thought girls were bad at math? Anyway, I think what we have learned here is that Lena Dunham is a bad feminist because she is TOO SMART AND GOOD and has ruined it for the rest of the women who want to create art about being women. Case closed!

OH NO, but wait! I am only kidding, because not only is Lena Dunham smart and talented, but so are a lot of other writers, like, for example, Zoe Lister-Jones, who co-wrote Lola Versus before Girls premiered on HBO. In fact, I saw Lola Verses months before I first watched Girls, and other than the fact that both the film and the TV show depict a young woman living in New York City, I found them to be very different! Am I the only one? 

That’s a rhetorical question, obviously. But here is one that is not rhetorical: Why the fuck is there another Spider-Man movie? For that matter, why are we going to have The Dark Knight Rises? And what the hell was up with The Avengers—hadn’t we already seen those characters before? And why, please God, WHY, are all of these movies getting good reviews? Is it because they are, like, works of art? No, they are about adult men wearing spandex and shooting shit at other adult men wearing spandex! The sort of feeling I’m getting is: It is OK for there to be a million movies about dudes blowing shit up, but, nope, no more comedies about young women in their twenties because we already have Girls. And also, women need to stop trying to be funny because Bridesmaids showed that they can make jokes and poop in streets just like dudes can, so it’s time for the ladies just to chilllllll with their feelings and stuff because it’s summertime and that means it’s time for the men to finally wear the tights.